September 01, 2018

How to Calculate Calories During the Challenge When You're Pregnant or Nursing

If you're a pregnant or a nursing mama, you're probably wondering if our Clean Simple Eats meal plans are safe for you to use, and the answer is YES! There have been many mamas out there who have found success with our meal plans while pregnant or nursing. The next question we typically get is, "How many calories should I be eating?", which is why we wanted to clear up any confusion! 

First and foremost, we absolutely recommend consulting your doctor when it comes to how much you should be eating, to make sure you're eating the right amount of calories each day to fuel your body. 

After you talk to your doctor, we recommend putting all of your information into the Clean Simple Eats app. When you input your information into the app, we recommend putting in your current weight (not your pre-pregnancy weight).

If you are pregnant:

Choose the “maintain weight” option. This should give you enough calories to grow that little babe and fuel your body properly. Listen to your body and don’t be afraid to add an extra meal or snack when needed.

If you are nursing:

Follow the prompt on the app to choose your goal. Once you have your goal chosen (maintenance, weight loss*, or weight gain) then hit the “submit” button. The app will give you a total number of calories to eat, and we recommend adding an additional 300-500 calories to that number to account for nursing (again this is a suggested range, but please consult your doctor for the number of calories you should be eating). Listen to your body’s hunger cues and your milk supply. This will help you adjust your numbers as needed.

*If you have questions about how aggressive your weight loss deficit % should be, read this

When it comes to our proteins, powders, and supplements, we also recommend you consult your doctor before use. Our products are all natural and not made with artificial ingredients. Before you purchase, you can review the full ingredient list for each product in our shop. 

Keep reading for some amazing testimonials from our Clean Simple Eats Challenge mamas!

Hear from some of our past challenger mamas:

Losing baby weight for me has always been a challenge and although I have a long ways to go to lose it all, I am only 9 pounds away from this baby's pre-pregnancy weight! I have been breastfeeding my baby and I have never had to think twice if I was fueling my body enough to produce enough. In fact, I know my baby is getting plenty and getting the "right stuff." She has gained 6 pounds and 5 inches in the past six weeks and she can sleep through the night! And all it took was adding on 500 extra calories, easy! - Nicole K  

This has been the only challenge that I have been able to stick to and see results. I may not have lost a lot of weight, but I was shocked at how many inches I lost. I am breastfeeding, and when I am nursing it is really hard for my body to lose weight. Exercise has never been an issue for me, but food has. This challenge has helped me to make so many food choices and to be mindful of what I am eating. While doing this challenge I had many highs and many lows. Some days were harder than others. I wouldn't see the scale move and I felt defeated many times. Now that the challenge is over and seeing the after pictures and measuring myself, I am so proud of myself and for all the hard work that I put into to make my body look a little better and definitely feel A LOT better. This challenge has motivated me to keep going and to not give up. I can't wait to do the Fall challenge! Thank you for creating this program! It really does work. - Megan M

I knew jumping into this challenge so soon after having a baby was going to be a challenge in more than one way. I was scared to take it on knowing the amount of exhaustion, demand on my time/attention, and the time needed to properly prep the food; I wasn't sure I was going to be able to handle it with a nursing newborn and two others under 5 years old but regardless I wanted to try. I know the benefits of clean eating and if there was ever a time to eat clean it was now - while what I ate directly effects the life I am sustaining - so I signed up, downloaded the meal plan, took my before measurements and pictures (cringing the entire time) a week after delivering my baby, and set off meal prepping each week. To my surprise, the meal prepping became a huge blessing! While I took a little coordinating between my husband and I, taking the time to prep all my breakfasts, snacks, and lunches on the weekend made my weekdays so much easier with my three girls. I remember days with my first two as newborns where I just wouldn't eat because I was so tied up with the baby but this time around, I haven't skipped one meal! My weight loss over the six weeks wasn't as drastic as I would have hoped. Ultimately, I only lost 10 pounds which still leaves me 10 pounds over starting weight at pregnancy and 15ish pounds over where I comfortably like to stay but participating in this challenge became so much more than just a weight-loss journey. It helped me to realize the growth and process I've made as a mother these past four years in my ability to care for myself and my kids. - Christina S

After realizing the baby weight from my second baby wasn’t coming off 6 months postpartum, I decided I needed to make a change. I was nervous about dieting while nursing, but I knew I needed to do something. Once I tried the sample week of CSE and lost 2 lbs with very little effort, I knew this was the the way to go. I soon found that I loved keeping track and being accountable for what I was eating. It was just the right challenge I needed to truly change my eating habits. 6 weeks isn’t a very long time, but in that time I managed to lose weight, lose inches, gain confidence and still nurse my baby. I love that this isn’t just a fad diet, but a way to change habits. During the challenge I went on 2 vacations and both times I was able to actually lose weight while eating out for almost every meal. As an extra bonus, my husband wasn’t participating in the challenge but managed to lose over 20 lbs just from eating the CSE dinners and cutting out *most* of his sugary sodas. I feel better about where my health is headed and I owe that to Clean Simple Eats for showing me that changing my diet doesn’t have to taste terrible, cost a fortune or take a lot of planning. It can be easy and last forever. - Alissa W

Most importantly, please make sure you are mindful of your body, because you are growing/providing nourishment to a human being. Listen to your body’s hunger cue and watch your milk supply. Make sure to add an extra meal or snack if you are too hungry or you see a drop in your milk supply.

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