Eating Dinner for Breakfast to Help with Postpartum Weight Loss

Postpartum weight loss can be a bit tricky, especially when you are breastfeeding.  While breastfeeding burns about 300-500 calories a day, this is not a time to limit your calories, as dropping below 1,500 calories a day has the potential to decrease a mother's milk supply.  What this means is that a breastfeeding mother needs to net at least 1,500 calories a day, therefore she should aim to eat about 2,000 calories per day to keep a robust milk supply.  Now, when a mother eats these calories, as well as the type of food she eats can make a difference in how those calories are used and burned throughout the day.  My dear friend, Keegan Sheridan, is a naturopathic doctor and author of a fantastic blog at  Here is her most recent article about weight loss and eating breakfast for dinner.

For more information about breastfeeding and weight loss, please visit additional articles listed below.

Weight Loss: As Simple as Eating Your Dinner for Breakfast

Written by Keegan Sheridan, ND

For many years, I operated a private practice as a naturopathic doctor in Southern California, specializing in the treatment of digestive diseases and side-effects of cancer treatment.  Although weight loss support was never a service that I proactively marketed, it was an all too common issue that I found myself needing to address with my patient population.  Really, this wasn’t a surprise to me, given that close to 70% of all adults in this country are overweight or obese.  Every doctor, no matter their specialization, can likely relate to my experience – given the epidemic of overweight and obesity in our country, the need to treat these diseases is fundamental to successfully addressing the vast majority of other symptoms and illnesses plaguing our society today.  

Nourishing Meals Chicken Soup

The weight loss protocol that I created was conceptually quite simple and consisted of two basic recommendations: 

  • Decrease reliance on packaged and fast foods and increase consumption of whole foods
  • Make breakfast the biggest meal of the day, lunch the next largest and dinner the smallest 

I consciously avoided complicated rules and trends such as those found in diets like “The Zone” or “Atkins”.  My goal was to create a mental shift in my patients from seeing a diet as a temporary thing to do to lose weight to a life-long way of approaching food in a healthy manner.  Personally, I don’t have the time or interest to count calories, weigh my meals or eat the same frozen dinners over and over.  Perhaps it was my own irritation with these trendy plans that played the biggest role in the advice I ultimately shared with patients.

To get started, I would often suggest a patient make one simple change: eat their dinner for breakfast and their breakfast for dinner.  So, if they typically ate a chicken breast, green salad and slice of bread with butter for dinner and a bowl of cereal for breakfast, they’d just switch them up, simple as that.  Although the idea of eating chicken breast and salad for breakfast was often a bit of a mental struggle, it was about as easy a change as you could make…no modifications to your grocery shopping list, no new recipes, no calorie counting.  More times than not, when I would see them at their next appointment, they had lost weight…amazing but true.  With the idea planted (and some nice weight loss results as motivator), I would then work with them to find more suitable meal ideas grounded in whole food ingredients that followed the same approach of eating the largest meal at breakfast and the smallest meal at dinner.

Last week when I came across a ***study recently published in the journal, Obesity, that followed this same approach I was incredibly excited.  I was even more excited when I read the results of the study that found significant weight loss as well as other improvements in fasting glucose, insulin and triglyceride levels in the treatment group.  How wonderful it was to see this approach studied and to see it demonstrate such positive and measurable results.  

I have often joked that I discovered the next diet fad and have even come up with a few potential names, “The Dinner-Fast Diet”, “Eat Steak but Only at Breakfast Diet” or maybe, “The Upside Down Diet”.  Too bad I don’t have a publishing deal…it seems like I really may be on to something!

*** Please note that the subjects in the study mentioned above were not breastfeeding and, therefore, consumed less than the recommended calories for a breastfeeding mother.

This article was first published on

Dr. Keegan Sheridan is a natural food and health expert, naturopathic doctor, and evangelist for healthy people and a healthy planet. She speaks and writes about the science, politics and evolution of natural food, health and medicine. Follow her on Twitter.


Additional articles about breastfeeding and weight loss found on our blog:

How to Lose Weight While Breastfeeding without Losing Your Milk Supply

Exercising After Baby Just Got a Lot Easier

Help a Mama Out: FOods that Support Your Milk Supply