I've been strict low carb paleo for about 7 months and have lost about 45 pounds. I'm breastfeeding. I have another 45-50 pounds to go. My issue is I feel like I'm losing weight everywhere except for my stomach. Case in point: My hipslinger jeans size has gone from a 22 to a 16 but I still have to wear a xxl (or 2x) on top unless it's a loose around the waist. I can see the fat loss in my face, my legs, arms, and my butt but my stomach is just hanging there. I feel extremely unfeminine with my lack of a waist. I know, it has to do with having a baby 9 months ago but is there anything I can do? I had a c-section but I don't know if that changes things. I can feel muscle underneath the pudge. I wear my 24 pound son in an ergo everywhere we go and feel perfectly strong doing it even carrying a butt load of groceries from the parking lot down the street to our apartment so I don't think I've been losing muscle mass. (yes... buttload is a technical term.)
I eat plenty of offal, grassfed meat, some cafo beef, seafood, dark leafy greens, berries, once a week I eat a potato or some soaked/soured buckwheat, take cod liver oil, natural calm, k-2, etc. I completely avoid gluten, sugar, PUFA oils, and other NADS.
Is this a hormonal thing? If so, what could I do about it? I don't know if this is related but I also have some psoriasis on my elbows and knees that only developed since after my pregnancy. My allergenist just handed me a script for topical steroid but I never filled it because of my breastfeeding. Thoughts?
Please don't say stress because I swear on my mother's left toe, I'm not stressed. My baby is the most mellow, happy little dude I've ever met and I have a very low key existence. :-)
Some women lose weight like magic with bfing and some just can't shake the weight until their babes are weaned. Your body needs to be sure it has a ton of extra nourishment for your babe and you may just be in the unlucky crowd to store excess fat while breastfeeding. You can try upping your fat, lowering high sugar fruits. If your babe wakes up a lot, you could be storing fat due to lack of sleep hormonal stresses on the body.
Way to go on nursing your wee one and keeping active. It sounds like you are doing everything right and you may just need to give it a lot of time to get your body in the shape you want. Probably the most important thing to consider is that you are giving your baby the best start and your body is doing what it can to do this for your baby.
Is this your first? It took over a year for my belly to go back down with both babies. And...my cycle, eye-sight, mood and energy did not stabilize for a whole year after I stopped breastfeeding-- which I attribute to hormones. I know it's hard to be patient with it--it will come off. Give it some time and just keep on. You've got plenty of time.
The only thing I would suggest is to try some intermittent fasting after you're done breastfeeding. That sucked my belly right down.
My daughter is 13 months and we are still BF also! We also love our ERgo! Like you my belly is still much bigger than I would like. With my 1st daughter I had a c-section but my weight came off quicker and belly shrunk quicker than with this second one that I had VBAC... so who knows? A lot of my friends say that they held on to extra weight and abdominal fat while bfing. I can now relate! I have to eat so much to maintain my milk supply. I too can feel and see more muscles on my stomach but can't get rid of this layer of fat on top! I think maybe I eat too many nuts and maybe a bit too much fruit. Congrats to you for losing so much weight! I for sure could tell instantly how I started toning up and dropping sizes once going to Paleo, but have only lost 2-3 lbs. So I know this is working. I have accepted the fact that I will weigh a little more than I want and will have some extra abdominal fat while brestfeeding. It is WORTH it!
I'd say go as low carb as your body feels good on, I have about 3 servings a week - anymore than that I notice belly bloating and stalled weight loss (smaller weekly, but still a loss). You can see the changes in my belly on our site, but it WILL happen. I've had 3 c-sections... I have extra skin but now have developed a waist that I'm sure will continue to emerge the more weight I lose.
Totally normal to lose that last, especially with that much weight (like me) you were probably insulin resistant and it stores there...
Another thing that could be at play here is the separation of the abdominal muscles down the middle of your belly. It is pretty common during and after pregnancy. That combined with the extra skin we develop stretching our bellies out to carry babies, can make our middle bits hang out in spite of losing weight elsewhere. Here's a link about abdominal muscle separation if you are interested: http://www.befitmom.com/abdominal_separation.html