500 calories is required but this is based on a diet that is not too high in calories to begin with so if you calculate your needs based on your body type and basal metabolic rate (what is needed just to breathe and live) along with your energy expenditure, then add 500 calories for breastfeeding you would be about right.
But, if you are already eating too much, you obviously would not need to add this many. Most non-dieting Americans are already getting enough that they don't necessarily need to add extra calories.
Good luck with your project and congratulations on your decision to do what's best for your baby. Please continue to breastfeed at least to the child's first birthday and beyond for as long as you both desire.
The answers in online forums are for information only and are not intended to substitute for medical advice and care. Please see your personal health care provider for further evaluation of your individual case.
Debbie Miller, RN