The objective was to investigate which predictive equations provide the best estimates of resting energy expenditure (REE) in postpartum women with overweight and obesity. Lactating women with overweight or obesity underwent REE measurement by indirect calorimetry, and fat-free mass (FFM) was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at three postpartum stages. Predictive equations based on body weight and FFM were obtained from the literature. Performance of the predictive equations were analysed as the percentage of women whose REE was accurately predicted, defined as a predicted REE within ±10 % of measured REE. REE data were available for women at 10 weeks (n 71), 24 weeks (n 64) and 15 months (n 57) postpartum. Thirty-six predictive equations (twenty-five weight-based and eleven FFM-based) were validated. REE was accurately predicted in ≥80 % of women at all postpartum visits by six predictive equations (two weight-based and four FFM-based). The weight-based equation with the highest performance was that of Henry (weight, height, age 30–60 years) (HenryWH30−60), with an overall mean of 83 % accurate predictions. The HenryWH30−60 equation was highly suitable for predicting REE at all postpartum visits (irrespective of the women's actual age), and the performance was sustained across changes in weight and lactation status. No FFM-based equation was remarkably superior to HenryWH30−60 for the total postpartum period.