It’s a fact of life, and a cruel slight of nature…to birth a child you must inevitably gain weight. For some more than others, this can mean much more weight than what is recommended. In my own case, I gained 80 lbs. After my daughter, however, I realized I was tired of being overweight. By the time her first birthday rolled around, I had shed all of my pregnancy weight, and then some! No small feat. Now, after my third child, I am well on my way to again shed the pounds accumulated during pregnancy. Yes, I am breastfeeding which is like a mini-workout, but I am also taking steps that will ensure I meet my goals even after she is weaned. After my second child, I went from 180 (after the birth) to 125, and got the same question over and over…how did you do it? Unfortunately, I had to give them the answer they didn’t want to hear, good old fashioned diet and exercise. Actually my plan was a little more elaborate than that, but here are some of the tips and tricks I used that will hopefully help you with your Weight loss programs.
- I took in 1500 calories a day (after I was done breastfeeding). I was a little manic about it at first, and I wrote down every single calorie that passed my lips, and I measured out every portion. After a few wks of this, I didn’t have to write things down and usually didn’t have to measure things out, I knew from sight what a cup of cereal looked like, or 4 oz of meat.
- I gave myself 1-2 cheat days. I would have pizza and beer on Friday night, or Sunday morning I would allow myself a really big breakfast with all the trimmings. It gave me something to look forward to and allowed me to indulge without the guilt.
- I found no-calorie or low-calorie alternatives. My biggest problem is snacking at night in front of the TV, so instead of chips, I switched to veggies. I also found out I love beets! A can of beets with salt and pepper may sound weird, but it truly does taste pretty good. Celery with low-calorie cheese spread was also a favorite choice, as well as 100 calorie bags of popcorn. And for nights when I could splurge I would toast up chickpeas in the oven for a yummy crunch.
- 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. No one wants to hear this one, but it’s true, you need to get off your rump and start moving. I would do it in front of the TV to a taped workout or walk my kids a few blocks to the park and back.
- Fill up on veggies! This goes along with number 3 but was so important I gave it it’s own heading. Vegetables are not only good for you offering vital nutrients, but they are low in calories. Try some that you have never heard of before, better yet, try some that you hated as a child. You may find that your tastes have changed. My favorites were beets, Brussels sprouts (the frozen kind with butter sauce), chickpeas, green beans, celery, and salads (with a light dressing of course).
That’s it really. Eat less, move more, and it will pay off. A sample diet plan for my day might look like this-
Breakfast- Oatmeal, and fruit, coffee with sweet and low
Lunch- Sandwich, and a 100 calorie soup, diet coke
Supper-1 cup pasta with tomato sauce, 1 slice homemade garlic toast (little or no butter), salad with a light dressing
Nighttime snack- veggie plate with low-calorie dressing for dipping