How to Lose Weight After Pregnancy

Baby is about 6 months here.
We all see these famous, gorgeous women have babies and get back to their pre-pregnancy weight in no time.  If we all had that much money and could afford personal trainers, cooks, we would look that good too :o)  The reality is that most of us do not.  We are busy.  We have to keep up with the kids, with work, with the house chores.  It is like it never ends and it just becomes hard to make good choices about food and have time to exercise.

However, it is possible, even for us normal people, to lose that weight.  Here is how I did it.

1) Breastfeeding.  Not only is this an amazing benefit for your kids, it is a gift to you as well.  Breastfeeding for a day is the equivalent of going for a 3-5 mile run without having to lift a finger.   Not only do you use more calories while breastfeeding, but it also helps your tummy get back on track by helping the uterus contract quicker.

2) Keep the bad food out of the house.  You do not want to negate the benefits of breastfeeding by eating junk food.  While I am running around, many times I just do not have the time to cook a healthy meal so I reach for what is fastest.  The best way to avoid the chips and cookies is to not have them around.  I keep hummus and carrots handy for a quick snack.  I also keep lots of apples, bananas, yogurt, string cheese, popcorn (the guiltless kind) in plain sight. 

3)  Eat several times a day.  Because of the breastfeeding and my body's need for constant nourishment,  I found that this method helped me avoid overeating at regular meal times.  Instead of 3 big meals where I arrive at the table famished, I ate 5 to 6 times a day, but they were smaller nutritional "meals."


4)  Get Creative with Exercise.  Before the baby was born, I could take one to two hours every day to exercise.  Now,  I am lucky if I can workout three times a week.  Instead, I get creative.  I aim to go for a run at least 2 to 3 times a week but it definitely does not always pan out.  Therefore, sometimes I just put that baby in the baby carrier and get to work on house chores.  Or if I am feeling very motivated, I work out with her.  Squats and lunges with my baby were a killer workout for me and enjoyed by her.

5) Make it a Priority. Finding the time to go out for a run or taking an hour to do some strength training meant that something else didn't get done. And for me that was okay.  My house is not always the most organized and put together, but my husband and I are okay with that.  He knows how important physical activity is to me.  And a happy mom makes for a happy family. 

A final note about my "diet."  I am not a calorie counter.  I also do not eat nor feed my family fat-free or low-fat foods.  That means I use full-fat yogurt, full-fat milk, and cheese. That being said, as a family we do not over-indulge either.  Organic fruits and vegetables make the largest portion of our daily meals. We do not eat white breads nor white pasta (To find out why read my blog on bread).   We mostly have sprouted grain bread, pasta and if we can't find it, then we will have whole wheat.  For protein we eat a lot of fish, chicken, and turkey.  About once a week we eat red meat and it is usually bison.  We also do not eat fried nor processed foods (yes, I cook almost every day from scratch).  This has worked great for me personally and for my family in terms of keeping them healthy (my kids hardly get sick, and if they do, they recover very quickly).  If you want more detailed information on the diet I prescribe to than I highly recommend the book The Maker's Diet.

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