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October 07, 2004

Comments

Dwight Alvans

Same goes with my wife. Our baby's already seven months, but she still looks pregnant. So she's now trying to lose her baby fats through regular exercise and a much healthier lifestyle.

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I was thinking of experimenting with a dinner of chicken rolled in crushed almonds. I think I will do that this weekend!

Beth

Thanks for all of the helpful suggestions and comments. I'm starting to feel a little less overwhelmed by losing the weight now that I've actually started the diet.

For the record, I am not breastfeeding (don't shoot!), but thank you for recommending I see a doctor before starting a diet. I made an appointment to get a check up, because I think that's a smart suggestion, breastfeeding or not.

This weight loss thing is hard. Especially the part about my boobs getting smaller as I lose weight. I've given up hot fudge sundaes and my boobs are shrinking. Life can be so cruel.

Jennifer

I've heard it can take up to a year to lose the baby weight. So don't feel bad that you aren't there yet.

Definitely check with your peditrician or a lactation consultant before going on any diet. Plus, your body is used to running on what you're feeding it. A drastic change could really sap your energy while your baby is still pretty hign-maintenance. That said, you can make a few small changes that could reap big results.

If you aren't exercising, find a way to move aerobically for at least 30 minutes 4-5 times a week. Walking, a video , a class, whatever sounds fun and doable. Work your way up to 30 minutes so it isn't such a shock to your system.

You snacks will have more staying power if they include protein, fat and carbs. Pack them ahead of time so they're easy to grab. Save the sweets for when you're awake enough to enjoy them. If you love cookies, make your own and pack them with wheat flour, oatmeal, raisins and other good stuff in addition to the chocolate chips.

I don't like that word "restrict" when it comes to food. It treats food as something bad. Food is about fuel and love. There are no bad foods. Try to think about it instead as seeking a better balance. You are balancing your body's need for healthy fuel and your need for treats. If you deny yourself the foods you love, changing your habits will be much harder. Include them and really pay attention while you're eating. Think about how a baby completely and loudly appreciates food. That's your role model. I really like Ellyn Satter's books and her attitudes towards feeding yourself and your family. "Child of Mine" is about feeding your child and avoiding the common feeding pitfalls. "Feeding Your Family with Love and Respect" is about feeding the whole family and includes menus and recipes. I highly recommend both.

RobinP

If you haven't checked out The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet by Drs Richard and Rachel Heller, then take a look at it before starting South Beach. I did Atkins and lost a ton of weight but gained it back. Then I read South Beach and wasn't too sure. I found the Hellers' diet and I love it!!!! Basically it's 2 low carb meals (whichever 2 you want) and one "reward meal" which if you crave something, this is the time to eat it. It's not a binge by any means but it does help not to cheat during the other meals.
I have lost 30 lbs since May and even though it's not a FAST weight loss it's a steady one. Just read their book before you start. If you have any questions you can email me!

Rachel

I'm with the first commenter -- for me, it's all about calories. I lost 30 pounds last fall just keeping myself to 1200-1400 calories per day, and in so doing, I got used to a way of eating that has helped me keep it off, for the most part. I can eat whatever I want, but it has to fit into my daily calorie intake. This means that occasionally I have been known to have a Symphony candy bar for lunch. ;-) (seriously, especially for a nursing mom, it's important to make healthy choices, but every once in a while isn't going to hurt anyone). It's just the kind of person I am -- if my diet depended on my never eating certain things, I would simply fail at it.

Also as KC mentioned, the mental attitude has to be there. I'd tried halfheartedly to lose weight over and over between the time I got married and last fall (with three babies in between -- pregnancy wasn't the reason for my weight gain, though; I just love food). Then one day it just clicked and I thought, I don't want to be overweight anymore, and from there on out I just stuck to it.

KC Lemson

I was 130lbs before pregnancy (5 feet tall). I got up to 196 by the time I gave birth, as I too gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted. I was at 175 when we left the hospital after I gave birth to an 8#12 boy, and 165 a month later. But through the 4 wakings per night in those several months I felt so tired and cranky that I would eat while I fed him, and got back up to 175. I didn't start going down until he was 9 months old and I got so depressed that the "nine months up, nine months down" didn't work for me.

Something clicked in my head, and I suddenly gained will power when that happened - I just decided I was ready to stop comfort eating quite as much as I had been. So I made it down to 150 by just eating less, watching calories like a hawk, keeping to about 1600 a day (and not looking at carbs or fat - I could have ice cream for lunch, hey it's only a 400 calorie lunch :-). I did not work out. And then I stopped breastfeeding, and plateau'd at 150 for a couple of months.

My son is 16 months old, I'm down to 140 and fairly happy with my weight, but would love to get to 120 (which would be normal but not skinny for my height and build). I need to keep to about 1400 calories per day to lose 1 pound per week.

It's all about the calories for me.

helene

Oh I wish luck and steadfast determination. I am one of those woman you would hate. With both girls I only gained just over 30 lbs and with breastfeeding took it all away. Yet I understand the challange. Good luck. It's nice to hear your hubby is a partner. :)

Goldberry

Here's my advice...

Dr. Phil's book The Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge It's a HUGE deal and I hear people lose weight so fast if they follow the points and the weight stays off. I'm about to start, myself. Good Luck, no matter what you choose!

I lost 30 pounds while pregnant due to gestational diabetes. I gained a little back because I never stuck with the eating plan after I had my daughter. I am depending on Dr. Phil this time around. I have heard too many great things! Mostly because it's not a diet plan - it's a lifestyle change. Look at me - I can sell this book for him - LOL

Jessamyn

Good luck, Beth! I don't have any real words of advice for you, because I'm about to begin this same struggle myself. I actually did lose all of my pregnancy weight within the first month after Katie was born, but since I'd gained twenty pounds in the year before that (the first year of my marriage), I've got many pounds I'd like to shed. I am still breastfeeding, though, so I guess I'd better be careful about dieting. I'm going to try that salad, though, definitely!

Jo

In a word, 9 mos PP, I didn't lose all my baby fat. I was still up 15 when I got pregnant again, and I am slowly gaining away during PG #2. I was disappointed, mildly but nonetheless, when while BF, I didn't rapidly lose like so many friends and sources suggested I would. I only started to shed a few after I stopped. Needless to say, I am glad I did BF my son and I will do it again, perhaps longer even, with Baby #2 - my weight can come off someday. But it's hard as heck. I am short, relatively, so 5 lbs shows on my frame. I wish you luck, and I am going to jot down Terry's salad recipe as well. I think my eating habits contribute so much to my own weight loss. I am a dessert fan, and even though I don't eat MUCH during the day, I do not always make the best choices, and that really matters. Hugs!

LauriJon

I lost all of my baby weight a few different ways. First, from months 3-6 I was in a body by baby exercise class once a week. Of course, it took me 1/2 hour of walking to get to and from the class (I live in NYC).

Secondly, I am still breastfeeding. I love that I'm nourishing my child and burning an extra 500 calories per day. (Although the bfing is going to end in about a month, so I'll probably have to go back to exercising).

Thirdly, portion control. I mainly eat healthy things like chicken, cheese, veggies (and of course chocolate). I've found that drinking a ton of water before I eat helps keep my portions reasonable. Plus lately, most of my grain calories come from eating Cherrios with my daughter (instead of eating bread).

You're a new mom, have faith, you'll loose the weight. Yet in doing so don't deny yourself a small daily sweet. Letting yourself have one sweet a day will help you stay on target with the rest of your healthy eating. All the best.

LauriJon

I lost all of my baby weight a few different ways. First, from months 3-6 I was in a body by baby exercise class once a week. Of course, it took me 1/2 hour of walking to get to and from the class (I live in NYC).

Secondly, I am still breastfeeding. I love that I'm nourishing my child and burning an extra 500 calories per day. (Although the bfing is going to end in about a month, so I'll probably have to go back to exercising).

Thirdly, portion control. I mainly eat healthy things like chicken, cheese, veggies (and of course chocolate). I've found that drinking a ton of water before I eat helps keep my portions reasonable. Plus lately, most of my grain calories come from eating Cherrios with my daughter (instead of eating bread).

You're a new mom, have faith, you'll loose the weight. Yet in doing so don't deny yourself a small daily sweet. Letting yourself have one sweet a day will help you stay on target with the rest of your healthy eating. All the best.

LauriJon

I lost all of my baby weight a few different ways. First, from months 3-6 I was in a body by baby exercise class once a week. Of course, it took me 1/2 hour of walking to get to and from the class (I live in NYC).

Secondly, I am still breastfeeding. I love that I'm nourishing my child and burning an extra 500 calories per day. (Although the bfing is going to end in about a month, so I'll probably have to go back to exercising).

Thirdly, portion control. I mainly eat healthy things like chicken, cheese, veggies (and of course chocolate). I've found that drinking a ton of water before I eat helps keep my portions reasonable. Plus lately, most of my grain calories come from eating Cherrios with my daughter (instead of eating bread).

You're a new mom, have faith, you'll loose the weight. Yet in doing so don't deny yourself a small daily sweet. Letting yourself have one sweet a day will help you stay on target with the rest of your healthy eating. All the best.

rachel

Don't forget to get some exercise as well! I lost 20 lbs of baby fat since May by monitoring portion sizes and by making sure my ass was out walking for half an hour every day.

Dieting takes the pounds off, but exercise makes you FEEL better. It's more than worth the time investment for the extra energy you have. And having more muscle increases your metabolism, so you burn fat faster even when you're standing still!

If most exercise bores you, consider a dance class. I'm taking bellydancing again, one evening a week. It's fun, it works muscles I didn't know I had, and even better it's time to MYSELF!

Chana

As stated in a previous comment, just be careful if you're breastfeeding.

Other than that, I would say to stay positive and keep in mind that it took you 9 months to get that way and it doesn't drop overnight. I feel that the slower you lose it at this point the longer it will stay off. Eating in moderation is the key and don't starve yourself or deny yourself a treat now and then.

If you've always been thin, chances are you will lose your weight pretty steadily.

Good luck!

Ancarett

I carried around my baby weight for eight years before I finally got rid of it. Now that is much scarier! Sarah's right that, if you're breastfeeding, consult with your doctor before you enter into any diet. A modified low-carb (nothing drastic, but looking at one of their maintenance or pre-maintenance level plans) might work well for you if that's to your taste -- no one really needs the gobs of sugar and refined flours that would be all you're cutting out with that kind of plan.

sarah

If you are still breastfeeding, please be careful what sort of diet you try. Babies require fat and carbs and all sorts of other things for proper development. I have lost most of my baby fat by breastfeeding and walking regularly.
I wish you much luck with whatever you try. It's important to feel good about yourself.

amber

I've been on South Beach for 2 months now, and other than that first Phase I two weeks, it's really easy to follow and it doesn't feel like you're dieting. And, I'm still working on losing the "baby" fat... my daughter is turning 3 at the end of this month.

andrea

With my first pregnancy I topped out at 200 lbs. I'm 135 now. If you can cut out the junk for a week you'll start to crave it less. My post-baby weight loss came with breastfeeding and moderate exercise. I took a 20-30 walk every night. It was an easy thing to do, and as an added bonus it gave me time to decompress.

I also recommend the salad-as-a-meal route. What does it for me is caramelized red peppers/red onions on spinach with goat cheese. Yum. I can eat that every day.

nicole

I am a total foodie as well, and when I realized that my weight had slowly crept up to an uncomfortable number, I gave the South Beach Diet a try because it had worked so well for my mom and my sister. I have to tell you that for me, cutting out all the sugar the first week or so was HELL. I didn't realize how much of my diet was based on sugar, which is ridiculous considering that I have blood sugar problems. Other than that, I found the diet not too hard going, although admittedly I wasn't hyper vigilant about eating low fat dairy products. I enjoyed lots of steaks and salads and great cheeses and some really nice high quality bio yogurts, etc. And the best part is that you see the results so quickly that it motivates you on those days when you really are tempted to fall off the wagon.
My advice is just to try and fight through those cravings for the first week because it gets much easier afterwards and then don't feel guilty about modifying the diet where it really suits you because if you want to stick with this for awhile, it is best to find something that is liveable.
Good luck!


Terry

Beth, I'm 20 pounds thinner now that i was the day I got pregnant with Jonah. I have one word for you, the only word that works for me: salad. Not that dreadful combination of iceberg lettuce and hard tomatoes that your mom used to throw on the table. Look places like epicurious. Start with decent greens. Make your own dressing, and dress only the grees, before adding the rest of the stuff. Add some fruit and some nuts and a bit of greens.

Here's one i like a lot:

SHERRY SHALLOT DRESSING


3 T chopped shallot
3 T sherry vinegar
6 T extra virgin olive oil
2 t dijon mustard
1 t honey (optional)
salt and pepper to taste


I buy the greens in a bag, and I only dress the greens. I like this one with hard boiled egg, toasted pine nuts, golden raisins, and fresh made croutons.


Gnaw to your heart's content.


This is my absolute favorite. I eat it for lunch all the time.

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