Full Disclaimer - My weight gain was due to pregnancy and I was never overweight before getting pregnant.
When you are a new mom - getting sleep, putting food on the table and making a reasonable schedule for your baby keep you so busy that every other need takes a back seat! And when your baby is nicely settled into a routine, you have time to read a full page in the book, and household is once again chaos-free, it suddenly hits you!!---- What happened to my pre-baby body??
I went through this phase right after the birth of my daughter and I decided to do something about it.
And since then I have lost all my pregnancy weight, maintained it, and all through this never starved or deprived myself of good food!
|It took me almost one year to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight & shape|
As i share my own story here, I would like to set the record straight for few things!
1. THERE IS NO PILL TO LOSE WEIGHT (at least in a healthy way)
2. Consistency is the key!
3. It will take TIME to shed those extra pounds, so be patient
4. Make your weight loss goal sensible and reasonable. Size zero on every bone structure is not sexy!
So when I started my 'operation get-back-to-pre-baby-shape", I made sure I stick to these basics!
Here are some suggestions based on my own experience -
1. Weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight is dependent on diet and exercise. 80% of it is diet - when i say DIET, I mean healthy eating habits, not starving, and 20% is the exercise. So watch what you eat. Simple, common sense ideas - less fat, less processed food, less empty calories (chips/sodas/candies) more fruits, vegetables and fiber rich carbs. Substitute your whole milk dairy products with low fat dairy products. Trust me - 2% is a very good thing!
2. But that does not mean you can't have a little chocolate now and then. Moderation is the key - for everything you eat.
3. I had read it somewhere that our brain realizes the stomach is full - 20 minutes after the stomach is really full! So stop eating after a sensible portion size, even if you feel you could eat a little more. For portion size and servings see this Portion Control And Weight Loss article.
4. Never deprive yourself of anything, because once you totally remove a particular food group/food from your diet, your body craves it more and when you get a chance to eat it, you can't stop at just-a-taste. So keep your taste buds satisfied..
5. Exercise - I can't stress it enough. You don't need to go to the gym necessarily - just make sure you do cardivascular activity at least for 30 minutes every other day. It could be biking/running/jogging/brisk walk/taking a flight of stairs. Maintain a speed where your heart rate is up - If you are walking, and can keep talking comfortably - you are not getting your heart rate up, so do not stroll in the park, walk briskly! If you have time, you can do 20 minutes of strengthening exercises after the cardio ( In any form - Yoga, Pilates, simple lunges/squats/push-ups/
6. If you can, ask a friend to join you for the exercise - it helps you keep up the routine and makes it fun!
7. The simple math of weight loss is - calorie counting! A pound of body fat equates to approximately 3500 calories. So if you have a calorie deficit of 500 calories (meaning that you burn 500 calories more than you eat each day) you would lose approximately one pound per week (500 x 7 = 3,500) See, the math teacher's rapping your knuckles pays one day!!
8. And I say it again - Be consistent! You can not expect results if you do it for a week, and totally forget it the next!
9. Make lifestyle changes - no crash diet/extra hard workout. This way you will be able to LIVE with your routine. So if you can't abide skim milk, go for 2% or 3% and stick with it.
10. Please consult your physician before starting a heavy work out routine!
Some weight loss tips - not scientifically proven - but helped me nonetheless -
1. Brush your teeth if you feel like eating at a wrong hour. The feel of mint actually made me not think about food.
2. Drink water if you feel hungry even after a meal or snack!
3. Make up for that extra piece of cake after dinner by running 10 more minutes the next morning. Remember its like balancing the checkbook - Credit should equal Debit!
4.Talk about your goal with your family and friends so that you have a support network, and people understand when you ask at lunch for "dressing on the side and not smothered over your salad"
5. Don't eat anything on the couch!! Seriously - This habit saw me through my weight loss journey. Eat when you are hungry, and not when your mind is busy elsewhere. We open the pack of chips while watching TV and finish it even before we realize- we didn't want it! No wonder it is called mindless munching!
So, there it is - my own experience, weight loss tips and suggestions! Hope it helps anyone looking to lose weight.