Happy Wednesday my dear friends!
After having Aviah, my most requested blog post has been on how I lost my pregnancy weight so fast. One week after giving birth, I returned to blogging (see my first post here) and in that post, I had already lost 16 of the 26 pounds I gained throughout my pregnancy. I'll be sectioning off this post for you to easily skim and read what you're most interested in, if you don't have the time to read the entire post, which I'll try to keep as short and to the point as I can, without leaving out anything you might want to know.
Before we get started, I just want to put out a disclaimer that I'm not a trained professional in weight loss, so I suggest you consult your doctor prior to starting or changing your diet and workout regimen.
Get active before pregnancy if planning
Prior to conceiving, I had been actively working out for 10 years. My workouts consisted mostly of weight training because I would lose too much weight in a short amount of time whenever I did any cardio. In those 10 years, I lost 30lbs and kept them off...until I got pregnant. I believe when you develop an active lifestyle before becoming pregnant, you're more likely to continue on with that active lifestyle throughout pregnancy. It's much harder to find the motivation to begin a workout regimen soon after having a baby because you're so busy taking care of the little one and are not getting much sleep, so whatever free time you do find yourself with, the last thing you may want to do is go to the gym to workout.
You are NOT eating for two, well kind of
Theoretically, once you become pregnant, you are eating for two in the sense that you are not only eating to maintain your own health, but to also aid in the development of your baby. At the same time, you must know that you only need to eat an additional 300-500 calories a day. This actually isn't a lot and can easily be achieved by eating an extra snack or two in between meals. So, the excuse that you need to eat an extra plate of macaroni and cheese or three cheeseburgers because you're "eating for two" is just an excuse to indulge, which is totally okay!
I ate pretty much the same way I did prior to pregnancy, which was (and still is) a plant based diet during the weekdays with one cheat meal a week. What I did add in was juicing. In my second trimester, I juiced every single morning, using the recipes found in blogger babe and author, McKel Hill's book, Nutrition Stripped. I actually made nearly all the recipes in her book throughout my pregnancy and loved them and so did Eddie, which is a huge bonus in making dinner prep that much easier! I also have the NutriBullet and used many of the recipes in the booklet it came with as well.
When it came to cravings, during the my first trimester, I craved sandwiches....a lot. I would either make them (who am I kidding, I made Eddie make them, lol) or grab one from the Whole Foods deli. Their begets are so small, so it was pretty much guilt free. I also bought dairy free ice-creams and ate vegan desserts, so I felt better about indulging.
Keep that number in mind
As someone who's a body positive activate, I at the same time, knew that if I allowed myself to over indulge and go overboard, I'd regret it and feel more insecure and self-conscious. Pregnancy is such an intimate emotional and physical experience that involves so much constant change that you need to know the type of person you are. As I mentioned at the start of this post, I had lost and kept of 30lbs for 10 years. I wanted to make this weight gain be as much about Aviah as possible because it was about making sure she was getting all the nutrients she needed and not an excuse for me to lose track of maintaining the lifestyle I've become so accustomed to, considering that I was given the okay to continue on with my doctor.
So what number am I talking about? I asked my doctor how many pounds would be needed for me to gain to ensure a healthy pregnancy and development for my baby and myself and she said between 25-30lbs (this may or may not be different for you, so consult your doctor). So, I tried to stay within this bracket by eating well and continuing with exercise. Speaking of exercise...
If you worked out prior to pregnancy, continue
If your doctor says it's okay of course! Again, I was given the green light by my doctor, so I continued my workouts all the way to the final weeks of my pregnancy. I had to modify some of those workouts and omit some entirely because they weren't safe to perform while pregnant, but I still remained active. Remember me mentioning that I couldn't do cardio before? Well, during my entire pregnancy, I did 30min of light cardio (walked on an incline) with some weight training. I referred to Diary of a Fit Mommy's awesome blog for much needed inspo, motivation, and workouts! Check her out, she's amazing and is a mom of two! I also workout to this video for abs (yes, given the okay by your doctor, you can still work those abs) a few times and loved it!
This is a very personal decision and whether a woman decides to breastfeed or not doesn't reflect the love she has for her baby. I feel there's often a tension between those who breastfeed and those who don't and there shouldn't be. Being a mom is hard work as it is, we don't need to be judging one another, instead helping with sharing what's worked for us in hopes of making another mom's life a bit easier. You need to make the decision you feel is best for you and baby, which will make the adjustment to motherhood a bit easier and enjoyable.
That said, I decided to breastfeed, which I'm still doing. The reason I'm brining this up is because one of the many benefits of nursing for mom is that assists in burning up to 500 calories a day and helps your uterus contract a lot faster. I lost 16lbs my first week of having Aviah because most of the weight I gained was all her. She was 7.5lbs, plus the placenta, blood, etc. that attributed to much of the weight. The remaining was shed faster because of those extra calories being burned because I wasn't able to hit the gym until after she was about a month old, as directed by my doctor.
Continue your (active) lifestyle
As I mentioned earlier, after having a baby, you're so tired and overwhelmed, especially when you're a first time mom, like myself, that you don't have much time or desire to workout. However, once you start to get into somewhat of a routine and with some help of your loved ones, try to ease back into working out. When I first when back to the gym, I ignorantly tried to lift the weights I had been lifting prior to pregnancy and couldn't even get them off the rack, lol. I became so weak, which is of course normal. I'm still not lifting what I once did, but I'm getting there. I used to workout 5 days a week, now I'm at the gym 3 days if I'm lucky. Some weeks, I'm only able to make it once, but at least it's something. I'm not the type of person that enjoys at home workouts because I get easily distracted with doing things around the house. Plus, I enjoy using the machines and equipment at a gym, but if you're one who enjoys working out at home, go for it, girl!
Be easy on yourself
At the end of it all, you must remember that you just gave birth to a human being! For 9 whole months, your body was a baby making machine and so many amazing and miraculous changes were taking place and that's something to celebrate and feel confident about. I'm a firm believe in when you feel confident about yourself, you can then be your best self to everyone around, in this case the best mom to your baby. Know that every body is different and we all have very different lifestyles, so don't compare yourself to anyone. Set a goal and do what you can to achieve it, knowing that there may be times you may not get it all done because that's part of motherhood, which begins during pregnancy. There were weeks I was just so tired that I didn't workout at all and had an extra few slices of pizza, give yourself that grace.
I did what I absolutely knew I could during my pregnancy to help make the transition from pregnancy to postpartum a bit easier physically and mentally. Remember I tried to prevent those stretch marks with BioOil? Well, during the final weeks of my pregnancy, Aviah had a major growth spurt and ripped my stomach apart, lol. I now have stretch marks on both sides of my stomach, it is what it is and it sure was worth it because I love my beautiful girl.
I hope this gave you some insight as to what I did to help with the weight loss. Again, no two bodies are the same and do what you can, giving yourself grace. Your body needs to be loved and your mind affirmed of how beautiful and amazing you are during and after your pregnancy, so embrace what it is.
Thanks so much for stopping by, my gorgeous friends, and I hope you have the best week ahead!
PS: Feel free to let me know if there are any other pregnancy related topics you'd like for me to discuss!