It's time to start shedding the lingering 15 pounds of "baby weight" that my body seems to be holding on to. I'm in that awkward "what do I wear?!" stage and have hit a bit of a plateau in my weight loss, which is understandable considering I have not changed much in my diet and activity since I was pregnant. Now that my milk supply has been established, I can go ahead and start slowly shedding this remaining extra weight. My goal is to lose no more than about one pound per week, as this will likely not affect my breastmilk supply.
As a second-time mom, I've found that it's a bit more challenging to make sure that I'm eating well and staying active. Let's just say, it was A LOT easier to workout and focus on what I was eating when there was only one baby in my life. Two kids is a whole new ball game. What this means is that I have to be a little bit more creative this time. Here are some of my weight loss "secrets" that in no way involve dieting or depriving myself of the foods that I love.
Drinking enough water is not only crucial for maintaining your milk supply, for proper digestion and for staying hydrated, but it's also important for losing weight. Thirst is often confused as hunger, which leads to mindless snacking, when really, all your body needs is a good drink of water. You will drink more water if you always carry a water bottle around with you, as seeing it will remind you to drink it. I bought a pretty purple water bottle and it never leaves my side.
The best purchase I ever made was my baby carrier. Instead of putting my baby in a swing or bouncy chair, I wear her most of the time. While I'm cleaning, cooking, playing with my son, out for a walk or in the grocery store- she is attached to me. Aside from the closeness and extra bonding that I feel with my daughter while carrying her, I'm also adding an extra 11 pounds to my body, which will help to burn a few extra calories throughout the day.
If I see a yummy food, I automatically want to eat it. I talk about the "see-food syndrome" often, and just because I'm a Dietitian, that doesn't mean that I'm immune to it. I fall victim to it often, so instead of leaving homemade cookies on the counter, I keep them in the deep freeze (or don't make them at all). Because I love not-so-healthy foods just like anyone else, I don't purchase them unless it's a special occasion or unless I REALLY want it.
Eating a healthy breakfast containing protein can help us to control our appetites and cravings all day, and prevents unhealthy snacking later in the day and into the evening. It also gives our metabolisms a kick-start first thing in the morning. I know how easy it is to get caught up in morning survival-mode with babies and toddlers, so having something quick and easy to grab like a smoothie that was made the night before or Greek yogurt, a piece of fruit and a high-fibre muffin, may come in handy.
Eating enough veggies is key for general health, but even more so for reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. They are filling, nutrient-rich and low in calories. Because time is precious these days, I buy ready-to-eat veggies. Organic baby carrots, snap peas, mini cucumbers, and baby tomatoes are my faves. I aim for at least 4 servings per day and at least 3 different colors.
I used to take my son to my gym daycare, but now that I have two kids, it will be a bit more challenging to do that. OK, a lot more challenging. For me, being able to exercise at home during nap time or when my husband gets home from work makes a lot more sense and likely increases the chance of me fitting in a daily workout. We found a good quality and lightly used elliptical trainer and some free weights on kijiji for a very reasonable price (and we're saving by not buying gym passes too!).
This one isn't exactly a secret. If you're able to breastfeed, it will definitely help you in the post-partum weight loss department. Aside from the many benefits of breastfeeding, by exclusively nursing, you will burn up to 500 extra calories per day. Need I say more?
By using smaller plates, and bowls, you will automatically serve yourself less, but still feel like you're having a satisfying amount of food. I almost never use our larger dinner plates unless we are having company over.
Yes, I have a crazy toddler and a fussy baby. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to completely neglect my own health and settle into a weight that doesn't feel right. I truly believe that part of being a good mom means taking care of me, and slowly getting back to my healthy and comfortable weight is part of that.
If you are interested in more nutrition tips and "secrets," I post a "tip of the day" over on my Facebook Page. Feel free to check it out!