losing weight postpartum

Light Carb

I haven’t been around here much lately and there are a few reasons for that. First, (broken record time), I was sick! Yep…mid-February I got a cold that turned into strep throat, then pink eye again (thank you daycare), then another cold that turned into bronchitis and a sinus infection. On top of that I’ve been dealing with a nagging hip injury that I’m doing PT for. So I’ve been crabby and not in the best of moods. Thankfully Logan and Michael haven’t really been that sick lately. I’m finally on the mend (after yet another round of antibiotics, sigh).

Second, last time I really wrote a post about my weight loss efforts I said that I was buddying up with a friend to try and lost those 20 pounds that I’ve been battling for the last year. (I can no longer use the excuse I just had a baby!)

Sadly, I gained and lost the same 4 or so pounds since starting in the end of February. Same old story that it’s been since I had Logan. The same 5 pounds I gain and lose over and over and over again.

My friend Debby has been steadily losing weight, which is fantastic! She’s doing Weight Watchers and she swears by it. She says any time she needs to lose weight she goes back to WW and it always works. As she put it–weight loss is about food for her, not exercise. The old adage “You can’t out exercise a bad diet” is very true. Even if I don’t want to admit it!

So recently, once I was feeling better from my plague, I decided to try something different.

I cut out bread, pasta, rice, etc. I decided that I would give this a try and see if it worked.

 

 

*I’m not doing a Low Carb diet.

Not really, anyways. But I can easily cut out worthless carbs like bread. Pasta? I rarely eat pasta. The only time I ever eat pasta is in a frozen meal that I’d eat for lunch and I’ve decided to stop doing those. Even though they are quick and easy for work, they aren’t exactly healthy. So for the last month I’ve stopped buying the frozen lunches.

What carbs am I eating? 

Sweet potatoes on occasion, fruit, my plain Greek yogurt, beans and hummus. There are carbs in most foods, but I’m really trying hard to keep it to a minimum.

Typical day of food:

Breakfast: two scrambled eggs with turkey sausage or bacon, coffee with cream. 

Snack: fruit, usually an apple or whatever is in season.

Lunch: Salad with a protein and roasted veggies.

Snack: Hummus with veggies, usually carrots or cucumbers.

Dinner: Protein and veggies and salad, for example: chicken thigh, sauteed brussels sprouts with bacon, salad. 

Dessert: Depends on what we have, trying hard not to eat it every day.

The first week was kind of hard. I crashed a few times because I didn’t have enough calories for the day and had a headache and was cranky and hungry. But after that it was ok.

Here is an example of two days:

 

Right now I’m just paying attention to carbs and calories. In a few weeks I’ll focus on lowering my sugar count. It’s a gradual process.

The hardest part is taking a moment to think what can I have? Sometimes you want a quick and easy dinner and you think, hmmm how about a burrito? But then you realize the tortilla has a lot of carbs. Damn. Ok…burrito bowl salad instead!

It also takes time to prep everything. Today I had the typical breakfast:

…and then packed a lunch for work that was kind of labor-intensive. Strawberries for a morning snack; black bean hummus and cucumbers for an afternoon snack; lunch was slices of ham and roast beef rolled up with a piece of pepper jack cheese, olives and pickles. Doesn’t sound like much but it took time to put everything together! Tomorrow I’m going to roast some veggies to take to work–that also takes time!

I had one “cheat” meal last week.

Michael made lamb burgers with feta and olives in it and I had it on a bun! With a beer! The beer was amazing. Lots of carbs, yes, but worth it for one day out of the week. The next day I was back on track with low carb.

The results? I lose 2 pounds last week. I’m slightly encouraged–enough to keep trying this diet and see where it goes. But I’m also not that excited about it because like I said, I’ve been gaining and losing the same 5 pounds for a year. So until I see myself lose a few more, I’m not getting too excited yet.

It’s funny…I was talking to Michael about how much easier it was to lose weight the first time…I lost 75 pounds fairly easily. It was slow and steady and took effort and time, but I was really only counting my calories and exercising. I wasn’t TOO restrictive and still had some treats here and there. Then when I got to about where I am at now, the weight loss got REALLY hard. And once again, it’s hard. I don’t know why those last 20-25 pounds or so is the hardest to lose, but it is. It’s so frustrating!

Anyways, that’s the update for now.

QUESTION: If you’ve done a low carb diet before, what were your go-to low carb foods?

Surprise Progress

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That’s me right now. 🙂 Happy dance!

A few weeks ago I decided to suck it up and step on the scale. I needed to see where I was at since I was going to try and really get serious about losing the baby weight. I was surprised to see that I had lost a few pounds and it was a nice surprise and a nice motivator!

At the time I was eating around 1800 calories as a base and if I worked out and burned another 400 calories, I was eating most of those calories back. It really did depend on the day and the baby. If Logan was going through some kind of growth spurt and was cluster feeding or I just felt hungrier than normal, I was listening to my body and eating more.

When I saw that I was losing a little bit of weight, I decided it was time to go down to 1700 calories as a base. It’s only a 100 calorie difference but I thought it was time. I hadn’t been feeling ravenous lately so I figured it was a good time to do it.

My only concern was that reducing my calories too much might effect my milk supply. I didn’t want that to happen, hence the 100 calorie difference. Losing weight would be nice, but not at that cost. In the last two or so weeks since I reduced my base to 1700 I have noticed a little bit of a shift in my supply. I’m hoping it’s not too significant. I’m keeping a very watchful eye on it and if it does reduce too much I might have to back off on trying to lose the weight right now.

Well last week I got on the scale and was happily surprised to see another loss! This time I was down about 1.5 pounds! So for the month of July (and part of June) I lost about 4.5 pounds! That’s a lot!

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When I got pregnant I was 157 pounds. My goal is to get back to 150 (my original goal weight) so that’s about 20 pounds to go. 14 pounds if I just want to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

Seeing the 4.5 pound loss this summer was really encouraging. I was honestly feeling pretty discouraged because I figured I wouldn’t lose the pregnancy weight until I stopped breastfeeding, but something is finally clicking and I’m starting to see some results.

4 Months Post-partum
4 Months Post-partum

Another motivator is that some of the summer clothes I bought in May (in the bigger size) are a little looser now.

What have I been doing?

  • I’m tracking my calories every day.
  • 1700 calories is the daily base + some of the gym calories I burn.
  • I’m trying to make better choices about WHAT I eat.
  • I’m paying attention to portions.
  • I’m trying not to drink my calories too much. Meaning, no more orange juice with breakfast, trying not to drink diet soda, trying to drink more water, trying to keep the glasses of wine or beer to just Friday and Saturday nights, etc. All those extra beverage calories are not necessary and they add up fast.
  • I’m working out consistently–swimming, walking, weight lifting, cardio machines at the gym. I’m working out 5 days a week in some form (some days it’s just a walk, and that’s ok).

Here is an example of one day:

Breakfast – 2 scrambled eggs, hash-brown patty, unsweetened iced tea, iced coffee. Calories: 407

Lunch – Grilled ham and cheese sandwich with a nectarine. Calories: 630

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Probably not the healthiest lunch but I’d been craving a grilled cheese sandwich for weeks and I burned a ton of calories on my walk with Logan.

Exercise – Walk. Calories burned: 607

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Snack – Trader Joe’s Chipotle Bean Dip with some raw veggies. Calories: Around 150

Dinner – Basmati Rice with a Vegetarian Indian dish on top and spinach salad. Calories: 500

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Dessert – Some pieces of chocolate and a glass of milk. Calories: 200.

Total for the day was just under 1900 calories (so 1700+ eating back some of the 607 calories I burned on our long walk). I did have some “liquid calories” (the coffee and a glass of milk) but I still had a bunch of calories leftover for the day.

Most of the time dinners are what Michael and I usually have–a protein and a vegetable. Like steak + sautéed sweet potatoes and onions + steamed broccoli. That’s a pretty good example of what we eat for dinners. Twice a week for breakfast I’m doing the overnight oats, the other days it’s usually eggs and an English Muffin or hash-brown patties (from Trader Joe’s–only 130 calories and so tasty!).

Here is another example of a gym day:

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That was weight lifting and the elliptical. As far as fitness goes I’ve got it pretty dialed in. I’m mostly back to what I was doing before I was too pregnant to do things! Being able to physical do the stuff I used to do has also helped with my motivation.

So onward and downward! I hope the scale keeps moving!