Question from a CMOTC MOM on losing weight...
I'm a little behind the curve as it's been over nine months since my boys were born, but the scale is moving in the wrong direction or not moving at all. I joined a gym and am working out regularly, but still find I’m as hungry as I was when I was pregnant. Any tips and advice would be helpful, even if you found any supplements to be helpful.
Advice/experience from other CMOTC MOMs:
Quick calculation is it takes 15 calories per pound of body weight to maintain your current weight. If you decrease your caloric intake by 500 calories a day you will lose 1 pound a week. Don't go on a major diet with really low caloric intake. It will drive you nuts. Also high fiber intake is good. Fiber makes you feel full longer (and keeps you regular)!
Another trick is if you eat a small snack and drink a glass of fluid 20 minutes before a meal you will naturally eat less because your brain has had time to receive the signal that there is food in your stomach and will take the extra edge off.
I've had some success with losing baby weight, so I'd thought I'd pass on some of the strategies that worked for me. First of all, I gained 55 pounds with my twins, only lost about 25 of it when they were born and then got pregnant 3 months later (surprise!) and put on another 40 pounds or so....so I had weight to lose! My youngest is 8 months now and I have lost a total of 75 pounds from when my daughter was born.
I didn't think I'd have success at a gym, because...when do I have time to go? So I found a used elliptical machine and worked out on it for about 20 minutes per day, 5 days a week. I eventually worked up to 30 minutes, when the kids were asleep. I also did a little 20 min ab workout 3 times a week. The working out was so important, but for maintenance it is all about healthy food choices. I went to whole grain everything. High in fiber and protein helps you to feel full! Also, I began testing some of the low fat and fat-free varieties of things and found that many are actually not too bad. I try to eat natural, whole and unprocessed foods, so low fat and fat-free things that were mostly chemicals were omitted (instead I just use less of the real thing!) A typical menu would be oatmeal, milk and a banana for breakfast (always eat breakfast!) a snack of some 2 tbsp nuts, a lunch of whole wheat pita, hummus and tons of veggies, a smoothie for an afternoon snack (I used Stonyfield fat free french vanilla yogurt, skim milk and frozen berries) and then a nice dinner.
Total I aimed for 1400 calories a day! I kept track of my calories online for the first little bit. I read the book, The Flat Belly Diet. I didn't stick to it to a T, but definitely took some tips from there. Anyway, 75 lbs later and I feel great, so much more energy for my kids and I just feel better. I have to admit, I've slacked on the working out, but find I'm much more naturally active now that the weight is gone, so it’s helping me to keep it off.
I am all about Weight Watchers. Nothing else works as well, IMO. It’s not fast but it’s natural and healthy and effective. Do not get into the supplement game. Waste of money and you never know what health problems it will cause. I do WW online and have lost 25 lbs and 6 inches off my waist in almost four months (I have a lot more to lose, but it’s a great start).
Online only is $18 a month, which is pretty cheap. Meetings are $12 a week I think. If you don't know the program, going to a meeting first may be good, but I know it’s hard to get out with twins. If you don’t' even want to pay that much, SparkPeople is a similar concept and free. Tracking food is very essential, IMO.
For tummy problems (which since you have twins, I assume you have, we all do), nothing has been better for me than Pilates. A friend on WW online has had two sets of twins and three single pregnancies and got her tummy back in shape that way.
I'm a dietitian (also working to lose my wt from my 9 wk olds). Make sure you are drinking at least 64 oz water every day and limit other caloric beverages. Eat foods high in fiber because that will fill u up. Don't increase your fiber all at once though because then u will get gassy and constipated. They recommend 25-35 g/day. Whole grains, beans, fruits and veggies are your best bet. Also it is good to eat about every 2-3 hrs with protein and carb at each meal. The combo will keep your blood sugar more stable and keep your hunger under control (I.e. Apple with peanut butter, cheese and crackers, fruit and yogurt, etc.)
Are you breastfeeding? I had the same issue while I was breast feeding. Every time I lost a pound or two, my milk production went down. My girls are now 15 months old and I am finally starting to see some positive progress.
Exercising is great...don't ever stop!! You will find that the more you exercise the hungrier you might be depending on the type of workouts you are doing and how much energy you are exerting during your workouts. To get weight loss you need to burn more calories than you’re taking in. So you may need to be more aware of what types of foods you're eating (i.e. that doesn't mean starving yourself or skipping meals b/c that will slow down your metabolism and ultimately do the exact opposite of what you want your body to do). So it is okay to eat frequent small meals...they just need to be the "right" type of meals (i.e whole grains, veggies, fruit, nuts, lean meat, be mindful of your dairy intake..skim milk is great and great in between meals if you are feeling the urge to eat something you know you shouldn't etc...). Also, drinking a lot of water is key...eliminating all of the other carbonated/sugary/caffeine liquids can be a huge factor contributing to weight loss successes. I may be telling you things that you already know but I will definitely say that you shouldn't give up exercising -- not only is great for our body is also great for our mind and we need it so we can be with our families for a long, long time!!! So keep it up...you will get there!!!!
Don't do supplements! Don't waste money on that stuff. It may not work.
Do smaller meals more often to shrink your stomach. When you go out, keep in mind you want to take half home for lunch tomorrow. Do little things like low fat sometimes or no sugar, but don't overdo it. Don't make eating a cookie the WORST THING IN THE WORLD. If you crave one, learn to eat just one.
Find something active and do it till your heart is racing for at least half an hour, five days a week. I bet you will see results. It could be hip hop abs three times a week and kickboxing twice a week. Try swimming sprints in the pool. Sprint and then check the clock wait, ten seconds and then do it again. Speedwalking so fast that you can barely talk to your kids as you are pushing them in stroller.
I run. I got addicted to running after I ran a race. I never thought I would want to run but I ran and I got a medal for being third in my age division. I was hooked after that. I wanted to beat myself every time. I try and work harder and harder to push my body to be the best it can be. Some weeks I don't have enough time so I work harder the next week. I eat a little less. But truly, when I work out, I can eat just about anything I want because I am burning it off chasing after four year old boys and exercising. I made a lifestyle change and I feel so much better now.
Good luck. Hang in there and just try to be active!
I joined Weight Watchers when my girls were 18 mos old and was able to lose 50 lbs within 6-7 mos. It was easier than I thought it would be. I've kept it off so far for 2 years. I also walked our neighborhood twice a day pushing my girls in the double stroller, which added up to about 3 miles a day.
Well, first - great job joining a gym! It's too hard to do it at home w/kids!! I finally bit the bullet a couple of months ago and joined the YMCA and it's really helped a lot. Also, it's only been 9 months!! Your body went an enormous change and I'm sure is still adjusting.
So, what type of workout are you doing? I find that when I work out on my own as opposed to taking a class, I tend to go easier on myself. Are you doing only cardio or are you adding weights? Spinning is a great class for cardio and burning TONS of calories. Are you running/walking? The fastest way for me to lose weight is to run. I don't think I'm a "natural" runner, but once I build up to it, it comes more easily. I bought a double jogging stroller last year at the Twins Sale and that was a great investment! The twins had fun and I got exercise in - plus, most of the time, they'd fall asleep and then I'd get a shower in peace after my run!
Having a goal is also good - I'm training for a 5K (not a great distance, but trying to get my time around 30 minutes or less). Also, how often are you working out? Sometimes you have to work out more often (5x/week) in the beginning to get a good jumpstart to where you want to be. Don't neglect doing muscle work - they burn lots of fat.
Food is a major part of weight loss. You have to eat to lose, and I find that being active makes me hungrier as well. You really have to be mindful of what you eat. Try to eat a snack between breakfast and lunch so you aren't too hungry at mealtime and don't overindulge. I like to combine a protein w/a carb so I'm satisfied. Try to be as "unprocessed" as possible. A handful of almonds or peanuts with a handful of dried fruit is good. Or, string cheese w/a few pretzels or tortilla chips. Yes they have fat but fat will keep you satisfied and prevent you from feeling deprived. At meals, what are you eating? Sometimes food choices that seem harmless can add a lot of calories to your weekly intake. For instance, a bagel is a lot denser and more caloric than a piece of toast. Also, I had to break the mindset to "clean my plate" - as I was raised. I try to take my time and be mindful of how I feel as I eat - sometimes I eat all my food but often I don't (in restaurants). At home, I don't give myself large portions.
It's sort of hard to tell "why" you aren't seeing any changes not knowing what you're eating, how you're working out, how often, etc. I'm not an "expert" but about 12 years ago I lost 30 lbs by myself and have kept it off - just by modifying my diet and exercising. No special diets or anything. I've gone up and down a few lbs here and there w/pregnancies (and even then not very much), but I'm now getting back to where I'd like to be.
It took me 9 months to lose baby weight from my first child too! I ended up weighing more than I did than when I was 9 months pregnant. You are not alone! What worked for me is that I joined weight watchers. It helped me know how much to eat and what to eat and I wasn't hungry all the time. I was able to lose 50 pounds before I got pregnant with my twins.
Well I have two suggestions...first would be to write down what you eat (everything) for 3 days in a row. This will help you to really get a feel for how much/what you are eating. Once you see exactly what you are eating it will be easier to find little ways to make adjustments. It's normal to get used to eating more during pregnancy and get too used to the high calorie intake. Are you breastfeeding? If so you don't want to drastically cut calories.
Also take a look at exactly what you are doing in the gym. Being a twin mom your time is limited so you'll want to get the most out of your gym visits! Is your intensity low or moderate/high? Are you doing weights and cardio or just cardio?
Hang in there! It took me a long time and what helped for me was to keep a daily food journal and eat tons of protein. I followed South Beach and it finally helped me start to lose the weight, but it was rough the first 2 days. Give yourself time though, my twins are 3 and I'm still working on it...down, but not quite the same as I was.
I don't really believe in dieting b/c I think it rarely works long-term; however, when I first went off my birth control pills, I gained a ton of weight because of a hormonal imbalance. Once the hormones were evened out, I decided to start counting calories. I wrote down every thing that I put into my mouth (food and drinks), and counted the calories. It turned out I was well over my recommended 1800 calories per day. I decided to eat things that I liked, but I cut the portion sizes. I cut my calories to 1200-1500 per day. After 2 weeks, I allowed myself the weekends off. I kept the weight off w/o any problems until I got pregnant with the twins (about a year). It got to the point where I didn't crave the sweets that I craved before. I wasn't as hungry as I once was... and I only had to count for about 2 months because I got to the point where I was able to eat normal portions without counting EVERYTHING. I don't know if this works for everyone, but it worked great for me. Hopefully, this helps.
I understand how you feel. I have 3.5 year old twins and a 9 mo old. I am trying to lose 20 to 30 more pounds! I have been on this product from Visalus Sciences. I drink two shakes a day and the flavor is awesome and they keep me full as well until my next meal. I have been drinking them for two weeks as a part of my 90 day challenge and am down 4lbs and one inch on my waist, etc. I cannot rave enough about the product! You can visit www.bodybyvi.com
Anyone else have more tips or tricks to add? What worked for you? What didn't work for you? Please comment below.