Whether you loved or hated pregnancy.. you now have a wonderful little bundle of joy in your arms and most likely quite a bundle of soft weight hanging around your midsection. If you’re like me, you gained [an over the top] 50 pounds during pregnancy.. now, it may have been all belly but that doesn’t mean you have your baby and it disappears into thin air as you thought might happen. That beauty will most likely hang around for a few months and guess what – if you’re breastfeeding, your body needs it! Don’t be so concerned with calories in and calories out, you just need to feed yourself so your little one can thrive. If you do so, your body can work it’s own magic and you will be bikini ready in no time at all.
Nowadays, there are a million gimmick diets and fads going around – which may work for some or at least for a short time but I want to share why real food eating is the way to go. By 7 months postpartum, I had organically and naturally dropped all the baby weight plus extra pounds which brought me to my lowest weight in years! Sadly, Im going to admit, I haven’t worked out more than a couple yoga sessions since I had my son.. be it exhaustion, craziness of life, or sheer un-motivation towards finding the time (and a sitter) so I can work out had led me to dropping old routines and hoping that my new found one of lugging around a 20+ pounder would do the trick. I figured over time I would find a schedule that may work to squeeze in some classes or gym time but let’s face it – life called and she’s got other plans.
Now – I know this seems odd that I don’t stick to a work out routine to lose weight and by no means am I advocating against the gym (because I do love working out), but I want to give hope to those that are like me that there is a true way of eating real and slimming down. Our mainstream diets are so processed and riddled with ingredients created in labs and guess what? Our bodies were never meant to process them. Be it sugar, maltodextrin or ‘natural’ flavors and color additives.. our bodies are screaming for real, wholesome food.
Following a real food diet I went from 183 pounds the week I had my baby down to 126 pounds by the time he was 7 months old and at 5’7, that is probably the lowest I should aim for. This wasn’t a quick process and I didn’t come close to starving myself.. I actually ate quite a lot more food than I did when I was pregnant because breast feeding kept me incredibly hungry. I am a big believer in Nourishing Food – that means, real butter, whole milk and other dairy products, grass-fed meat, wild caught fish and organic, in-season produce. You won’t find a single product in my house that reads the words “low fat” because guess what? Our bodies need the good fats to remain satiated, so we don’t get hungry within an hour! We need to eat food to sustain our hunger and feed our health.
So – I’ve got your ear.. but you’re thinking, where do I start? Well, I know this is a pretty lengthy post already so let me break it down.
- One book I love that really kick started me in this new way of living is the book Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. Yep, that’s right.. you’ll never touch a diet soda or a soda in your life again once you feel the changes for yourself. and you’re going to be on the butter believing side.
- Eliminate sugar and processed sweeteners from your diet. At least be mindful of everything sugar is in. I dare you to go pickup your mustard, there’s sugar. There are many different forms of sugar and yes, I still have sugar here and there but I’m mindful to make sure the purest most natural forms of sugar are in my diet. Sugar won’t always be indicated in such layman’s terms on the ingredients, it can show as sucrose, fructose, dextrose, maltodextrin (one of the worst forms – very addictive), corn syrup, etc. Sugar is a killer – if you ever want to watch an interesting documentary and what sugar is doing to our country, watch the movie Fed Up. Did you know your brain reacts to sugar the same way it does to cocaine? Yeah, do yourself a favor and watch the trailer.
- Quit counting calories – you are literally starving yourself. If you become so obsessed and so focused you will be stressed, hungry and stuck. I never focus on the calories I intake, I focus on the foods I’m in taking.. Are they real foods? Yes! So I don’t have to worry about the caloric count. If I were to look at the calories in cotton candy vs an avocado, guess who wins? Cotton candy only has 110 calories while the avocado has 234, but the avocado is packed full of satiating, healthy fats while the cotton candy is pure sugar. Our society becomes so blinded when they focus on the number versus what they are putting into their bodies.
Start with those few principles, but really read through the Nourishing Traditions book and change your lifestyle over today. My blood-work is always off the charts when I go to the doctors, and no I don’t say, hey I eat a half a stick of butter a day! But guess what, I really do and my body loves me for nourishing it. You might think breastfeeding and working out alone will burn a lot of calories, but eating right will do your body and health so much more justice.
-Essentially a Mom