I’ve been meaning to share how I lost the baby weight after having my second son for the past couple of months. It took me 9-10 months both times to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and feel like I sorta look the same. Don’t worry, the extra belly skin is easy to hide in photos but it’s there. Also, my milk maids are well… rather different looking than before. Bring on the lift in 5-10 years! Kidding, maybe.
Raising two kiddos as a work from home mom is no joke. I feel like I have two full time jobs these days. While I do have help from Summer Sitters come twice a week, it never feels like enough help. I make fitness a priority these days and will go to the gym when I have a sitter or before Nick leaves for work. If I workout at the gym using their babysitting, it’s usually a 30-45 minute workout tops, often just 20 minutes in reality. I workout 5 days a week and take 2 days off.
That aside, nutrition should be your first priority. Sleep and rest should be the next and then fitness for losing the baby weight.
Here is how I lost the baby weight in more detail.
Step 1: I had a baby, duh.
I seriously hate when people talk about losing 60 lbs of baby weight is like old fashioned weight loss. When you’re pregnant, the baby obviously weighs 6-10 lbs, then theres the placenta, the extra blood and fluids. As soon as you give birth, you lose “weight” by default. While you worked hard to expel said child from your body, it’s different than the will power and motivation it takes to lose weight through diet or exercise.
Step 2: Taking time to heal.
Labor is intense. Pregnancy takes a major toll on your body, moving your organs all around as well as hormonally. It takes time for your body to heal and why it’s recommended you wait 6-8 weeks before you begin exercising again and when you go back, it should be modified for a while! I didn’t start exercising after Connor for 8 weeks and I started with gentle strength training, avoiding abs and doing the peloton. Next time, if we go for 3, I would also add in visit to a pelvic floor specialist like Melissa Hines.
I also made it a priority to rest and try to get as much sleep as I can at night. If I had an option to exercise or sleep in the early days, it was always sleep! Even still I chose sleep. It’s so important.
One of the problems with missed sleep is that is raises our cortisol levels. When cortisol is elevated, it’s difficult to burn fat (especially around the midsection). Increased cortisol translates into increased insulin, which lowers the blood sugar, which usually results in cravings for sugary food!
Step 3: Focus on whole food nutrition.
Ok so after 6 months of meandering, I finally was ready to drop the last 10 lbs. I get really hungry from nursing and I love my wine so I don’t just accidentally lose the last bit. I need to work at it. Usually this motivation push comes with the start of my children eating solids so I start producing less milk. It also coincides with them usually sleeping more. I do feel like many women will struggle to lose the last 10 if they are still nursing. Hormones are funny and while you may want to lose 10 lbs for vanity reasons, biology isn’t going to let you. So what I stopped doing was instead of having chips and guacamole or sugar filled trail mix for a snack, I’d have fruit, veggies with hummus or just nuts. I focused on eating lean protein and filling up on veggies.
I also started counting my macros as part of my FASTer Way To Fat Loss round. I only did this religiously for 2 weeks. After the 2 weeks, I was able to intuitively eat to hit these macro goals made up of 50% carbs, 30% fats and 20% protein. Roughly that came out to around 1880 calories, 230 g of carbs, 65 g of fat and 90 g of protein.
I also experimented with carb cycling and intermittent fasting as part of the FWTFL. You can read more about carb cycling here.
I promise this isn’t a FWTFL plug, but if you do want to learn more and join my next round we start July 8th! Here is a link.
Step 4: Strength Training
After Tommy was born I discovered Kayla Itsines BBG workouts. While I love these short strength training workouts, the abs are SOOOOOOOO pre and post natal UNSAFE. Even the postnatal workouts by Kelsey are NOT SAFE for your abs in my opinion if you had or are at risk for a diastasis recti. I don’t know how else to put this in bold but DO NOT DO BBG ABS POSTPARTUM.
After Tommy, I was able to get back my abs fairly quickly but after Connor even being super careful I did get a small separation at 6 months postpartum because my abs were not yet healed and I tried doing more challenging workouts than I should have. As such, I still modify my ab moves at Barry’s and stopping going to my beloved BTone until I feel like my abs are a little stronger.
So in regards to workouts, I do love the BBG Stronger series (just not any ab movements). I also love this Get Fit Done workout guide by my fellow former Oakley Ambassador Cari. The Get Fit Done guide is great if you mostly workout at home, just have a set of medium dumbbells and are short on time. I would also rate it as a 9.5 out of 10 on a scale of how hard the workouts are! The guide is 127 pages long complete with step by step daily workouts for 4 weeks as well as a 7 day reset and meal plan for four weeks featuring low carb, high protein, low fat and vegetarian. Think Tone It Up but more challenging workouts and less complicated meals. The workouts include bootcamp style routines, tabatas, and HIIT as well as a couple days to enjoy a favorite class, run or spin.
My body responds best to HIIT and strength training which is why I love this program. Cari can be found on Instagram under @CariFit and she created this program in conjunction with her friend @HoneyWereHome. Check it out here.
I also have been loving the workouts from the FASTer Way and have been doing them regularly as well as going to Barry’s on occasion. I’m also a big Peloton fan and do the HIIT or Tabata classes regularly.
Step 5: Cutting out Wine…
To lose the last 5 I did cut out alcohol but since I lost the weight, I’d added it back in and kept it off with the help I think of Intermittent Fasting but who knows. I would have a glass or two once a week while trying to get lean.
Every body is different as is every pregnancy. What works for me may not work for you. Some people may need to totally wean from nursing to lose the last bit of weight. It’s not magically going to come off and even if it does, you’re going to need to add back in some strength training to regain those muscles you likely lost if you want “your body back.” And you know what, you’ll never have that same body back so don’t go trying to achieve it. You are super woman! You created a baby. Look at you go! Those last 5 lbs are your sanity, your evening glass of wine and family pizza night. If you wanna lose them, you can do it by giving those two things up. I’m happy at 138 lbs, pizza and beer and ice cream and all. I don’t need to forgive myself for having a treat, I don’t need to ask for permission or plan it on a specific day. I eat in moderation, I listen to my body and if my clothes start feeling snug, I dial it down. Check out my video on how I lost the baby weight here for more information.