Losing it After Baby

how to lose baby weight, postnatal fitness,Losing it After Baby

At this point in my life a lot of my friends are starting families, and after pregnancy for some women may be the first time they have ever had to lose a significant amount of weight.  I was definitely in this boat, I had lost a couple pounds here and there for vanity but never had to tackle anything more then 10 lbs. After my first pregnancy is when I became really interested in the science behind our health, and there is so much information out there! So I thought Id share some of the thoughts on the subject.

 Getting back into it

Definitely give your body at least a month before you begin a vigorous exercise regimen, until then walking is great but you need to give your body a chance to heal before you really get into it.

When you’re a new mom you know it’s not easy to have solo time without baby. Exercise videos are a great way to ease back in; you can break up your workout through out the day and are always on hand if your baby needs you.

With time you want to progressively make your workouts more difficult, continue to add weight while strength training, or hold your yoga poses longer. If you run or jog slowly add an incline, its better to jog up hill on an incline then run on flat ground.  Also adding intervals to your training routine will ensure you continue to see results, i.e. Run up hill for a minute, walk uphill for a minute,  with each workout make it a bit harder.  The important thing is that you continue to change it up, if your routine is the same you will plateau.

Be kind to yourself

Exercise is something you have to slowly get back into. I remember being so shocked the first time I went back to the gym, I had waited a few weeks to go and was 25 pounds heavier then my normal weight, I couldn’t believe how hard exercising felt compared to before getting pregnant.  I was so hard on myself for not being able to hit certain targets and felt embarrassed by how tired I was.  I really wish I had chilled out.

I spoke with my doctor about it at the time and he said that most women within a year after pregnancy return to their prior weight, and that’s without additional dieting and exercising, so if you do put a bit of effort in it will happen even faster.

Now that I think back its so irrelevant, women who get back into shape after a month are just annoying to everyone and you know they killed themselves to do it.  So unless you’re an actress or model and need to look good to make a living just be kind to yourself and trust in the fact that the weight will come off.

How Artificial Sweeteners will make you Fat

artificialsweetnersArtificial Sweeteners & Weight Gain

Recently Aspartame has changed their name to “AminoSweet”.  This is probably because awareness about the dangers of artificial sweeteners amongst the general public is increasing.  Still even with all the studies and information out there many people are still consuming this junk.  If you are trying to lose weight by cutting out sugar and adding in the fake stuff you might want to think twice because most likely this strategy will backfire.

New Research has Repeatedly shown that artificial sweeteners:

Stimulate your appetite

Increase cravings for carbohydrates

Stimulate fat storage and weight gain!

And there have been more reports to the FDA for aspartame reactions than all other food additives COMBINED.

Migraines are the most reported side effect, but here are some other common ones:

Mood swings

Changes in vision

Sleep problems

Hallucinations

Memory loss

Nausea and vomiting

Dizziness

Convulsions and seizures

Abdominals cramps & pain

Rashes

Fatigue

Diarrhea

Joint pain

Aspartame has also been strongly linked to depression and brain cancer.

Doesn’t sound too appetizing now! If your serious about cutting sugar real and fake from your diet there are other alternatives like Stevia for example. The problem is its a lot more expensive for food companies so they don’t use it, so you would have to use it in your own food prep. Also the more you cut down your sugar the more sensitive you become to it, and your cravings will dramatically drop with time.

Simple Food Swaps for Easy Weight Loss

Simple Swaps to lose weight and get healthy

By making some simple substitutions in your diet you can easily cut calories and saturated fat and not only will you feel better you might also lose a couple pounds too.

Instead of Mayo:

Try avocado for sandwiches and burgers, and for dips you can use plain yogurt. The higher the fat content the thicker in consistency.

Instead of Butter:

In baking you can easily substitute some applesauce for your butter, it’ll keep your baking moist, add fiber and also sweeten it a bit too.

Instead of Sugar:

Try cinnamon in your coffee, I made this swap last year, it took about a week to get used to, but I haven’t gone back since!

Instead of Ground Beef:

Try walnuts, I know this one sounds weird but I use them all the time in lasagnas and casseroles, put them in a food processor to chop them up a bit first.

Instead of Cottage Cheese:

Use cashews, I swear in a lasagna or casserole no one will know the difference!

Instead of White Sugar:

Try coconut sugar, it tastes very similar to brown sugar and has a slightly rougher texture (you can buy a big bag at Costco for really cheap)

Instead of Buns/ Tortilla Wraps:

Try iceberg lettuce, they are really firm so you can place food in them easily without them breaking, plus its really refreshing especially in the summer.

Instead of Sugary Drinks:

Try fruit infused water, just cut up your favourite fruits and put them in a pitcher with filtered water in the fridge, after a couple hours it will be good to go!

Time your eating to maximize weight loss

Timing your Meals to Lose Weight

I’ve had people ask me about when and how often they should be eating in order to maximize weight loss, and increase muscle gain. There has been a lot of dispute about this amongst the fitness community, and in my personal opinion I don’t think there is a hard rule that applies to everyone. But here is a comparison of some of the theories:

OLD: Eat breakfast as soon as you wake up and before a workout, this way you jumpstart your metabolism and fuel your body for exercise.

NEW: Eat breakfast after your workout, the newest research  states that the body burns 20% more fat when exercising on an empty stomach. This is because the body can focus on the functions required for exercise rather than digestion. Also eating a mix of carbs and protein immediately after strength training helps to repair and rebuild muscle mass.

OLD: Eat 6 meals throughout the day in order to keep your blood sugar levels even and keep your metabolism roaring.

NEW: Eat 2-3 larger meals per day and avoid snacking, the theory here is that if you eat fewer larger meals you allow time in between to properly digest your food. This way your body isn’t digesting all day long and it can have a chance to cleanse and detoxify. Some fitness professionals also believe keeping blood sugars elevated all day long isn’t healthy and dips in blood sugar are actually more natural for humans.

OLD: Allow 12 hours between eating at nighttime and waking for breakfast in the morning.

NEW: Eat all your meals within an 8-hour window. Allowing 14-16 hours between meals at nighttime (known as a mini fast) allowed participants in a study to consume higher amounts of calories and still lose more weight. The theory here is that the body will properly digest and dispose of all the food eat if given the time.

  • If you want to read a whole book about it, check out the 8 Hour Diet (by the editor of Men’s Health magazine.

Take Away

Choose a routine eating schedule and stick to it, this way your body knows when to expect food and it can act more efficiently, never starve yourself and don’t wait to eat until your famished!

Top 10 Diet Hacks

 

  1. If your having tacos replace half the meat with beans, either pinto or black. They contain tons of potassium, minerals and fibre plus sub out half the meat reduces your fat intake.
  1. When ordering sushi go for the salmon over tuna, it contains 11 times more omega 3 fatty acids.
  1. Cook your tomatoes! It increases the amount of phytochemicals.
  1. Replace croutons in your salad with chickpeas, chickpeas are considered a complex carb, meaning they contain more fibre and wont spike your blood sugar like the simple carbs found in white bread.
  1. Add a dash of cinnamon to your morning coffee, studies have proven it helps to level out your blood sugar.
  1. Don’t feel bad about drinking that extra cup of coffee, recent studies have shown a diet containing 300-400 milligrams of caffeine per day (3 cups of black coffee, roughly) can help prevent skin cancer by 20% compared to those who consume less then 100 milligrams per month.
  1. In your salads choose dark leafy greens like what’s in a spring mix over romaine or iceberg varieties, you’ll drastically increase the amount of iron and antioxidants.
  1.  Tis the season for iced coffee, clean yours up by choosing skim or soy milk and asking for half sweet.
  1. Challenge yourself to drink only water with meals over juice or pop, add a slice of lemon or lime for a kick of flavour.
  2. Make your own iced tea, just boil 2 cups of water and add 2 teabags (black or green) slice up a lemon and add to your water, then let steep for 15 mins. Take out the teabags and top with cold filtered water. If you want to sweeten it up add a tablespoon of honey