This blog post is to share with you how I lost all my baby weight in 10 months post delivery. I really don't believe in strict dieting but I strongly believe in eating more healthily and exercising. So I hope my sharing can inspire mamas out there to be able to go back to their pre pregnancy weight. It's a very long post! Please be ready!
Maybe you will find me by googling "how to lose postpartum weight" and you come across my blog here. Anyway here's my story :)
I have always been a tall slender girl for my entire life. I'm a 1.77m tall girl & my weight had never exceeded 60 kg in the past. Maybe there was once I weighed 63 kg when I was studying in Australia & lived on junk food! And when I came to Singapore to work, my weight went down to 57-60 kg, mostly on average, 59 kg. it was rare for my weight to go beyond 60 kg until I got pregnant with my first child.
For a girl with my height, my BMI had always been around 18-19. It varied from a little underweight to a normal weight. So yeah, I was just that one skinny tall girl!
So I got married & pregnant in the same year and gained a crazy weight of 25 kg in my first pregnancy and I remember being a shocking 85 kg super huge pregnant mama at the end of my pregnancy was a bit depressing. Luckily I managed to lose 20 kg of baby weight when my son was 8 months old by almost exclusively breastfeeding him. That put me into 65 kg of 8 month post delivery frame (5 kg extra weight I didn't manage to lose) and bam, I found 2 lines in my pregnancy test when my son was about 11 months old. Apparently I was 1 month plus along with my second pregnancy when I found out. So I conceived my 2nd child when my 1st child was 10 months old & I still had 5 kg extra baby weight I didn't manage to lose.
Like my first pregnancy, I gained a lot of weight in my second pregnancy too. 17 kg to be exact. So my weight went up from 65 kg to 82 kg at the end of my second pregnancy.
I was exclusively breastfeeding my second child, a baby girl and my weight dropped from 76 kg (only lost 6 kg right after birth) to 70 kg in 7 months time. No kidding, despite I was told and I read that breastfeeding would make you go back to your pre pregnancy shape fast, it wasn't really true for my case. I only lost a sad 6 kg in a long 7 months time! Different with breastfeeding my first child, I lost an astonishing amount of weight already by 8 month postpartum! (20 kg to be exact!)
Oh well, I was pretty depressed. 7 months post delivery & I was 70 kg! 10 more kg to pre pregnancy weight. Just breastfeeding alone apparently didn't help me to shed extra weight. Breastfeeding may have worked well to lose baby weight with my first child but NOT with my second child! I remember I had only 5 months to go before Calysta's first birthday and wondered if I could look good on her birthday. It was pretty depressing until..
I posted on breastfeeding mum group on my Facebook asking for advice on how to lose extra baby weight. Many kind mommies giving me advices such as exercising, eating brown rice and there was one mommy suggesting me to replace a meal with a glass of protein shake and that's the start of my breaking point to lose weight which I'm going to share with all of you soon!
And so, I decided I needed to lose weight! Since Calysta had been eating solid well & cutting down on nursing sessions, I thought it would be okay for me to change my diet and start exercising. And so, I did some changes for the first time and my motivation was simply I wanted to look good, just like before!
So here are things I have done and some of it, I'm still doing right now & I would like to share with fellow mamas struggling to lose baby weight and hope my sharing helps :)
1) A cup of coffee in the morning with two big tall glasses of water (750ml)
I'm not sure about you but whenever I drink a cup of instant coffee in the morning with normal breakfast such as a slice of bread with cheese or a slice of bread with tuna spread, etc and wash down with 2 big glasses of water (each about 350ml) and it kinda stimulates my bowel and I just need to go toilet to clear my bowel movement. Find what works for you! If you find fruits working well for your bowel movement, go ahead & eat more fruits in the morning. I find a cup of coffee and plenty of water working really well. Drinking plenty of water in the morning I believe is the way to detox out toxins in your body.
My kind of breakfast
2) Weighing every morning
I have a digital scale and I weigh myself every morning. I find weighing every day is a way to control weight gain very well. For example: today I weigh 59 kg in the morning and I eat pretty lots of junk food, thus next morning my scale shows 59.5 kg. So I know that I gain 0.5 kg due to junk food, so the day I find out about the weight gain, I will try to control my diet for that day. For instance, less fried stuff or less snacking, etc. The day after, my weight should be back to normal
My weight in the morning is 58.5 kg and it's normal to be heavier (1-2 kg) at the end of the day due to water retention. So weighing every morning will be more accurate :) My current BMI is 18.7 (Normal Weight)
3) Eating FULL Lunch plus a little snacking
I don't believe in strict dieting because once you crave for something, eventually you will let go and you will eat more than before. So strict dieting doesn't work, trust me!
I always have full lunch of my choice without any restrictions. It can be anything from rice with complete meat, fish, veggies, fried stuff or noodles or anything I feel like eating. I just eat it! I don't restrict my lunch at all BUT.. I do restrict my dinner!
And it's okay for you to have a little snacking (100 calories) at 4 pm. 100 calories food can come from a slice of bread, half can of tuna, bunch of healthy almonds, a cereal bar, an apple or a cup of instant milk tea. Make sure you are aware of your calories intake for your mid-snacking. Always read the label! So I do snack because I just feel like to!
My kind of lunch, I eat anything I like with MODERATION. If one day, I eat too much for my lunch, the next day I will eat in moderation. The key to lose weight is eat in moderation!
4) Protein or LIGHT Dinner
I was introduced protein dinner by one of the mommies I crossed upon in the breastfeeding mum group and I was told that protein shake is actually safe for breastfeeding mum. So I gave it a try and oh btw, if you'd like to know, no no no I didn't sign up for slimming course/session to lose weight. I wasn't interested in those MLM business offering protein shake together with slimming program to lose weight with monthly installment to pay the slimming course and I knew it's not cheap, it would cost thousands of dollars.
Let me prove I CAN lose weight without spending thousands of bucks!
So I did my research about protein shake, which brand to start, how to make, how to get, etc
Protein shake meal replacement was my initial breaking point to lose weight!
August 5 was the date I started to replace my dinner with a glass of protein shake containing 200 calories. Those shake drinks tasted okay, but not too great for a food lover like me. I blended protein shake with a glass of water and fruits (normally a bunch of strawberries or one banana) I tried to blend it with yogurt drink as well and it tasted pretty decent to be honest. So total calories intake for dinner was about 300 calories.
And I lost an astonishing amount of weight in my first week. Although I did cheat one or two times hahaa..
Here's my first week weight loss journal. With protein shake as dinner replacement and regular EXERCISE!
Starting day: 5th August
Day 1 70.1 kg (starting weight at 7 months postpartum)
Day 2 69.6 kg
Day 3 69.1 kg
Day 4 68.9 kg
Day 5 68.6 kg (eating instant noodle for dinner, cheat day!)
Day 6 68.7 kg (no protein shake but eating salmon and chicken soup)
Day 7 68.3 kg
Week 1 Weight loss: 1.8 kg
To be honest, I religiously had protein shake for the first week only (with 2x cheat) and the rest, I only had protein drink like 3 times a week to replace dinner because honestly I didn't quite like protein shake drink but I found it pretty effective to shed extra weight fast!
The question is when I didn't have my protein shake drink, what did I eat for dinner? The answer is anything except rice! I can have soup, fish, meat, fruits etc (of course the portion shouldn't be enormous)
25 August was my day 21 and I have lost total 2.5 kg in 21 days time or 3 weeks time
Week 3 total weight loss: 2.5 kg
Day 21: 67.6 kg
Day 27: 66.4 kg
5 September was my day 32, four weeks or in 1 month time. I have lost total of 4 kg :)
Day 32: 66.1 kg
Day 39: 65.5 kg
Day 44: 64.9 kg
My second month total weight loss was 2 kg. We went to Jakarta for short holiday & I skipped drinking protein shake for a week. Instead I indulged on spicy and high calories Indonesian local foods, ops!
2 October was my day 59 or third month in my weight loss journey. Total weight loss was almost 3 kg
Day 59: 63.9 kg
Day 67: 62.9 kg
Day 85: 60.7 kg
So my total weight loss:
Month 1 (August) : 4 kg
Month 2 (September) : 2 kg
Month 3 (October) : 3 kg
Total: 9 kg
Total weight loss in 3 months time from August to October was 9 kg! And that's lot and in 3 months time , with eating light dinner (either protein shake drink or meat/fish with veggies/soup or a bowl of oatmeal) and regular exercise which I will talk about later on. I have successfully gone back to my old weight and shape like before getting pregnant!
From October to December. I lost another 2-3 kg. In fact, I gained a few kg of weight because I went on long holiday with my family and indulged in super delicious Taiwanese cuisine. Oh well!
However I managed to lose all weight I gained in Taiwan & lost further 2 kg before Calysta's first birthday party in mid December :) so I'm about 58-59 kg now! From 70 kg in August! I have achieved more than what I expected!
The first three months, I tried my best to replace my dinner with protein shake at least 3 times a week but after I lost those extra baby weight, I didn't want to drink protein shake anymore. I would prefer something nicer like chicken soup, steamed fish, homemade oatmeal, anything I like without rice for dinner. I find that eating rice for dinner is the biggest killer when I try to lose weight. Rice equals to high carbo and somehow it slows down my body ability in burning calories. Having said that, I'm a breastfeeding mum, so rice or noodles or any carbo food is still as important as before. The difference now is I'd rather eat rice or noodles for lunch, not for dinner :)
Btw, if you are a breastfeeding mum and not able to lose baby weight like me previously. My advise is be patient! Wait until your baby starts to eat a lot of solid food or doesn't only depend on breast milk for most of his/her calories intake, by that time, your baby should be around 7-8 months old and eating solid well, that's the time you can start your weight loss journey. If your baby hasn't started on solid food or not eating solid well, forget about cutting down dinner because you need lots of carbo to produce enough milk for your baby.
Calysta was 7 months old and eating solid well at that time, so it was fine for me to start cutting down my carbo intake and start exercising.
Btw, if you are wondering if protein shake is fine for a nursing mum. I say YES, it's safe! It didn't affect my milk supply, Calysta was getting enough milk, I had my let downs, milk was leaking, etc.
And of course, provided you have good balanced diet (lunch) and healthy snacking. I find that protein helps to fasten metabolism & burn calories more than carbo does which is why resulting in weight loss. If you don't like protein shake, go for meat or fish. I'm not a meat lover, so protein shake would be my better option to get enough protein to burn more calories for my initial weight loss plan.
Again I'm not a big fan of protein drink, so right now after I have achieved my target (and still breastfeeding). I only drink protein shake once a while to finish the rest of my protein shake stock hehee.. As mentioned above, I eat anything in moderation for my breakfast and lunch (sometimes big lunch) and yes carbo for lunch is a must too, no one can survive with no carbo at all and for dinner, I normally will go for a bowl of healthy oatmeal, soup, fruits etc. I prefer homemade foods like chicken or fish with vegetables with NO rice of course!
My kind of light dinner. Oatmeal & fruits!
Orange is good to curb your craving if you feel like eating salty fried stuff.
5) Keep a Weight Loss Journal
I kept a weight loss journal and I found it motivating! Mine is like something I wrote above.
Day 1: would be your starting weight
And so on..
It helps you to keep track on your weight loss and motivate you to achieve your target fast
6) Regular Exercise
I started to go for Zumba dancing, kickboxing & piloxing classes as soon as I started my weight loss journey and by doing those work outs, it helped me to fasten my metabolism. I'm a lazy girl, honestly. I hate to exercise, totally! So I know that exercising at home will never ever work because I will exercise for one week and the following week, I can't be bothered at all. So what I did was to sign up & pay for classes
Paying for classes is another way to motivate me to exercise. Hey I have paid, if I don't attend, I waste my money, simple as that! And classes like Zumba, kickboxing and piloxing are not only fun, but it's kind like a therapy for me to relief stress being a long term stay at home mum.
Exercise is not only good for body, but good for mental health too :)
Classes shouldn't be expensive, as long as you move your body, you sweat, you work out, you burn calories. I have my classes 2 times a week at the community centre. Cheap & fun! My current favorite work out is piloxing (combination of boxing, Pilate and dancing) and it's seriously very fun! 1 session is about 1 hour and I have 1 hourly work out class twice a week!
Remember weight loss is 70% from your diet and 30% from your exercise. Exercise is just to fasten your metabolism. Exercise alone won't work unless you change your diet.
My kind of exercise ~ Zumba, kickboxing and piloxing!
7) Going to bed a little hungry
Yes! If you go to bed a little hungry, that means you are on the way losing those extra weight! It's a way for skinny to stay skinny!
But seriously, I often go to bed a little hungry since I don't eat carbo (or even if I eat, it's a tiny amount of carbo) at night, but it's not harmful to me at all. I can still sleep well, I don't feel like vomiting, I don't feel nauseous. So actually it's not really hunger what we perceive as hunger. If I don't feel nauseous or dizzy and I can sleep well, a little hungry is fine! My body needs to rest at night and so my body digestive system, it needs to rest well too. Normally a glass of water will do the trick when I feel a little hungry. Sometimes you are not actually hungry, but feeling thirsty instead and your body sending the thirsty signal as hunger, thus you have the craving to eat at night. So next time, try a glass of water. If you don't feel dizzy/nauseous or sick and you CAN sleep well, you are not really that HUNGRY!
8) Go on indulging in your favorite food once a week
If I feel like eating KFC, I go ahead with no worries at all! If I feel like eating junk foods, it's okay too to eat it once a week. The reason is the more I avoid my craving, the more I feel like eating, eventually I won't win & give up and at the end I eat more than ever. So this is why strict dieting never ever works.
Indulging in high calories food once a week is also a way to cheat your body! Technically if you eat the same amount of lesser calories that you normally would eat, your metabolism will slow down because your body recognizes those changes in lower calories intake & automatically slow down your metabolism to avoid starvation mode and preserves those calories for other use in your body.
But when you cheat like eating high calories food once a week, your body will think hey I'm not starving, let's get the metabolism work faster! So weekend is my indulgence day & I eat whatever I like. Sometimes I will have 2 days in a week that I will just eat whatever I like :) if you wonder, will I gain weight after having indulging in something higher calories than usual? The answer is yes and no! The next morning I will gain about 300-800 grams (depending what I ate day before) and once I get back to my normal diet, I will lose those extra weight in a day or two and continuously losing weight following the same diet routine and exercising :)
I eat this if I want to and I don't need to worry at all!
9) Do cardio if you wish to eat extra calories
Let's say if you crave for noddles for your dinner, 30 minute of cardio work out will help you to burn extra calories you take. Or if you feel like eating a pack of chips, just eat it! Don't worry that much but make sure you do 30 minute of cardio work out after that! Simple, right?
When I eat "extra" I will burn extra too. When I eat "extra", I will do 30 minute cardio from my room and the YouTube cardio work out I love the most is this:
Although it's only 30 minutes, this cardio work out never fails to make me sweat like I'm having sauna bath :) eating without feeling guilty is the best feeling right?
10) Tummy wrap & shaping cream
I wouldn't say tummy wrap & shaping cream helping me to lose my weight BUT it helped me to shape my waist & flatten my tummy!
The tummy wrap I love is belly bandit, not only it is organic bamboo material but it's so soft and comfortable that I can wear for 8 hours without break. I can wear it at home all day long (except I'm eating or sleeping). Not only it helped to shape my waists and hips and flatten my tummy (seriously proven) but it gave me a good back support when I'm carrying my toddler. I tend to get backache easily and notice that belly bandit is a really good back supporter :)
I have been wearing belly bandit since August until now December, about 5 months now and I feel my waists and hips are more defined. Really never feel this good before after giving birth to 2 kiddos in a short period (Hey, I popped 2 kids in 1.5 years time only!)
The tummy cream I love is Clarins because I feel my skin is super smooth & my tummy is flatter now (not sure if it's the workout, my diet, belly wrap or combination of everything that flattened my tummy) but most importantly, I don't get itchiness from wearing belly bandit and putting Clarins cream at the same time. I feel comfortable and plan to put on both for a long term period. When I was in my confinement, the Malay belly wrap and hot cream gave me such as torturing effects such as itchiness & redness I couldn't stop scratching, belly wrapping was a horrifying experience until a new friend of mine recommended bamboo made belly bandit postpartum wrap to me and since then, I'm hooked with this super effective yet comfortable belly wrapper. The best ever & I would recommend it!
That's the end of my sharing, sorry for the long post. I hope my little sharing will help mommies out there who are still struggling to lose baby weight. And my body is not perfect yet. I gained too much weight and lost it all and as result, my tummy is no longer firm & tight, I have extra skins in my tummy, thighs and butts. My thighs and butts are still flabby/not firm enough like before. I'm still working hard in toning my body. I'm still taking classes twice a week and do some cardio workouts at home but I know my body will improve and so yours too.
So if I CAN lose ALL my baby weight, a total of 11-12 kg in 5 months time and a total combined of 24 kg in 12 months postpartum, you can do it too! I remember the first time I was able to fit into my old size S dress, it felt amazing, more than a victory I can tell you! It felt so good to be able to fit into UK size 6 or 8, to be able to wear all my pre pregnancy clothes. And I felt more confident with my body and it automatically boosted my self esteem as well. From size XL to size S is an achievement I should be proud of :)
My tummy at 12 months postpartum and I'm still working hard to tone my body :) Yes we all CAN do it!!My advice is don't give up and nothing is impossible! Whether you have 10 kg or 20 kg extra weight, you are ABLE to lose it all and back to your pre pregnancy weight but most importantly you must be ready to change your diet, drink plenty of water and start exercising. Trust yourself and be confident YOU CAN DO IT!!
Find something that can motivate you. My motivation was I wanted to go back to my old size S figure & to look good with my own body. So find something you really look forward to. If you are still breastfeeding, continue to do so. I'm pretty sure breastfeeding alone will not help me to lose all those kilograms but the combination of breastfeeding together with new diet and exercising might be the reason I lost those extra weight fast.
Best luck and you can email me if you want to share with me your story or if you have any questions to ask me :)