It took you 9 months to have a baby, it’ll likely take you at least that same amount of time to get your body back. It’s fair to say it will never look exactly the same as it was before though – your hips may be slightly larger, stomach a little stretched out, maybe some extra fat will be lingering in new places.
I have been basically the same weight (within about 10 lbs) since I got married 13 years ago, and several pregnancies later. The trick? Exercising at least 4-5 days a week, eating well (some days are better than others), drinking water, and sleeping about 8 hours a night. You’re all thinking, I’ve heard this all before, what’s the quickest way to help me lose these extra lbs?
After numerous attempts at “dieting,” I have only found 2 plans that work for me regarding losing weight; tracking my food, and the infamous Dr. Hyman’s 10-day detox.
Although not a new theory, I think an extremely effective method with helping reach weight loss goals is tracking your food. This “forced accountability” makes you contemplate every morsel that passes your lips (even those goldfish you ate running to soccer practice and your son’s leftover nugget from dinner). I’ve been there, I know how hard it is to eat healthy everyday especially with a busy lifestyle. If you can’t eat great all of the time, at least be aware of what you’re eating.
I’ve tried a couple of different sites to accomplish this task, and I’ve settled on http://www.livestrong/myplate as being the easiest platform to use. Start out with your current weight, height, and goal (lose 1, 1.5, 2 lbs per week etc.) It then calculates what your daily caloric intake should be. It has a really diverse database for foods, and I’ve only had to add a couple of items not already in their system. Start in the morning, and type in what you had for breakfast. I did fail to mention that you have to start measuring your food too, so keep a teaspoon, tablespoon and measuring cup handy as well. It’s totally a win-win because before you started measuring your food, you had no idea how much of anything you were actually consuming. I think I nearly passed out after that first day, it totaled about 600 calories over goal – yikes! The total fat is also displayed, as well as sodium and other nutritional information. It may seem daunting at first, but after a couple of days you’ll get the hang of it. You’ll also track your exercise, water intake, and have access to recipes, and other helpful health tips. The good news is, if you are actually honest and account for all that you’re eating, and staying within your caloric goal, you will lose weight (barring any other health concerns). I lost 4 lbs after a few weeks.
I was interested in trying something new this past summer and decided to do some research on the latest and greatest diet plans. I found Dr. Hyman’s 10-day detox to be widely acclaimed, and relatively harmless. His theory is that all food eaten should be real, whole, and unprocessed. He also believes in a no-gluten, no-sugar, and no-dairy plan to rid your body of the food addictions that commonly plague us.
The name is a little misleading too, because to me a detox is more of a liquid diet plan, not a lifestyle change. If you purchase Hyman’s book of the same name (which I did because I was interested in the science behind sugar addiction, and his argument is quite compelling), it offers different recipes than the strict plan I followed.
Here’s a preview to give you a better idea about the daily food options.
Breakfast: 1/2 cup each frozen cranberries, wild blueberries, unsweetened almond milk, ice and water and blend for a healthy smoothie. There are other things you are supposed to add (coconut oil, avocado, almond butter, hemp, pumpkin and chia seeds, and 2 walnuts) but I would eat the seeds separately, add avocado/oil to my salad, and when craving a little something sweet, would grab a teaspoon of this delicious organic almond butter I discovered on Amazon.com – Quality Creations Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter.
Lunch: variety of greens with non-starchy veggies (cucumbers, peppers, red onion, red cabbage, carrots, etc) with 4 oz lean meat and a healthy fat (avocado, EVOO, boiled egg). Add homemade dressing with balsamic vinegar, and EVOO. I would throw in some mustard and herbs to spice it up.
Dinner: same as lunch. You can also choose to sauté veggies and eat with your lean protein instead of eating a salad.
Morning and afternoon snacks: 1/4 raw almonds or 1/4 cup of hummus with raw veggies.
3 days into the diet, I felt weak and nauseous as forewarned (that’s literally from the sugar detox). By day 5-6 I felt like myself, but better somehow, and I craved sugar a little less. Overall, I really wasn’t hungry because you can eat unlimited veggies, and I was consuming about 1600 calories a day. I felt ok to exercise most days also.
Weigh-ins occurred every other day as well as measurements. By the end of the 10 days, I was down 3.5 lbs, but more importantly, 4 inches overall. I literally couldn’t believe my muffin top was almost gone. My persistent bloating had vanished as well (which had prompted me to try the diet in the first place).
Dr. Hyman suggests slowly reintroducing foods to see if your body has any reactions: I had dairy 2x that first day and had immediate intestinal issues. Once that happened, I realized I had been eating cereal with milk, and 1-2 greek yogurts daily; sometimes I’d eat ice cream after dinner too. Clearly, I had a sensitivity, at the least, to dairy. Since then, I have cut it out (and replaced regular milk with almond milk, and swapped regular yogurt for almond yogurt) and have held most of the distension at bay. I have to say, when I got home from vacation, random people were complimenting me, I was visibly leaner and looked healthier. Another benefit was my skin; I’m prone to adult acne (lucky me!) and this diet really helped improve my complexion. I’m sure drinking the 48oz. of water required didn’t hurt either. It’s really true what they say, you are what you eat (and you look like what you eat too!)
I won’t lie to you, it was really hard to give up sugar (and basically all fruit has it, as well as any dessert). When you eat that first strawberry after your detox has ended, you won’t believe how amazingly sweet it is. I’d like to say I’ve stayed on the plan, but I haven’t. Eating badly is so much easier than eating well. I’m a work in progress for sure, but at least I know some options that work for me when I choose to get serious about my health (again).
Yours in Health…
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Also, please consult your doctor before changing your diet to make sure it is the safest option for you.