I am starting the story in pre-conception because it's important to highlight my nutrition & working out background. I put in a LOT of hard work to a healthy body before I conceived, during pregnancy and of course, through postpartum, so my journey has been great, but it's been WORK, DEDICATION & CONSISTENCY!
I was as ripped as I had ever been. I was all lean muscle and minimal body fat percentage.
Nutrition: Ate extremely clean: no alcohol, no added sugars, one starch carb portion per day, no red meat, no chicken, no dairy, a cold-pressed organic green juice daily, kombucha daily...
Workouts: I went to the gym 5 days a week to lift weights, I did Pilates once a week, and always warmed up before each session with 10-15min of cardio. My total workout sessions were of 1h30min counting stretching and warm ups too.
* Tip: be as lean, fit & healthy as you can be before you even get pregnant for an easier postpartum recovery!
I had an extremely healthy pregnancy (perfect by the books although of course I had all the terrible symptoms). I started off at 115lbs (I am 5'3') and with the lowest fat percentage possible, so I knew my body needed to gain weight to support and grow a baby. Despite me working out regularly and eating healthy, I gained about 50lbs. I honestly tried not to pay attention to my weight because I knew I was doing great eating no junk & being active, the baby was healthy, I never had high blood pressure, and I felt great and full of energy. I knew losing healthy weight would be "easier" than losing junk food weight gain.
Nutrition: I ate clean as I mentioned but, I did shift a lot of things: I kept things pretty much the same (no meat, no chicken, no added sugars, no processed foods) but I didn't restrict myself to a starch carb serving per day, I ate dairy, and I overall maybe did things I wouldn't do pre pregnancy to health with a healthy pregnancy specifically.
Workouts: I went to the gym as often as before (5 gym + 1 pilates: great to maintain the pelvic floor strong) I kept doing the same exact weights (so I know my muscle was there, all through pregnancy). I also did 10-15min of cardio warm ups. The only thing I changed was NO core workouts and, low intensity workouts (taking more time to breathe in between sets as well).
I lost about 30lbs in the first two to four weeks. I also remember sweating like crazy every night for the first two months and I truly think it was all my water weight being released, which also helps get rid of the weight.
After that I lost another 15lbs at the 3 month mark (so everything except 5 lbs) and I held on to those 5lbs until 6-7months postpartum.
Yes, breastfeeding makes you lose weight & fat slower. And yes, you need more calories than normal if you are breastfeeding, but, you can eat more HEALTHY calories. That will still help you lose weight and fat.
FYI. Staying positive and not stressing about a number def helps weight loss too. I kept thinking MY BODY WAS FEEDING ANOTHER BODY EXCLUSIVELY! It needed fat reserves and extra fuel!
I wore a band for the first 15 days to help my organs & uterus go back to it's original place and size.
Nutrition: As soon as Sofia I went back to my exact pre pregnancy way of eating. Of course, taking into consideration foods that help with breastfeeding, and eating those every day, things I wouldn't eat pre pregnancy. I also kept NOT consuming any alcohol, which aids in weight loss too, and ate slightly more calories (breastfeeding you just need 500 more so it isnt that much more quantity wise) and most importantly MORE GOOD CALORIES. No junk.
Workouts: I had a natural birth with zero tearing (mainly due to Pilates thanks to a strong pelvic floor), so I was given the green light to go back to the gym at 3 weeks postpartum. However, I decided I was in no rush and I started at 4w PP. Since my body was used to working out (I worked out with the same weights until the day I popped) I honestly felt like I never left the gym, so it wasn't like I was "starting over". I knew all my muscle was there, this was more of getting rid of the extra fat and 80% of that is through nutrition. So I didn't stress about the gym: After 4w PP I started going 5 days a week, started with upper body and slowly incorporated upper body. And Istarted Pilates at 6w PP once a week too (perfect to get that pelvic floor back super strong)! I still do 10-15min cardio warm ups and weight lifting. My sessions are now shorter, I spend an average of 45min at the gym, so what I do is I stretch at home instead. The only thing that I had to start over with was core exercising, because I had stopped the moment I found out I was pregnant. However, I am also going to highlight the fact that my core was super strong pre pregnancy and that it is worked out indirectly through a lot of other exercises, so it was never weak. Part of the postpartum belly is skin, so I applied aloe vera since day 1, every day, morning and night. And I was very careful to the type of exercises I did, to avoid creating a pooch. So I would recommend always going to an expert for the type of exercises because everyone is ready at a different pace.
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