Becky Rogers, 29, of Beavercreek, has a 5-month-old boy.
Rogers gained 25 pounds while pregnant. She lost all 25 pounds in the two weeks after she gave birth. Four weeks after she had her baby, she gained back seven pounds, but was able to lose it six to eight weeks after having her child.
“Having a baby (is) such a huge life change,” Rogers said. “It’s hard to find time for yourself when you have to take care of a baby. In the beginning, a good day is being able to take a shower and brush your teeth, and you don’t even think about fitting in an hour workout or taking time on Sunday to grocery shop and plan out your meals for the week. Your thoughts are ‘baby, baby, baby,’ not how you look or what you’re eating.”
Rogers said she lost her baby weight by taking these steps:
- “I worked out consistently throughout my pregnancy. I work at a CrossFit gym, and my husband and I own our own strength and conditioning gym. I continued with the same type of workouts I did before I was pregnant, but I scaled back the weight and intensity. So it helped me not to gain too much in the first place.”
- “We had a lot of help from family in those first few weeks after we came home from the hospital. My mom and mother-in-law cooked, cleaned and did laundry for us, and it was a big help to always have healthy food in the house.”
- “My wonderful husband takes over baby duty so I can work out in the mornings.”
- “We have a garage gym, so I don’t have to go far.”
- “[The] Paleo diet — I don’t eat processed carbs or a lot of sugar. I eat mainly meat and veggies and healthy fats.”
- “I’m breastfeeding.”
- “I was able to jump right back into my workouts six weeks after I gave birth, and I attribute that to staying active throughout my pregnancy and continuing with the same types of workouts as long as I could.”
- “Setting goals — what I want to lift and other gym performance-type goals — gives me motivation to get into the garage in the mornings.”
Julie Birchfield, 31, of New Carlisle, has a 2-year-old daughter and a 6-month-old daughter.
Birchfield gained 30 pounds during her first pregnancy and 34 pounds during her second pregnancy. She was able to lose all of her baby weight after both pregnancies.
It took her four months to lose her baby weight after giving birth to her oldest child, and five months after she had her second child.
“Women are constantly fighting an uphill battle,” she said. “Aging, pregnancy weight, slower metabolisms and eating on the go all go against a busy mom trying to bounce back to their pre-pregnancy weight. Also during pregnancy, everyone thinks that you should be eating for two and happily bring you any leftover food.”
Birchfield said she lost her baby weight in the following ways:
- “Breastfeeding — it’s not only a benefit for your baby, it’s a huge benefit for Mom.”
- “Keeping any older kids active helps you stay active.”
- “Portion control”
- “Cutting back on the foods you enjoyed while you were pregnant”
- “Walking or exercise three to four times a week”
Amanda Tress, 26, of Beavercreek, is the mother of a 13-month-old girl.
Tress, who has been an athlete and personal trainer for eight years, gained 27 pounds during her pregnancy, and lost all of it after giving birth. It took her 10 days to lose her baby weight after giving birth.
“Losing excess baby weight after pregnancy can be a challenge if a woman does not maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine throughout pregnancy,” she said. “There are a lot of myths and misunderstandings about exercising during pregnancy. Many women assume that exercising while pregnant is dangerous, but when done correctly and under a doctor’s supervision, continued workouts have many health benefits.”
Tress said taking these steps helped her lose her baby weight:
- “I was committed to remain fit and healthy throughout my pregnancy. With my doctor’s support, I maintained my pre-pregnancy level of fitness throughout my entire pregnancy and experienced a fast and smooth labor, delivery and recovery. I was able to run within two weeks of delivery since I maintained a fit pregnancy. Quick resumption of my fitness activities played a key role in helping me shed the baby weight.”
- “I ate healthy throughout my entire pregnancy and logged my nutrient intake on www.caloriecount.about.com. This helped me ensure that I was not eating too many calories, and prevented excess weight gain. After I delivered, I increased my calories to compensate for the extra calories that I was burning by nursing, but I did not eat more than my body needed to function at its best. As a result, I did not hold excess baby weight after delivery.”
- “I do a lot of resistance training to develop lean muscle and maintain a healthy BMI (body mass index). Examples of resistance training include the elliptical, arc trainer and treadmill with a steep incline. Developing lean muscle helps to increase my resting metabolic rate (the amount of calories I burn throughout the day while stationary).”
- “Weight training is an important part of my exercise routine. Again, developing lean muscle will help me to burn calories while stationary throughout the day.”
- “After I delivered, I started taking fit walks with my daughter in the stroller within days. I have continued that tradition, and we still take at least one walk during the day to the park or around the neighborhood. It’s a great time spent with her, and I am able to burn some calories and work on my cardio fitness.”
- “I incorporate a lot of plyometrics and jump training into my fitness routine. If you are interested in seeing the circuits that I do, please visit the exercise video page on my fitness website: www.fitpregnancyandparenting.com/exercise-videos/.”
Megghan Shroyer, 28, of Miami Twp., has a 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.
Shroyer gained 40 pounds while pregnant with her daughter, and 30 pounds while pregnant with her son.
After giving birth to her daughter, she lost all but 10 pounds of her baby weight. She lost all of her baby weight after the birth of her son. It took her seven months to lose all of her baby weight after the birth of her son.
“Being a new mom impacts every part of a woman’s life, mentally as well as physically,” Shroyer said. “Keeping her own health in check is often a challenge, given that she has a new baby to take care of. On top of taking care of the baby, she has to tend to the house, and/or work and school. Since today most women are constantly on the go, convenience meals are key. Whether the convenience means fast food or finishing your kid’s meal, it is unfortunately mostly junk. No matter how much we exercise, if we are not putting healthy fuel into our bodies, we cannot expect to look and feel healthy.”
Shroyer said she lost her baby weight in these ways:
- “I followed a free lifestyle change program that includes both diet and exercise. It is called Jamie Eason’s 12 week LiveFit Trainer which can be found for free on bodybuilding.com. I accomplished this in 12 weeks.”
- “I took supplements which included daily liquid fish oil, a multi vitamin for women and protein whey powder.”
- “I ate clean and followed Jamie Eason’s diet plan but included my own ‘cheat day’ where for one day a week I could eat what I wanted to within reason.”
- “I worked out five to six days a week in a gym doing mostly weight training. The first four weeks of this program you do no cardio.”
- “Some days when I couldn’t make it to the gym, I imitated most of the exercises at home with free weights.”
Justine Kelly, 27, of Beavercreek, has a 4-month-old boy.
Kelly gained 45 pounds during pregnancy. She has lost 22 pounds thus far, and wants to lose about 25 more pounds.
“You are so busy as a new mom,” Kelly said. “I would get up at 6 a.m. but somehow it took three hours to get to the gym. First, you have to feed (the) baby, then change a diaper, then feed yourself breakfast, get dressed, and then it’s time to feed and change (the) baby again. Then once you go back to work, you’re so pressed for time, and you want to spend as much of your free time as possible with the baby, not at the gym.”
Kelly said she has shed pounds in these ways:
- “Breastfeeding and breastfeeding some more. Our bodies were designed to gain weight in preparation for breastfeeding. Using formula, even part time, short circuits this system. I read on a breastfeeding blog that you burn 20 calories per ounce that you produce. That works out to anywhere from 400 to 700 calories a day. Who wouldn’t want that?”
- “I signed up for a personal trainer at my gym and did two sessions a week throughout my maternity leave. By the time I went back after 12 weeks, I was back at my pre-pregnancy weight — well worth the money.
- “I kept eating sensibly. I have not reduced my caloric intake because I don’t want to hurt my milk supply, but I avoid fast and processed foods. I only choose whole grains, and I make sure to always eat at least three whole, raw fruits per day.”
- “I make sleep a priority. Tough, I know, with a new baby, but if you’re overly tired you won’t be motivated to go to the gym.”
- “I go to the gym in the mornings before work. It gets it out of the way, and then I don’t have to sacrifice precious evening hours with my son.”
- “During a tough workout when I feel like quitting, I remind myself of my labor. I was in labor for 29 hours, and I did it all-natural without drugs. If I could do that, surely I can do 30 more seconds of mountain climbers or run for another lap.”
Sara Rusk, 35, of West Middletown in Madison Township, is the mother of an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old boy.
Rusk gained 40 pounds during each pregnancy and lost about 45 pounds after giving birth to each child, which took her under six months each time.
“I found the weight would fall off by default of nursing, and eating healthy and smaller amounts,” she said.
Here are the ways in which Rusk lost her baby weight:
- “Nursing my babies — strictly nursing, no supplementing”
- “Staying busy and always moving, eating less by default of always being busy”
- “Eating healthy — fruits and veggies and yogurt and salad”
Casie Hollis, 31, of Bellbrook, has a 4-year-old girl and a 1-year-old girl.
Hollis gained more than 55 pounds with each pregnancy, and lost all of her baby weight or more after giving birth to each child. It took her about one year to lose her baby weight after each pregnancy.
“It’s really hard to spend time (by) yourself when you’re a new mom,” she said. “You either don’t have the time, or feel guilty making the time. When I had my first child, I was in my last year of law school. I took (and passed) the bar exam when she was 16 weeks old. I now work full time as an attorney in a private firm. Right after I got back from maternity leave after having my second (child), things got exceptionally busy for about three months. I had to basically just stop all weight-loss efforts and just hope to not gain weight back. Mentally, I couldn’t take dieting when I was struggling to spend time with my family because of work.”
Hollis shed her extra pounds in these ways:
- “Weight Watchers. It works.”
- “Regular exercise. Join a gym that you will actually go to. Then go, often. And push yourself, don’t just do cardio. Mix it up with some strength-building exercises and some weight training. If all else fails, be prepared to work out early or late or whenever you just have 20 minutes at home. You can get a great workout with little or no equipment.”
- “Make good food choices. Know when to splurge and when to get that really plain looking salad. Research restaurants nutritional values before you go out and know what you’re going to order before you get there. Keep healthy snacks close by at all times, and pre-cook healthy meals.”
- “Never stop moving. Even if I was just playing with my kids in the pool, I just tried to always keep moving my legs or arms or whatever I could do. Pick up the pace while picking up toys. The little stuff all adds up.”
- “Make the best of what little time you have. Either make that short workout really hard, or learn how to cook a healthy meal in the slow cooker while you’re at work.”
- “Have a support network. Whether it’s a friend or a family member, somebody who you can vent to or get encouragement from is important.”
- “Most importantly, have a plan, and stick to it, but be flexible.”
Amy Grasso, 29, of Kettering, is the mother of an 18-month-old son.
Grasso gained 45 pounds during her pregnancy. She lost 49 pounds after giving birth. It took her four and a half months.
“Losing the baby weight can be incredibly difficult for moms due to the time factor,” she said. “Being a mother requires a lot of time and effort, and sometimes finding that hour or even 30 minutes to get a workout in can be quite the task. Eating properly and getting proper nutrition are incredibly important in getting your body back, and sometimes we, as mothers, focus more on the needs of other’s rather than ourselves.”
Grasso took these steps to lose her pregnancy weight:
- “INSANITY (fitness program) — My No. 1 way of getting back in shape”
- “Shakeology, a meal replacement shake that was quick and easy that I would eat for breakfast.”
- “Tapering my carbs”
- “Taking walks outside with my little one”
- “Drinking a lot of water”
- “Dedicating one hour a day as ‘me time’ which is when I would do INSANITY”
- “Gaining the support of my family and friends to help me through my weight loss journey”
- “Staying focused and committed to my workouts”
Successful strategies for losing baby weight
- Eat nutritious meals and snacks every few hours.
- Drink plenty of water — at least eight glasses a day. Breast milk is 50 percent water, and water is also an important part of every metabolic process.
- Establish a regular, appropriate fitness routine.
- Get adequate amounts of rest and sleep.
- Take your supplementation that is recommended by your doctor.
- Focus on feeling good, and do not worry about the number on the scale. It will take care of itself if you do all of the above.
- If you do hit a plateau, see your doctor. Your lack of weight loss may be related to hormones, a medical condition, poor nutrition or a fitness routine that is not appropriate for your goal.”
Source: Dr. Rob Kominiarek, author and online fitness show host who works with patients at Kettering Health Network’s Grandview Medical Center
Dr. Rob Kominiarek, America’s Fitness Doctor™
Office address: 450B Washington-Jackson Road, Eaton, Ohio 45320
Office phone number: 937-456-8370