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After my son turned a year old, I felt guilty not having lost all the weight that I had gained during my pregnancy. When I would complain in his early months about my weight, people kept reassuring, “oh but you just had a baby, it’s not a big deal.” Except that a year later, it was a big deal to me and I didn’t feel like myself. I had been 127 lbs before getting pregnant and was looking at a whopping 168 every time I stepped on the scale. At his birth I was at 201 lbs! Some weight fell off from fluids and the attempt of breastfeeding but I couldn’t manage to get back to normal. Since I’m so short, it wasn’t just visually displeasing to see myself this heavy but it was also unhealthy because it meant my body mass index (BMI) was too high…in other words, I had more fat on my body than I should have.
My brother gave me a diet plan to use in October, I think, and at first I didn’t think I could keep up but the more I realized how doable it was, the more I followed it and the more my body responded. I was losing about 2-3 lbs a week at the beginning but I was also feeling more alert and better. I wasn’t groggy or irritable, which apparently can be a side effect of your nutrition (or lack of).
Eventually, I stopped losing weight so I had to be more dedicated about doing cardio two or three times a week and that’s when the diet plus the exercise started paying off. Even on business trips, I would bring my running shoes and run at the hotel gym…or around the hotel building if they had no gym. I went from 201 to 160 in 6 months and from 168 to 139 in another 5 months.
These are the things he told me to avoid. The juice was the hardest at first because I wasn’t used to drinking only water every day for every meal but it did wonders for me and I stopped craving the sugary drinks after two weeks of not having them at all.
6. Cheese (dairy in general)
7. Breads that aren’t whole grain or multigrain
8. Fast food
9. Granola bars
10. Juice/Soda/Energy Drinks
11. Potatoes (unless they’re sweet potatoes)
I never gave up cheese (what rational person would?! I love cheese ha) but that just meant it took longer for me to lose the weight I wanted. It should also be noted that my brother allowed me one cheat day but those cheat days would always throw me off and I would crave the bad things for the rest of the week so I didn’t allow myself ‘cheat’ days until after I lost the weight I wanted.
If I did cheat it was usually pizza, which isn’t all that terrible for you besides the bread I guess. The things above either have too much sugar, saturated fats, simple carbs (as opposed to complex carbs like sweet potatoes and brown rice), oils, preservatives, empty calories (that make you hungrier), and other bad junk. Lots of this stuff actually affects how the systems in your body (including your heart and metabolism) do their jobs. You can do some research for yourself.
My point is that I didn’t need a personal trainer or some fancy diet plan to hit my goals. I just had to commit to eating better and being active more than usual. It’s tough to fight temptation but once you start something like this, you become motivated to finish–especially when you’re seeing things happen and your body transform.
And you wonder why more people don’t live this way if it makes such a difference. I stopped craving bad foods for awhile after I ended my restrictions but now I know that I can stop whenever as long as I’m dedicated and remember the awesome benefits!
Everyone’s different so don’t expect the same results as me within the same time frame (yours could take less time or more time), especially if you have different goals. But this is an amazing start for anyone that wants to see something happen and that is willing to work for it, because having restrictions on what you eat is just as important as what you do eat.
My brother recommended protein and a green for dinner and chicken and brown rice or a sandwich with whole grain bread for lunch. For breakfast, high protein levels found in eggs and Greek yogurt are the way to go. Almonds and carrots are ideal for snacks. It wil take time to stick to your plan but it’s worth it, believe me!
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific questions or don’t understand why certain foods on this list are bad for you! Happy to help if I can!