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postnatal weight loss

(343 Posts)
Bo Fri 08-Jun-01 20:24:56

Any ideas how to safely shift all that post natal weight? 7 months on after having 2 very close together I am getting fed up with all my bulk, but I'm still breast feeding, so feel I need to be careful, especially as I am very low in iron (at least).

I know I could loose some weight when I stop breastfeeding, but that doesn't help me now! I hate cooking and preparing food, so I can't do anything too complicated. my husband had a fit when I even suggested something along the lines of slimfast. Any words of wisdom gratefully received. (Ireckon I need to shift about 15 Kilos)

Suew Fri 08-Jun-01 23:12:52

I'm rather more postnatal that you (4.5yrs since I had my daughter!) but I have just started Weightwatchers.

I lost about 5 kilos/11lbs on my own but then hit a plateau. I joined WW at Easter and have lost 8kgs/17lbs in the 7 weeks since then - total lost 13kg since Xmas.

I like the freedom it gives you to choose your own foods - there are recipe suggestions each week and a diet to follow if you wish but you can do your own thing.

You get extra points for breastfeeding and at our local group mums regularly bring toddlers and babies.

My typical day's food would be something like banana or egg on toast for breakfast; tuna salad sandwich for lunch; steak and salad/chicken and rice/bean casserole for dinner. That food would only be about half my allowance of points - then you can add in mayo, fruit, muesli bar, milk, jkt potato, etc.

I also walk a lot more now. Mainly this is cos we don't have a car here in Australia but I find I am consciously making an effort to walk more.

I was anti-WW for a long time - always thought I shouldn't have to pay to lose weight but I am a complete convert now. I don't buy their products in the supermarket though - if I'm going to have a treat I'd rather use the extra points for the real thing than eat a pale imitation!

If you can't get to meetings you can do WW at home - a few of my friends in the UK have had success using a CD-Rom. Last year 3 friends each lost 3.5 stone doing this and were thrilled.

Good luck. I feel so much better and have gone down two sizes in clothes.

Toddlertamer Sat 09-Jun-01 09:28:08

I've also had two children quite close together and 8 months later I'm still fighting the battle of the bulge but I've found exercise and a sensible diet to be the key!

I decided that apart from losing weight my self esteem needed a pick me up so I've started a yoga class once a week. It's a great way to get lean and toned muscles and it helps you relax and be calm. Very useful when looking after two young children. My class is in the evenings but there are lots of classes around in the daytime as well and some places have child care available at a small extra cost. Beginners classes are usually available which will get you started.

You can also get video tapes to do at home - I recommend Barbera Currie The Power of Yoga but there are other videos you can get which are very good. Yoga is really good but it helps if you can do a little each day (Barbera does two 10 minute toneups which I think most people can fit in at some point in the day)!

It also seems to have a good effect on my eating plan. As I feel so relaxed and calm afterwards I'm not heading for the larder every time the children are screaming or I feel stressed.

Yoga and lots of walking with the pushchair will definately help you firm up and lose that bulge!
And by eating sensibly with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables included in your diet you'll definately look and feel much better!

I've also read a book called 'Lighten Up' which helps people get off the diet trap and control there weight without following rigid diets only to later put it all back on when the diet's finished (you might find this helpful if you dieted before and found this happens once you've finished the diet).

Good luck !!!

Ems Sat 09-Jun-01 12:10:59

Weightwatchers Weightwatchers Weightwatchers

I've done it after both babies and it is fantastic. You are able to do it whilst breastfeeding, its not hard to follow, it becomes sensible eating and you are rewarded by exercising, it earns you more points, ie you can still eat chocolate and have treats, but you count it in your daily points! There is something about going weekly to weigh in that keeps you really motivated and focussed.

I would really really recommend it.

Jodee Sat 09-Jun-01 12:23:57

I was still more than a stone overweight when my son was 9 months old, and to be honest the thought of exercising/dieting up to that point was furthest from my mind, I just felt so tired and lethargic looking after baby. It just so happened that my son was 9 months just before New Year, and I never usually make New Year Resolutions but I felt better mentally and physically about myself so really made an effort to lose weight.
I personally hate gyms and I know a lot of people swear by WW but what worked for me was also a sensible diet and moderate exercise. I just cut out all the junk - chocolate, crisps, etc. I too can't be doing with cooking preparing special diet meals and just ate normally with the family, but I switched to skimmed milk for tea/cereal, fat-free yogs and salad dressings.
I made an effort to do a lot more walking, pushing the buggy etc. and went swimming once a week.
After 2 months I'd lost nearly a stone and am so happy that I can fit in my pre-baby trousers again!
Different ways work for different people so find what works for you and GOOD LUCK!

Lizzer Sat 09-Jun-01 14:03:36

Hi Bo,
I would definitely start now while you're still breastfeeding as you are using lots of your food calories to make milk. I lost 3 stone within the first 9 months of b/feeding simply by eating 3 good meals a day with a couple of healthy snacks plus going for a couple of long walks a week with the pushchair. I swear I could eat so much and lose more while breastfeeding than now I've stopped. I still need to lose a stone and it's a real slog now - watching every ounce I eat, going to the gym etc. Apparently you're body uses around 400 cals a day when you first start b/feeding which goes up to around 600 cals as your baby gets bigger and needs more milk. I wish I was still feeding her now - my Mum fed my sister for 3 yrs and she had the body of a supermodel when she'd finished!! I think Eulalia has said the same about herself in a thread about pro-longed b/feeding. It may just catch on as the next trend in the diet industry, forget slim-fast try the all new "breast feed your way back into those jeans" plan!!!

Good luck Bo! If you need a tip regarding exercise try and find a gym or leisure centre nearby that has a creche, then you get a break from your little one for an hour and get fit too!

Crunchie Sat 09-Jun-01 21:28:32

Hi Bo,

I am new here on Mumsnet, but I am on a diet now, with a 12 week old. I have lost nearly about 1 1/2 stone really easily. I am with Slimming World, another slimming 'club' and like SueW I find the weekly weigh-in really helpful to keep me motivated.

Personally I like Slimming World as there is no weighing of food (except for a few small things) and you can eat as much as you like of certain 'free' foods. This means it is great for when you are breast feeding as you eat lots of low-fat healthy food, and never need to get hungry. I have lost 13lbs in 4 weeks going there!

I also go to the gym 2 or 3 times a week including a post-natal exercise class where we all take our babies in with us.

I spoke to my Dr about dieting whilst breastfeeding and he was of the opinion that there is no problem. The body is designed to give the most possible nutrients to the baby no matter what the mother is eating, so since breast feeding uses up loads of calories there is no better time.

My advice, if you don't want to go to a slimming club is:

1) Cut out all the high fat snacks (crisps/chocolate etc)
2) Drink loads of water (I switched from diet coke to water and I am sure it has helped - tap water is fine, I just refil one of those 'sports' mineral water bottles and carry it around with me all the time)
3) Eat 3 sensible meals (I have cereal or toast for breakfast, Jkt potato & Beans & salad for lunch, and Pasta & low-fat sauce, or Rice and Stir fry veg for dinner)
4) Fill up your fruitbowl (take advantage of the lovely fruit in season, apples, grapes, cherries, strawberries, kiwis, melon etc)

Seriously though the Slimming World diet is great as they have lots of convienience foods as 'free' food, so I am sure even you could cook rice/pasta and open a can of veggie curry/chilli. How difficult is that??

Check out the website at www.slimming-world.co.uk that has details of the diet and how to find a class.

Lizzer Sun 10-Jun-01 21:22:22

Hey Crunchie, there's a slimming world near me but I've always thought it would be really expensive - or does it work out quite reasonable?
I was wondering if you can take children along too?

Azzie Mon 11-Jun-01 08:22:03

Having something to motivate you is a very good idea, whether it's a weekly weigh-in or a special occasion of some sort coming up. I knew I would never lose the weight if I didn't have some big incentive, so I signed up for a charity cycle ride. I figured that once I'd told everyone I was going to do it then I couldn't back out! I started the Rosemary Conley low fat diet when my daughter started solids, plus started training for the cycle ride. Over the following 5 months I lost 2.5 stone and went from just being able to cycle 3 miles to being able to complete the charity ride (London to Paris in 4 days).

Breastfeeding definitely helped the weight loss, as did the exercise (I'm not suggesting everyone goes to the lengths I did, but every little bit helps!). The other really good thing about sorting out some regular exercise if you can is that it gives you a break from being a mum, as well as being good for your self esteem.

Janes Mon 11-Jun-01 18:15:24

Bo - I think your comments about iron are very sensible; I'm a blood donor and having never had a low iron count before even in pregnancy was amazed to find a couple of years after baby no 2 that I was anaemic. The only explanation was that I was dieting. I dieted and dieted and put all the weight back on again and always felt tired when I was dieting so in the end I gave up. I weighed 2 stone more at the booking in appointment for my third child than with the other 2 - this was after a 6 year gap. However i reckon I put on far less weight that time - I put on 3 stone each with the other 2. I lost what i put on quite easily but that still left me at 13 1/2 stone!
I then resolved I really had to do something but was really scared I would get anaemic/tired again for obvious reasons - 3 children are hard enough when you are at your peak!. I couldn't go to Weightwatchers etc because my husband works in the evenings and my attempt at an exercise class ended in a potentially serious accident.
So it was down to my own willpower. I gave up all snacks of any description including fruit because I had found that was a slippery slope - keep eating to meal times. I ate low calory cereal for breakfast and crispbread for lunch but made sure I ate a sensible evening meal each day i.e. protein, veg etc not some salad or a "diet" meal and often with bread or pasta but no potatoes or chips, no puddings, no "treats" of any kind!! I did let myself go at Christmas but by then to my amazement I had lost 2 stone and I have since lost another stone so now weigh less than I have done for about 20 years.
I had found that in my 3rd pregnancy I came to loathe chips and crisps and this has largely stayed so that helped; I am also no longer "addicted" to chocolate and actually find ordinary confectionary quite distasteful so you can change the habits of a lifetime ( in my case anyway). Beyond that I am still in shock that I succeeded!
I am posting this because I hope this will inspire someone - even after years of trying you can get there.
Good luck!

Madasahatter Tue 12-Jun-01 13:11:09

Bo, I feel like a camel when I'm breastfeeding. I simply cannot shift the weight - if I eat less I feel hungry and weak and cannot produce milk, unless I've been doing it wrong for the last 3 babes. Normally, I can only lose weight after I've stopped breastfeeding. The ideas suggested already are fantastic and an inspiration (for me at least - I'll print this off for when I'm b-feeding my next child - I admire the women who can lose weight while breastfeeding)

Give yourself a break, relax while you're breastfeeding and keep this special time free of worry about losing weight it's just another burden you maybe shouldn't be taking on right now. You'll lose the weight when it's the right time. Be kind to yourself - you deserve it.

Esme Tue 12-Jun-01 15:01:36

I lost very little weight after I had my baby and although exclusively breast fed my child began to put more weight on. By the time my child reached 9 months old and despite the fact that I was still breast feeding I decided that to boost my self confidence I had to lose weight so I joined weight watchers and have never looked back. I still breast feed (my baby is now 14 months old but have lost all but 7 pounds of my excess weight. The dieting hasn't affected the amount of milk I produce although this may be different for others. I wish I had decided to diet earlier and will do if I ever have another baby as it makes you feel so much better. I do think that any diet especially while breast feeding should be sensible and follow a well balanced eating programme. I also think you should allow your body some recovery period and make sure that feeding and milk production is well established before starting a diet.

Bo Tue 12-Jun-01 19:08:19

Thanks so much for all your ideas - some of them I've definitely taken on board. I'd love to join WW or something similar, but there isn't anything near me. Any low fat recipe books or any other good recommendations?

Ems Tue 12-Jun-01 20:11:12

Bo, you can actually do WW at home, call 01628 418 500. They have a 'Weight Watchers At Home' team and packs that they send out to you!

Crunchie Tue 12-Jun-01 20:56:07

Bo, You can also do Slimming World at home, they have a website, or you can do it by phone. However do try to find a class is there none at all near you??

Lizzer, Slimming World is not necessarily cheap, but it is worth it if it works. However it is no good joining a class if you cheat, you are only sheating yourself and therefore wasting money. I know people who go to class, but they don't seem to lose weight, I am sure it is because they cheat (well I know they do) To me there is no point.

Anyways costs are £10 ish first time (regestration and class fee) then £3.50 ish each week. I do a 10 week countdown that is about £30, it makes sure I go and gives me a discount. My goal was 20lbs in 10 weeks and I have lost 13lbs in just 5 weeks, so I'll keep going.

Each person has what works for them, but for me having a goal helps. Going to class gives me no excuses

Lizzer Tue 12-Jun-01 21:57:45

Yeah crunchie, I can see what you mean - paying for it would make me not want to give up. I can't believe you lost 13lbs in 5 weeks - fantastic - I'm going to their website right now!!!

Pj Tue 12-Jun-01 22:28:13

Slimming World looks brilliant, I have all the stuff passed on to me but cant quite get mysel;f to start - the reason?? Because I cannot believe you can eat what they say and still lose weight (do I sound like an ad?). Crunchie, can you really eat unlimited pasta or rice? I am a carbs addict but with the current trend towards high protein diets I feel guilty if I eat them in excess. Can I really eat until I am so full there is no room for more? I dont beleive it myself but would love to be conviced - it may be the diet for me. Anyone else tried Slimfast? My mother gave up after one meal and passed be a load of cans - I too gave up after one meal, thought I was going to pass out.

Lizzer Tue 12-Jun-01 22:45:09

No way! Just been on s/world website and there is a sample 14 day menu (loads of choices). I totally don't see how you can eat that much and lose weight either?!! I'll give it a go if only to prove it wrong, here goes....!!

Paula1 Wed 13-Jun-01 10:19:00

Lizzer, Slimming world really does work. So long as you stick to the diet. I actually only went to the class twice and then just did the diet myself. I found the class absolutely awful, but I'm not the kind of person who gets inspiration from a group of people. This is probably ver contraversial, but why would you pay to go to a slimming class, and then sit in a circle and talk about why you didn't stick to the diet???? Maybe that was just the one that I went to, perhaps they're not all like that?

Bo Wed 13-Jun-01 10:41:56

i don't live in UK, so ther's difinitley not a class of WW or SW, and I don't speak enough or the lingo to go to a local one, if there is one, What's SW's web site address anyone? I am determined but my hubbie doesn't agree with diets, and especially not while I'm breastfeeding, so I'm pretty much doing it in secret, therefore with no support. Yours is therefore really appreciated! I have lost a couple of kilos so far.

Suew Wed 13-Jun-01 10:53:50

I go to WW for the weigh-in each week but have rarely stayed for the pep talk.

It has been very positive when I have stayed - talking about new ways of doing fave recipes and reading labels for hidden fats or talking about what pulse rate you should aim for for fat-burning.

But as I get there fairly early to weigh in, I have ended up sitting around for 20-30 mins waiting for the talk. Well, in that time I could have walked 3km so I'd rather go and do that. My own time is precious to me and I don't want to waste it waiting for something to happen.

Paula1 Wed 13-Jun-01 11:12:46

Bo, I think that you can join both of them as a 'remote member' via the Web. I think they send you a pack in the post. I also think that they are both fine to do while you're feeding, as both involve sensible eating (not starving yourself). Particularly with slimming world - the amount you can actually eat and still lose weight is amazing.

Ems Wed 13-Jun-01 13:49:46

The good thing about WW is that you can follow day by day recipes and they suggest your 'shopping lists' if you are that sort of person. Or if you cant do it that way, then you can do your own and count your own points. It really is easy. (Go for it Lizzer! I've lost 2 stone)

Lizzer Wed 13-Jun-01 14:39:54

Thanks for the encouragement Ems! I really need to shift 2 stone if I'm honest with myself, I used to be 3 stone lighter in my wild 'n crazy student days - but then I hardly ate a thing! I would love to have the confidence that I used to have. My impending 'big night out' in Manchester is looming in a couple of weeks and I'm distraught already knowing that I'm going to be the biggest person in the restaurant and club! (Going out with 4 perfect size 10's doesn't really help matters!) I'm beating myself up about it and drowning in self pity - there has to be a better way! When I think of all the money I waste on utter rubbish every week I think I could quite easily spare £4 or whatever. It's really come to a head now as I spent all morning in tears and I'm not having my little girl grow up watching me like that - enough is enough. Sorry Bo I've totally taken over your thread - maybe we could update each other on our weight loss to encourage each other, what do you say?!

Ems Wed 13-Jun-01 16:54:30

Oh Lizzer, dont get in a state about it. Because you can do something about it. It seems like a huge task I know, but bit by bit week by week it comes off. And by going to get weighed each week, it really motivates you to keep going. I'd lost a stone in 8 weeks. I used to treat myself, I had a massage at half a stone, shoes at one stone and then got into the new clothes bit!!

Have you got a friend you can go with? That support helps too, although this place here is very supportive! You go to the gym/creche don't you? That helps too, it either helps speed up the weight loss or earns you more points. So you can go to the gym, earn 3 points and have a cadburys creme egg or 3 glasses of wine, the choice is yours!!

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