Tips For Staying Healthy and Active Postpartum

Losing the Baby Weight - Update and Status Report - The Lemon Bowl

A quick update and progress report on losing the baby weight plus tips for staying healthy and active postpartum.

Losing the Baby Weight - Update and Status Report - The Lemon Bowl

Five months ago I gave birth to the most adorable, happy, blue-eyed baby (if I do say so myself.) He is the light of my life and if you follow me on Instagram, I apologize in advance for the endless baby photos.

Mommy and Baby - The Lemon Bowl

Three months ago, I shared my Strategy and Game Plan for Losing the Baby Weight so I thought it might be a good time to check back with a quick update and progress report.

First thing’s first, I’m excited to report that I have lost over 34 pounds since giving birth in November. That is an average of a little over 1.5 pounds/week which means I’ve exceeded my goal of losing 1 pound/week by 150%. I am 21 pounds away from my goal weight so I am 62% of the way there.

Weight Chart - 5 Months Postpartum

There have been many ups and downs over the last 5 months (as you can clearly see above!) but I can definitely pinpoint a few strategies that have been working well:

Eat More Calories from Protein:

If you’ve never used a food tracker to see what percentage of your daily calories come from carbohydrates vs. protein vs. fat, you may be surprised. Trust me, I love healthy carbs like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and fruit. But I’ve found that even just a slightest shift in the percentage of overall total calories coming from protein results in better weight loss. These Ham & Cheese Baked Egg Cups have been a huge help to start my day off with a heft dose of protein. While I’m not strictly gluten-free, I have found that I am eating and cooking more and more gluten-free recipes as a result.

Exercise Chart - The Lemon Bowl

Frequent Exercise:

It’s not rocket science, but you wouldn’t believe how many excuses I can come up with to avoid exercising! “I won’t have time to make dinner.” “I’m too tired.” “I don’t like the class being offered tonight.” Every single day there are hurdles and obstacles to overcome in order to get to the gym.

The fact is, if you wait for perfect conditions to exercise, you’ll never exercise a day in your life. Between breastfeeding, nap schedules, fevers, doctors appointments, household duties, work deadlines, friend commitments, etc. it is pretty easy to see why people can accidentally go months without stepping foot in the gym. (Replace gym with your preferred choice of exercise.)

Once I got out of my own way and stopped making excuses, the weight started to fall off. As I always say, the only person who will make your health a priority is yourself.

Back Bend

Variety and Intesity:

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of switching up your exercise routine on a regular basis. One of the reasons I love group exercise classes is because I can take a different class every single day. Going from kickboxing to yoga to cardio blast all in one week not only helps me prevent boredom but it keeps my body guessing and my muscles growing. If you’re hitting the elliptical for 45 minutes every day, your body is going to get used to it and results will be slow and minimal. Whether you change up the intensity, boost your speed, or increase the number of weights you’re lifting, I’ve found that my body always drops weight fastest when I keep my workouts varied.

What are your best tips and strategies for losing weight, boosting your health or staying fit? I would love to hear from you.

33 thoughts on “Tips For Staying Healthy and Active Postpartum”

  1. I came across your site when I was looking for motivation to lose my baby weight after I had my son in February this year. My goal weight is about 50 lbs less than what I am now, which sounds about the same as yours, and I am cooking my way through your recipes:). Seven lbs down, 43 to go. At least I have a ton of recipes I am excited about! Thanks for the help.

  2. Great progress. I was lucky w/ both my pregnancies, well not lucky, but bc I have always worked out and still did during my pregnancies I didn’t gain too much weight. My water broke w/ my first child while I was in the elliptical at the YMCA :-) I agree with you and I find that intensity is key to make workouts more effective. You are doing amazing and 34lbs is a big number to celebrate.

  3. Amazing, Liz! This is very inspirational! I am 16 weeks pregnant and I am up about 6 pounds. My OB only wants me gaining 15 based on my pre-pregnancy weight and I’m feeling so overwhelmed with that. My eating has been pretty good, but due to fertility drugs, all of my favorite exercises are no more — hockey, running, and for awhile, tennis. I’ve been limited to low-impact, light-to-moderate intensity workouts and my body can soooo tell a difference. I always imagined having a super fit pregnancy where nothing would change and it just isn’t shaping up to be that way and it’s tough to come to terms with that. Of course, my little peanut is 2319820% worth it, but being pregnant isn’t always a walk in the park emotionally, physically, etc. Anyway, I just went off on some huge rant, but I thank you for sharing your story and progress — you’re inspiring! :)

  4. Charlotte Moore

    Congratulations!!! It takes will power and lots of work and determination to get weight off. I know from my past of losing and gaining. Now I am older and have no will power at all. I need to lose 20 pounds and can’t seem to do anything. I have lost on WW before and did great. For some reason I just can’t do it now.

    All you younger women get your weight off now. It is much harder when you get older.

  5. Thanks for sharing this update, Liz! (You look fantastic, by the way!) I am always making excuses to exercise and although I want, and need, to lose some weight to become healthier, I have ZERO motivation. I’ve been doing great in the food department, incorporating more fruits and veggies into our diets, eating lean meats, more whole wheat and fiber, etc. But the exercise part kills me. I think I need to take your suggestion and find some fun classes to take. Maybe that will be the motivation I need!

    1. Oh trust me I completely get it!!! Finding exercise classes was KEY for me. I know it’s not for everyone though which is why I always say, find what you love to do and then it won’t feel like working out. Keep me posted if you try any!! Wish we could go together!

  6. Keep up the good fight, you’re such an inspiration. I look at the calendar and think, jeez, I could have already been down to my goal weight if I’d been more diligent with exercise. I’ve found that’s the only way my body responds too. And it’s the hardest to fit in. Good luck on the rest of it. Which app has those charts? They’re rad.

  7. Thanks for sharing this, Liz! I remember being so thankful around the 5 month mark after having Riley because I finally started to feel like the ‘me’ that was there before baby. I had an emergency c-section, which made my recovery time/no-exercise time quite long and I was so happy to finally be able to move around. Enjoy every victory, big and small, and don’t sweat the small stuff! You’re amazing! Sending lots of love to you and those beautiful boys of yours! xo

  8. Great update! I gave birth to my second son in January of 2013. It took me about 5 months post-partum to realize the baby weight wasn’t just going to magically melt off if I didn’t DO something. I updated MFP app, broke out the food scale, and dusted off the treadmill and workout dvd’s. It took another 10 months, but now I’m down 45 pounds and actually weigh less than when I got pregnant.

    My biggest tip is planning, planning and more planning. I work full-time and have two crazy energetic boys. I have to plan my day or it’s way too easy to lose focus and usually the first thing that goes is my exercise for the day. Right after the boys go to bed I workout, even though usually the couch is call my name, but knowing that is the only free time I really have means that’s the time it is. I do a monthly meal plan, so I can be well prepared with healthy meal ideas and have my grocery lists broken down by the week. I have a monthly workout calendar too (I like calendars and love the feeling of accomplishment when I can cross out completed meals/workouts every day. Having a meal plan helps reduce our eating out where it’s a lot harder to monitor my calories. I am a big advocate for counting calories/measuring food portions (I know some people don’t like to, but serving sizes are always WAY smaller than I think they should be so I weigh pretty much everything!) I feel so much better knowing I’m a healthy weight and have more energy to be active with my kids. Plus I hope it sets a good example for them and will start them on an active, healthy lifestyle.

    1. These are such great strategies to success, Tara!! It really is all about the planning. I’m also a huge fan of portion control and calorie counting. As a foodie, it’s pretty much a necessity for me to keep myself accountable. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts!!

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