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As crazy as it sounds, I’ve had 4 babies in less than 3 years. It’s even crazier when you consider that includes 3 c-sections, twins born over 3 months premature, months in the NICU and the unexpected death of our daughter Dagny at just 14 days old. It’s been a whirlwind, to say the least! The twins, though still in the NICU, are now a couple months old and I’m ready to focus on postpartum weight loss.
Because my kiddos were born so close together, I didn’t lose all my baby weight from my first pregnancy before getting pregnant with my son less than 6 months later. I didn’t lose all the weight from those two pregnancies before getting pregnant with twins, either!
I’ve noticed a lot of shame and pressure in conversations about postpartum weight loss, and while I certainly have moments of not loving how my body looks, I’m determined to not choose the perspectives of pressure or panic. As I see it, we can want to change something while remaining calm, positive and relaxed in the pursuit. Plus, with a 16 month old at home and the twins in the NICU two hours away, I’m not opting into additional stress.
How I’m Approaching Postpartum Weight Loss
As is the case for many moms, postpartum weight loss isn’t as straight forward as weight loss in other seasons of life, because I have to factor in my milk supply. With two babies to feed, I can’t have that dropping down for the sake of weight loss. Plus, I’m recovering from a c-section which factors into my workout choices and I’m trying to overcome anemia from significant blood loss before the twins were born.
Most importantly, I only want weight loss I can sustain. For me, that means only adopting nutrition strategies that I’m willing (and wanting) to sustain for life. I’m not working hard for results that I can’t or won’t maintain – that’s the worst, in my opinion!
There are a few additional factors I think it’s important to share as they impact my food choices and lifestyle:
- I’m a super simple girl. I don’t do complex recipes and I want to spend as little time as possible cooking.
- I currently spend 7-8 hours a day outside of the house between driving to/from the hospital and visiting with the twins.
- I don’t make separate meals for my 16-month old. Everything I eat needs to be something he can/will eat.
- I don’t eat foods I don’t enjoy. I love food! I want to enjoy every meal. That’s a must for me.
- Though sleep is important for fat loss (and healing), I don’t get much of it. My 16 month old is going through a sleep regression and I get up by 4:30 every morning to drive to the hospital.
- I think working out is incredibly important for health and longevity. It’s not, however, primary for fat loss. Nutrition is. So, while I workout a few days a week, that’s more of a lifestyle strategy and not a fat loss strategy. Fat loss is all about hormones and nutrition.
Eating for Postpartum Weight Loss
This is what works for me right now. It doesn’t mean this is what works for you. In fact, what so many people overlook is that one of the reasons this works for me is because it’s inclusive of foods I love. If these aren’t foods you love or look forward to eating, it’s probably not right for you!
These are also foods that my toddler will eat and foods that are super portable for my trips to and from the hospital. I also drink about a gallon of water throughout the day.
Here’s a pretty typical day of eating:
4:30am coffee with a splash of heavy cream
5am 5% (full fat) plain greek yogurt with 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
9am Kalahari Biltong (sugar free beef jerky)
11:30am Chipotle Mexican Grill (Here’s my order: burrito bowl, no rice or beans, add fajita veggies, steak, pico, guacamole)
2:45pm protein shake made with water, ice and a spoonful of cashew butter
5:30pm spaghetti squash topped with ground beef, tomatoes, basil and cheese
**Sometimes I’ll have some popcorn before bed, but I go to bed as early as humanly possible, so when I have the choice of bed or popcorn, bed wins!
Two or three times a week we’ll go out to dinner instead of eating at home. I’ve found that as long as I’m not choosing starch or sugar, I can be pretty flexible in what I order. I remind myself that if I eat even just 4 times per day, including snacks, that’s 28 times per week. Two or 3 of those 28 times aren’t the make or break for fat loss. With that perspective, I don’t stress over eating out as much as I used to. However, I have done a few podcast episodes on eating out, if that’s something you want help with. Check out episodes 091 and 439 of the Primal Potential podcast for more on this!
Supplementing for Postpartum Recovery and Weight Loss
It’s hard to distinguish between supplements I take for restoring health after pregnancy/c-section and supplements I take to support weight loss because at the end of the day, your body will resist fat loss if it’s unwell. Supporting recovery is supporting weight loss. Of course none of these supplements are required for fat loss, but I’d be leaving a lot out if I didn’t include this part of my protocol.
Thorne Ferrasorb – this is an iron supplement I take because of my postpartum anemia. I don’t take iron daily outside of this goal.
Relief+ – this is an all natural anti-inflammatory. There’s a lot of inflammation in your system after pregnancy and delivery. Additionally, carrying extra weight often initiates inflammation and yet excess inflammation can slow fat loss. This is one I take all the time, even outside of a fat loss or postpartum period.
GBXFit – this one is the world’s first quadbiotic and it’s a supplement that specifically targets fat loss.
Mood+ – this is an all natural adaptogen that helps to moderate the body’s stress response. This is a must-have for restoring hormone balance, reducing the likelihood of postpartum depression and facilitating fat loss (because stress inhibits fat loss). I take this in all seasons of life.
KidsMood – same as above, just a different formula to tackle different angles. I take this in all seasons of life.
Grass fed Beef Liver – you won’t catch me eating liver. I think it’s disgusting but the health and healing benefits are unrivaled.
Omega – If you don’t take DHA, you don’t have DHA. For a million reasons, this is one I take daily. Fat is healing and healed bodies burn fat better. These omega fatty acids are some of the most important ones. I take this in all seasons of life.
What About Workouts?
As I shared earlier, I view working out as something to do for longevity, mental health and energy more than something for fat loss. After all, you can negate the caloric benefits of a workout in a single snack or meal! If you can only focus on one thing for postpartum fat loss, have it be nutrition!
With that said, I emphasize walking as much as possible and lifting weights a few times per week. I’ll move toward heavier weights as my core heals from my c-section. I like to focus on compound functional movements like squatting, deadlifting, pressing and pulling. These workouts are low intensity and short in duration. Nutrition and hormones are the drivers of fat loss, especially postpartum!
What did I leave out? I’m an open book so hit me with any questions you have and join the Primal Potential FB group to see and hear more updates from my journey!