When I had my third son I knew I would have minimal personal time and no extra energy for the gym. I also did not want to diet as I was breastfeeding. This meant I had to form a plan if I wanted to lose the weight quick. Here are the five routines I put in place which helped me lose 40 pounds in 7 weeks.
1) Don’t sit down at the playground
It’s very tempting to immediately plop down on the bench next to the playground and catch up on Facebook and send a few texts. Instead, I used the time my older sons were on the playground to fit in some exercise. Everyday we went to at least one playground and I briskly walked the perimeter while keeping an eye on them. I usually put my infant in the baby carrier which added a bonus of lulling him to sleep. At the end, a quick stretch of arm and leg muscles felt invigorating.
2) Never eat the kids’ leftovers
My sons hardly ever finish their meals completely but I made it an absolute rule not to clean their plates myself. I made my own healthy breakfast and lunch and never once touched their half PB&J sandwich or string cheese or even leftover apple slices. Those extra bites can really add up and aren’t worth it!
3) Pump in the morning
Breastfeeding is a great way to lose the weight (among other benefits). I’ve read on average the body burns 20 calories to make 1 ounce of breastmilk. So I decided to do an extra pump and dump each morning before my baby woke up. Pumping 5 ounces can burn 100 calories to replace with just 10 minutes of time! This also had the added benefit of easing some uncomfortableness from being overly full and stimulating more milk production. Taking a warm shower immediately afterward stimulated more milk in preparation for when my baby woke up.
4) Don’t drink calories
I knew I needed extra calories and nutritional variety to create breastmilk but I did not want to diet. Instead I committed to eliminating caloric drinks. I bought a liter water bottle from Tupperware and made it a point to drink at least two of these a day of water. I eliminated soda (except seltzer) and stopped drinking frappuccinos.
5) Prepare healthy snacks
The best way not to eat snacks is not to buy them but that’s impossible (and cruel) with young kids in the house. I did allow myself to snack but I prepared ahead of time so I wouldn’t hungrily reach for the closest thing in sight. I bought baby carrots, nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, and hummus. My favorite was hollow pretzels. Allowing myself to eat when I was hungry ensured I was getting nutrients when I needed them but I made it easy to choose the healthy snacks that I actually like. This was way better than eating my kids’ cookies!
I still have 6 pounds to go but I can fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes and making this quick progress has encouraged me for the last stretch. These habits have helped me cheerfully lose the weight while having enough time and energy to spend with the kids. I feel healthy, full, and excited for the next 7 weeks!!