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I would say I’ve never been a thin person. Even in highschool, I was always trying out some new diet. However, my weight was at least in the normal range.

Then came marriage and baby #1. I was now 30 lbs heavier then in highschool and entering into that “overweight” category.

After baby # 2, I gained back my baby weight when I stopped nursing and now was 50 lbs too heavy.

Despite working at losing those 50 lbs for almost 2 years, they never really went away. Sure I’d lose 10 lbs but then I’d gain it all back. Nothing seemed to really work.

I wanted to lose the weight before baby #3 but I finally gave up on that. I got pregnant with baby #3 at 50 lbs heavier then I should have been and in the head-hanging-in-shame BMI category of obese.

Thankfully when I became pregnant, I started changing my diet. I started switching to real food and it has made all the difference.

During my whole pregnancy, I didn’t gain a single pound. Yes, I know that sounds like the worst thing to do when you are pregnant but studies have actually shown that if you are obese, you do not need to gain weight. In fact, you can even lose a bit.

Obviously I do not recommend that to someone who is not obese. It’s perfectly normal to gain weight while pregnant. It’s not that I wasn’t eating, trust me I was! The difference was WHAT I was eating.

After I had my baby, I reaped that lovely benefit of losing 20 lbs. Technically, I had lost weight while being pregnant.

I continued to eat real food and within 6 month had lost another 30 lbs bringing my total to 50 lbs lost.

I am now back down to my highschool weight and I don’t feel like I had to sacrifice to get there.

Want to know what changes I made that helped me lose all that weight?

How I lost 50 Pounds With Real Food

I Switched Oils
I got rid of the bad oils (canola, vegetable, etc) and replaced them with good oils (extra virgin olive oil, butter, and coconut oil.) Leaning more towards coconut oil whenever I could.

I Switched to Whole Grains
I switched even more of my grains to whole grains. I had already switched from white to brown rice so we stared doing whole wheat flour as well. I also started soaking my grains.

I also eat a low-grain diet. Generally I only eat grains with one meal a day.

I Switched to Whole Milk
I switched from 2% milk to whole milk. Yes, you read that right. I now use a higher fat milk.  There are many reasons to switch to full fat dairy but since we are only talking about the weight issue right now, I’ll just mention that whole milk and the fat that is in it actually helps your metabolism. It’s a lot like coconut oil, really.

I Drank More
I drink my liquids. I oddly don’t drink much water. Instead, I am hooked on Red Raspberry Leaf tea. I started drinking it for the pregnancy/labor benefits but I continued drinking it for it’s all around health benefits. But there are lots of things to drink besides water!

I Ditched Sugar
I ditched sugar and went to stevia or honey. I drink my tea sweet and since I drink about 4-6 cups of iced tea a day, I needed something healthier then sugar.

I switched to stevia. Not only am I saving a ton of calories and getting my sweet fix but stevia also helps blood sugar levels and that seems to help me a lot.

I Started Exercising
I exercise… Although I’ll be honest and tell you that since hitting my goal and with the summer heat, I haven’t exercised like I did or should. I try to exercise 5 days a week usually for about 20 minutes each time.

Everyone has his or her exercise preference. For me, I found that Jillian Michael’s exercise dvd’s work great. Particularly her 30 Day Shred as I knew that I only had to do it for 30 days and even those 30 days are broken into 10 day segments. Seeing myself make those mini goals keeps me going.

I Counted Calories
Yes, I also counted calories. I wasn’t horribly strict about it but I knew that if I didn’t keep track of what I ate, I could eat a weeks worth in calories. I used myfitnesspal to keep track of what I ate, how much I exercised and also see how I was meeting my goals.

I Planned Smart Cheat Days
I allow for “cheat days”. If I try to stick to something 100%, I will inevitably give in and usually ruin all that I had previously achieved.

Therefore, I make a deal with myself to eat properly at least 5 days of the week. The other two days are usually my husband’s days off and that means he’s home for lunch. I know that when he’s home, we are more prone to eating a bit more out of my proper eating habit. However, with this plan, I know that I can have some ice cream on my “off” days as long as I’m good on my “on” days.

There you have it. That is how I lost my 50 lbs. I will of course make the obligatory statement saying that I am not a doctor or any such thing and therefore you shouldn’t go jumping on the Pistachio wagon just because it works for me.

However, I wanted to share what works for me. If you can benefit from what I have learned then wonderful but don’t go crazy doing just what I do.

Remember that the only way to lose weight is to make a lifestyle change. If you only change things until you reach your goal and then go back to your old ways, you will go back to your old weight.