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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.
Love the post! We are working towards more healthier food choices and at least I have been more active. Though I will admit I've fallen off the being active wagon since the end of July. I've still managed to lose a bit but not where I want to be at this point. I was averaging 5 pounds a month since I started but now my average is 4 and unless I do something drastic between now and the end of the month my average monthly weight loss is going to be down to 3-1/2 pounds a month. I'm down 28 pounds since the end of January so still that is great. It's just been hard to find the motivation and energy to do a video or jump on our elliptical since our youngest started having seizures at the end of July. I spend all day on high alert with him and although I do sleep it is not restful. Hubby even let me sleep in this morning and I'm already dragging. To bed early for sure tonight! I've got another 20 to 25 that I'd like to lose so we'll see how much closer I am to that goal come the end of this year first of next when we may be TTCing again. Starting in December/January was our plan before the seizures started.
Lisa – Great job on the weight loss. My weight loss definitely slowed down a bit. In fact, there were some months when I eased up a bit just to get out of the plateau, so for instance April I didn't lose anything but then in May I lost 6 lbs I believe. Sometimes my body just needs a little break before loosing more weight. So sorry about your son and the seizures, that would be stressful. From what I've heard getting consistent hours of sleep is more important then how many hours of sleep… although I will take the chance to sleep in whenever I can get it! Good luck with your TTC! December/January is when I hope to be pregnant again by…(I want a maximum of 2 year gap between #3 and the next but we will see…breastfeeding might have other plans for me)
Thank you so much for this post! I previously used another website to track calories, but it was kind of expensive and they kept changing the layout, so it was super confusing too. This looks so much better, and I can even track breastfeeding calories! Hooray!
I had to give up bread due to intolerance's, but my diet is about the same as yours. I was so surprised to see the fat melt away after adding better fats to my diet instead of avoiding them altogether!! I feel fuller and healthier because of it. I wish more people knew the truth about the "Conventional Diet" and why it's not working for them! Thanks for this post.
Kudos! That's no mean feat!
Great job on your weight loss! It is really hard to keep the weight off unless you are taking some of the steps you mentioned above. BTW, how did you come up with name of your blog?
The Pistachio Project was a name my husband came up with. Pistachio's are green and crunchy which are the areas this blog focuses on. 🙂
I also do the Jillian Michael's DVDs and they are great. Currently we (My mom and I) are working out to the Ripped in 30, a different style from her 30 day shred but same concept, and when we get done with the 30 days we're going to add a "Walk at Home" DVD on top of it. An extra 15-20 minutes of walking and shuffling around in place before we get started on the workouts. 🙂
Congrats on the healthier lifestyle, keep it up! Just found this place and it's great.
I am working on eating only whole foods and I really hope that works! I've always been a dieter/calorie counter even though, like you, I was always somewhere in the normal range and loved my body before kids. At the moment, it seems as though my body is refusing to let go of the 70 pounds I've gained through 2 pregnancies, even when I strictly limit calories, even though I move more than I ever have, even though I'm breastfeeding. I'm really hoping this real food bizness is the answer!
I hope it helps Janine! It should! You also have to make sure you don't eat too little. When I drop too low in calories my weight plateaus and I loose nothing. If I eat normal or in my normal weight loss range I loose weight faster (but it's hard to remember that)