Recently, my husband and I have gotten many compliments on our weight loss. And most of the time, people ask us what we did. It’s true, since our 14 month old was born, we’ve both lost several pounds. I, myself, lost all of my baby weight plus dropped another 20. Alex lost about 30 pounds.
I wish I could tell you we just made one simple change and it did the trick. However, we had to make many lifestyle changes to get where we are now. There’s no one secret diet, workout plan, or supplement that worked for us. Instead, we took several small steps that seemed to add up to the perfect solution for us.
Just remember that every person and every body is different, and our small changes might not work for you, but I hope this might guide you to making your own steps towards a healthier life.
So, here’s a list of our mostly healthy lifestyle changes.
1 – Having a Child
Okay, so I don’t recommend having a child just to meet your weight loss goals. However, for my husband and I, this humongous lifestyle change definitely helped us step in the right direction.
For me, it all started with breastfeeding, which basically sucks the life right out of you. But seriously, breastfeeding can burn up to 500 extra calories a day. That’s the same as jogging for 45 minutes!
For my husband, he lost 10 pounds in just the first 3 days of being a father. I mean, most of it was lack of sleep and food, but also the constant getting up and down to tend to our every needs.
Overall, having a baby can be a pretty good calorie burner. Carrying a 6 plus pound sack of flour will tone the arms. Not to mention the picking up, setting down, bending over, squatting, and chasing you do as they grow.
2 – Reducing those Bad Carbs
It’s everywhere these days. Keto, Whole 30, Paleo. Cutting out starchy carbohydrates is the way to go. Well, they aren’t exactly wrong. At least, it worked pretty well for me and my husband.
So, did we go crazy Keto and cut it all out? Nope. We were just inspired by all of these diet fads, and took our own approach.
When it comes to our home cooked meals, we do our best to stick to meats and veggies. We eat a lot of rice and potatoes still, but we no longer make pasta or make meals with bread. We even try to stay away from tortillas.
But we are far from perfect, we still give in to our cravings at least weekly, if not more. I’ll talk more about our low-carb meals and such in another future blog.
3 – Cutting Down on Added Sugars
Now, did I say stop eating sugar altogether? Absolutely NOT! Why would we want to be completely miserable? The key is to cut out as much of the unnecessary sugar as possible.
By simply looking at the nutrition facts on the foods you buy, you’ll find that a lot (I mean a LOT) of foods have more sugar than you think in them. Just be more conscious of it.
But, Alex and I definitely have a sweet tooth. And most nights, you will probably find us on the couch having some kind of dessert. The key is PORTION CONTROL. Look at serving sizes. Look at the sugar content.
Find your perfect balance by indulging your cravings with a taste, but don’t go overboard.
I go into detail about cutting down on added sugars in my blog 3 Ways to Cut Down on Added Sugars.
4 – My Two-Cheat Rule
My two-cheat rule goes along with the last two points. Because, again, we’re not perfect. I have cravings. I can be lazy when it comes to cooking. I really love sugar and bread and pasta.
I would probably die if I didn’t cheat. So, that’s why I give myself a two-cheat rule.
Everyday, I give myself TWO serving limit of the foods I probably shouldn’t eat. This could be anything from a piece of toast, a cup of ice cream, a super-sugar-loaded-latte, French fries, pasta… you get the idea.
So, if I have a waffle for breakfast and a cheeseburger for lunch… that means meat and veggies for dinner and no dessert. The key is to limit the bad stuff without going completely crazy.
5 – Exercise (Of Course)
Working out has always been part of our routine. There’s been many times when I’ve slacked… especially when I was pregnant. So, after Lily was born and it was time to get back to it, it was not exactly easy. It’s never easy to get back to an exercise routine. But, all I can say is keep pushing yourself.
Start light and easy to get yourself into a groove, then keep challenging yourself. Try a variety of workouts.
That’s one way that I’ve managed to workout at least 5 days a week… mixing it up. Depending on the time I have, the weather, and if I can make it to the gym, almost every day is a different workout.
Walks. Jogs. Weight Lifting. Circuits. Yoga. Aerobics Classes. Barre Classes. None of these workouts take more than an hour. They can all be done in a variety of difficulty levels. There’s really no excuse to not stay active.
You can read more about how to keep exercise interesting by mixing it up in my blog, Exercise (My In-The-Middle Approach).
6 – Some Supplements
The few supplements that we take really don’t have much effect on our weight necessarily. However, they do help us maintain our healthy lifestyle.
For starters, we use a typical whey protein powder for protein shakes after workouts or for a meal replacement. We either simply mix it with almond milk, or blend it with almond milk and other ingredients to make a delicious smoothie. Stay tuned for posts about protein smoothie recipes!
We also recently started taking beet root powder. There’s several different brands that make it, but we really like the Nu-Therapy Power Beets.
It tastes pretty good just mixed with water. We take it as sort of a pre-workout, because it improves “muscle oxygenation during exercise.” And there’s a ton of other great health benefits. Read all about it in this Medical News Today article.
And last, but not least, my husband and I both became much better about taking vitamins, especially once I had to start taking a pre-natal.
These are just the few added measures we take to maintain our health, but there are lots of great products out there that may work for you and your body.
Finding your Perfect Balance
These are six lifestyle changes that my husband and I made after our daughter was born. Somehow, it really worked for us. Could we make even better changes? Of course. We’re always trying to improve our health.
The point is… there really isn’t a secret. If you want to improve your diet, fitness, health, and over-all life, make small changes here and there. Stick with those that work and keep trying new things. Don’t make yourself miserable by never eating a potato again (ugh, that’d be terrible).
And stay tuned for more posts about our perfect balance.
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