One of the most popular questions that I have been receiving is how did you get back in shape after having a baby? Getting back in shape after having a baby is one of the hardest things to do. Between caring for a newborn, balancing a new life and then trying to figure out how to lose the extra pounds is tough. I know a lot of people are eager to get back to their pre-baby body after having a baby; but this journey requires a big lifestyle adjustments.
Since this has been one of the most asked questions via email and on my Instagram. I am pleased to finally share how I got into shape after having a baby. While, there’s no BIG secret that’s out of the ordinary. Yes, I agree that I have lost a big chunk of weight since having Nova is February 2019, but again it’s been 11month now of working on my fitness and the journey never ends.
Although a lot of you might think I have “snapped back” which is far from it. I am nowhere back to my pre-baby weight and I am not in a rush to get there. I still have a belly pouch depending on the day. Hey, it took me 10month to gain and carry a human, so I am not beating myself up about it and you shouldn’t. One thing everybody has to bear in mind is that we all have different body types and genes. What works fast for me might not necessarily work as fast for another person. One key word to getting back in shape after having a baby and staying fit is CONSISTENCY. There were moments I ate rice everyday or life got the best of me, but that didn’t stop me from bouncing back and taking any little step.
As much as my pictures look “snatched” as some of you call it. Some people call it a “snap-back”, which is far from it. As I share my journey, please be aware that I am no fitness guru. I am simply sharing how I got here and what I intend to continue to do. This body includes the “flat tummy, not!..trust me, it is not always flat. Angles, right outfit, spandex are some of my saviors.
Before we get to a couple things that worked for me, let’s recap a bit. While pregnant with Nova, I gained over 50lbs. I am still curious where all the weight went too. It was definitely not my belly because carried pretty small compared to my first pregnancy. During my pregnancy, I barely exercised compared to my first pregnancy with Nolan. I was tired and always nauseated. I believe I packed on most of my pounds during the last trimester. For me, my weight distributions are my hips and thighs for the most part. Also, with this pregnancy, my tummy didn’t snap like my first. After Nova was born, I was expecting my tummy to snap back quickly like my first pregnancy, but it was singing a different tune and still does sometimes. I immediately went into OMG mode! I have clothes and shoots to do. First thing I did was to find my post-pregnancy belly wrap. I wore the belly wrap as often as possible. It helped hold my tummy in together. Breastfeeding is challenging, but it works wonders!!! For me, I always sing praises on how much it helped my tummy. I nursed Nova for 10months…it was not always easy but we did it. I credit breastfeeding to helping my tummy snap back.
Alright, let’s get into other things that I did. You might be surprised because I haven’t gone to the gym since having Nova which I am hoping to return to soon. As much I wanted to go back to my Barre classes, life as a new mom and a mom of two, crazy work schedule took control. I learnt that living in the gym 24/7 doesn’t necessarily equate to 6 packs or being healthy…it’s a balance.
For me these are what worked…
How I Got Back In Shape After Having A Baby
- Belly wrap all day and as often as possible
- Planking: this was tough as first. I used to plank for 1-2mins or more but my cores were off after having a baby. Now I can plank for 1-1.5mins…still working on it. I will plank almost every day before taking a bath because the bathroom was the only place where I was free of kids LOL!
- Different plank styles that I did includes
- Elbow plank
- Plank with leg lift
- Saw plank: While in elbow plank position, slide your torso forward. Hold it for a second before sliding back to start position.
- Different plank styles that I did includes
- Squats: I did different squat challenges with friends; but for the most part, I did 50 squats 3-4 days and sometimes everyday. Some weeks I was consistent and other weeks I did 3-4 days.
- Running & Walking: I wanted to get outside. I will walk or brisk walk around the neighborhood 2-3 times a week or more. I did a mix of running and walking for 20-30mins around my neighborhood. My energy wasn’t top notch yet to run throughout the 20mins.
- Food proportion: I’m not going to lie, but this was tough while breastfeeding because I wanted to eat the WHOLE world. I was always hungry. Breastfeeding does this to you; but that doesn’t mean eating all the junk or unhealthy foods. At one point, I was eating rice breakfast, lunch, dinner…very bad!! One I cut down the rice, I noticed a huge difference. I was able to eat a controlled healthy meal thanks to my mom’s help. When she left, I went a bit overboard before retracing back to good healthy choices.
What did I eat while still breastfeeding:
- Breakfast ranges from: Oatmeal with berries, Scrambled eggs with bread (wheat bread), Pap (corn starch meal), Greek yogurt with this granola bar crumbled inside
- Snacks: I’m a huge fan of Banana and it’s very filling. I will eat Banana with nuts, Fuji Apple, carrots & plums…these were my favorite go-to fruits. I snacked (healthy snack) more often so that I don’t get super hungry during lunch.
- Lunch: I tend to go a little heavier with lunch compared to dinners. Fuji Apple salad from Panera, Homemade salad (as seen on my Instagram “Post-Fitness” highlights. Salad with a side of small rice portion (I can’t leave without my jollof rice or rice with stew, but I don’t go overboard), Potatoes with tomato sauce or eggs sauce; Egg & Avocado sandwich (see Instagram fitness highlights)
- Dinner: Salad, Turkey sandwich either from Panera or homemade with wheat bread, tomatoes, lettuce. Baked chicken (stay away from fried chicken – I’m not a fan) with Salad or rice depending on my lunch options. Sautéed chicken with veggies or stir fried veggies: bell peppers, carrots, broccoli (see my Instagram food highlight). Chicken is very filling. I find myself struggling to finish palm size chicken. I always put in more veggies. My veggies of choice include broccoli, carrots, squash, corn. I can eat a bowl of cooked corn and that’s very filling.
- Water: Choose water over anything. I don’t really drink juice or any sugary drinks. I carry this water bottle to help me keep track.
- Say No to junk food: I have never been a fan or obsessed about junk food. My only guilty pleasure is occasional frozen yogurt aka froyo or banana caramel ice cream from Cold stone. I haven’t had any Cold Stone guilty pleasures in over 5months or more.
After Nova stopped breastfeeding at 10months, I started intermittent fasting. What’s Intermittent fasting?
One of this things that I did that helped by get in shape after having a baby is Intermittent fasting. What is Intermittent fasting? It is when you fast for a certain number of hours, then consume your calories (this doesn’t mean consume all junk food and every unhealthy food in those hours) within a certain number of hours. From my little research, it’s not really considered a diet, but more so as an eating pattern. It also helps with your body systems.
I do the 16/8 Method which is when you fast for 14-16 hours daily. I know 16 hours sounds crazy but it’s not. Remember you are sleeping most of these hours. So you fast for 14-16 and then restrict your daily “eating window” to 8-10 hours. Within this “eating window”, you can fit in healthy meals. Remember, you can still drink something during the fast…anything less than 50 calories. I typically drink water or my cranberry tea with honey.
For me, I restrict my daily eating period to 12–8 p.m. There are exceptional days where I change my eating window. I noticed I felt a lot energetic when I started intermittent fasting. It wasn’t that easy because I went fell off any type of healthy eating during the Christmas holiday, but made changes after. I have been a lot more consistent this year.
One big fact about losing weight is having control of what you eat. When you eat healthy, watch how the weight drops. I am proof that healthy food and proportion control is 80% of losing weight and then the 20% exercise helps tone and maintain a healthy balance. For me, exercising wasn’t being at the gym 24/7, I went walking around the neighborhood, walking up and down the stairs. Don’t get me wrong, every day wasn’t perfect, some days I ate frozen yogurt and a bowl of rice; but I always know when to check myself quick from my “cheat day”. It’s not just about losing weight, it’s about making lifestyle changes and being consistent, which is what I am currently doing…let’s save that for a different post as I plan to return to my Pilates and Barre soon. I am still hoping for that partial sick pack.
P.S. Hope this post on how I got back in shape after having a baby Nova helps. Let me know what else you want to see…maybe a workout video on my YouTube channel or anything else. Make sure you follow along on Instagram. I will occasionally share my food and fitness journey