Weight Loss Secrets

5 months after having baby Louis, I found myself weighing less on the scales than I did before I was pregnant. I’ve had many people asking me how I managed to loose the baby weight so quickly, so in the hope that it may help others, I thought my post pregnancy weight loss method may help you, whether or not you are trying to shift post-baby weight or just trying to shift a few stubborn pounds.

While I’ve always advocated eating a healthy, balanced diet, I ran into some trouble when breastfeeding Louis.  When he was 8 weeks old he wasn’t gaining enough weight. Part of me thinks this is a nonsense as breastfeed babies weight measurements may not form a perfect line on a chart, but I also wondered if changing my diet would make any difference. 

I visited my local healthfood shop and asked how I could increase the amount of protein in my diet. I am a vegetarian, so the only source of protein for me is primarily through eggs, dairy, nuts and pulses. I was recommended hemp protein and spirulina. Every day for breakfast, I made myself a smoothie containing hemp protein, spirulina, half a banana, berries, rice or almond milk and vanilla essence.

Around the same time, I started hot yoga classes as well.  By going once a week, I felt this would tone up my muscles and firm the loose skin that had formed around my tummy.

The weight started to fall off.  Without thinking about it, I was easily loosing 2/3 lbs a week. I found I craved sweet foods less and barely had an appetite for lunch, yet my energy levels were steady, my nails and hair were strong and healthy and my skin and eyes looked bright. Louis weight increased rapidly over a month. Six months later, I am still making hemp and spirulina smoothies every day.  Baby Louis is huge and another benefit is that I rarely pick up colds and flu.


How to combat sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation is very tough to cope with.  It can be debilitating.  Your mind turns to mush, your head hurts, even the smallest task can seem impossible to conquer. Time seems to tick by slowly, you struggle to find words when conversing and as to remembering why you walked into that room…Sound familiar?
Other than consuming large amounts of caffeine (NB caffeine can have an adverse effect to good sleep quality), one of the best ways to survive the day is to go for a long walk.  Not only will you feel better while you are walking, your baby will benefit from the fresh air.  Being outside and moving, is sometimes the only guaranteed way to help lift your mood.
The happiest people I know are those who spend a lot of time outdoors.
The science behind why we feel good after spending time outside, is that sunshine is the best source of vitamin D.  We have been taught that Vitamin D is a ‘vitamin’, but it is more accurate to describe it as a sun hormone. During pregnancy, your baby will sap up lots of your body’s store of vitaimin D, so it’s vital to make sure you and your baby have lots of fresh air.
Vitamin D will help regulate both yours and your babies sleep.
Vitamin D is a chemical produced on our skin during sun exposure.  While it is possible to source vitamin D from foods, the most beneficial source of vitamin D is from the sun. All forms of vitamin D are fat soluble, which means they are stored within the body when in excess and used when needed.  Early vitamin D deficiency signs include extreme sweating, heightened anxiety, fatigue, reduced appetite, mild depression, muscle cramps and sore joints.
One of the many roles of vitamin D is to regulate the pineal gland’s secretion of melatonin, a “master control” hormone that regulates circadian rhythms and controls the cascade of other hormones and chemicals needed for falling asleep and waking up.  With the help of vitamin D, melatonin is released into the blood during periods of darkness or episodes of reduced sunshine.  Research has shown that insomnia and sleep apnea are due in part to vitamin D deficiency and that spending safe amounts of time in the sun can reverse many sleep irregularities. So, while exposure to sun won’t give you a much needed 12 hour sleep, it will mean that when you do sleep, your sleep will be deeper and of better quality.
At this time of year, you may feel like staying at home, especially if it is raining.  I strongly recommend buying a waterproof coat with a hood (if you don’t already own one) and braving the elements.
There is so much to enjoy outdoors.  Observe the budding leaves on the trees, feel the squishy mud underfoot, listen to the birds singing, notice the varied colours of the flowers, the changing shapes of the shadows and appreciate the beautiful colours in around you as summer bursts into life.
I wish there were a magic sleep pill available, but sadly it hasn’t been invented yet.  You may lose count of the number of times people advise you to, ‘sleep when your baby sleeps’, but we know this isn’t always possible, especially if you have other children to look after, dinner to make or washing to do.
Try to follow the Norwegian principle, ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing’. So, even if it’s raining, put on that rain coat and remember that life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dancing in the rain.