January 29, 2013

Body after baby - time to take action

Like most women I know my weight has been up and down over the years, but generally the last 5 years or so I've been quite happy with it (even though I probably could have lost a few more kilos). But now almost 7 months after having a baby my weight has been stuck at a number I'm no longer happy with and it's time I take action. But first, a little background about my weight.

I have an Armenian background. I'm totally generalising here, but we eat a lot. Bread and cheese is our weakness. As are kebabs, baklavas, and pastries. Did I mention bread and cheese?

At my biggest I was 74kg which was due to a combination of eating fatty ethnic foods cooked by my mum, working in an office environment (which means eating lots and lots of cake to celebrate just about anything) and not exercising much. Ok, not exercising AT ALL.

Then with some moderate excercise (2-3 times a week), healthier eating plus trekking around South America for 3 months I went down to 65kg for my wedding in 2009. I adopted a more healthier approach to cooking and by 2010 I was 62kgs where I stayed until last year when I fell pregnant.

Pregnancy & birth
I ate relatively healthy during my pregnancy especially the first 8 months. I gained 1-2kgs per month of pregnancy and by the time I went into labour I weighed 79kgs (total pregnancy weight gain of 17kgs).

Four weeks after giving birth I went down to 67kgs (total weight loss of 12kg). A lot of it was the baby (obviously!) and fluids. But whoever said that breastfeeding makes you lose weight, they lied! It might make some people lose weight, but for me it had the opposite effect. I gained 2kgs back because I was constantly hungry and constantly eating. Lets not mention that I was not eating healthily at all. We're talking pastries with my coffee, large servings of food, and lots and lots of carbs.

So now that my little boy is almost 7 months old, we've moved on to solids and bottles, and it's time I start doing something about my weight. My goal is to go back down to my pre-pregnancy weight of 62kg.

Dukan Diet
I'm not one to try starvation diets so the Dukan diet really appealed to me. Why? Because you're allowed to eat as much as you want of the "allowed" foods. In case you don't know what the Dukan diet is, basically  it's a high protein/low carb diet. But unlike the Atkins diet it's low in fat and you're allowed fruits and breads in moderation. It comes in 4 phases.

1. Attack phase - this is to kick-start your metabolism and lasts between 1 - 10 days depending on how much weight you have to lose in total. During the attack phase you eat only proteins (e.g. eggs, low fat meats, yoghurt). Weight loss can be around 3kgs (although mainly fluids)

2. Cruise phase - this is the weight loss phase which lasts till you reach your goal weight. The main premise is that alternate protein only days with protein + vegetable days. Weight loss is generally 1kg per week.

3. Consolidation phase - this is when you've reached your goal weight but the aim is that you don't put that weight on. You continue with the alternate protein only vs protein/veg days, but twice a week you introduce carbs and eat as per normal. You stay on this phase 10 days per kilo lost.

4. Stabilization phase - this is what you follow for life. Basically you eat as per normal, except once a week you have protein only days.

The other premise of the Dukan diet is that you need to have 1.5 - 3tbs of oat bran per day (e.g. added to your cereal or yoghurt) and exercise for 20 mins a day which is doable. And exercise can be incidental exercise, like taking the stairs instead of the lift, no crazy workouts at the gym. 

Me and the Dukan diet
For my goal weight loss of 7kg the Dukan website said I need to be on the Attack phase  for 3 days. Here is the plan the website gave me after I filled in my details (free registration).

I started it yesterday and so far so good. Three days is nothing on the hardest phase. As an example for brekky I had 2 eggs, for lunch I had sashimi, and for dinner I had veal steak with salt & pepper seasoning. As a snack I had fat free Greek yoghurt. After tomorrow I can start incorporating vegetables into my diet too which means I can have sides of salad as well.

I don't know whether I'll stick to the diet till the end, but I definitely want to incorporate some of its philosophies into my eating habits. I can see me introducing bread in the mornings as typical brekky for me is toast with ricotta and jam. The rest of the time I'll just cut down on the carbs and stay away from the pastries.

Wish me luck!

Has anyone tried the Dukan diet? What's your surefire way of losing weight?


  1. I am not into diet thingy but it amazingly worked for u:) http://sparklingmakeup.blogspot.com/

  2. I was on this diet for about 4 months and lost 10 kg, but 5 of them back, because of my stupidity and too much carbs and cheese (again) :/ I love meat and diary so for it was piece of cake ;) to cut off carbs from my meals. Important thing is not to overcome 2g of proteins per 1 kg of your body, bacause the excess can damage your kidneys. There is a lot of recepies for Dukan candies, even home-made Nutella <3 Remember to drink at least 2 liters of water or green tea per day (important for kidneys!).
    Right now I'm on the 'modified' Dukan (modified by me), which includes fruits (only untill 4 p.m), nuts (mostly almonds), olive oil and brown rice (once a week). From the end of november I lost 5 kg in mayble slower but healther way than in oryginal Dukan :)

    If you have any question do not hesitate to ask :)

    PS. Sorry if you didn't unserstand some of my sentences, but since english is not my first languge I have troubles with grammar sometimes :)

    1. Thank you so much for your tips! It makes perfect sense what you wrote, your English is very good!
      Congrats on your success with the weight loss. I think I'll be doing a similar "modified" version of your diet after a few weeks as I cannot live without my carbs :) I'll just have to make sure to eat healthy carbs and not overindulge in desserts, although the home made Nutella sounds good! I don't mind if the weight loss is slow, as long as I keep it off! xo

  3. Good luck Lilit! It's great to have that motivation :)

  4. Good luck! Just a suggestion, don't be afraid of carbs, they are the principal nutrient that turns into energy in your body, faster than any other nutrient (as protein, fats, etc), you just have to be careful and make the right choices (such as consuming whole wheat cereals).

    How tall are you? You look gorgeous in every single picture here. Keep up the motivation!

    1. Aaw thank you so much. I'm 1.66m tall (5'4?)
      I'm definitely not afraid of carbs, my problem is that I love them too much :) I just have to make an effort to only eat healthy carbs and not the delicious desserts I've become fond of.

  5. Hi

    I totally agree with you about breastfeeding and weight. I also gained weight in the first 6 months while breast feeding. I am currently 7 kgs over my pre-pregnancy weight. My son is 9 months old now, and two months ago I got sick of the extra weight, especially as I am returning to work in February and practically none of my work clothes fit (and I HATE buying "fat" clothes).
    I highly recommend the CSIRO Total Wellbeing diet. The books are fantastic and have loads of healthy meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My main exercise is walking bubs in the pram and this all seems to be working as I have lost around 3 kgs now.
    Anyway best of luck and I am sure you will do really well.

    1. I've heard so many good things about the CSIRO diet. I'll look into that as well, as with the Dukan diet breakfast will be difficult (I NEED carbs for breakfast!).
      My main exercise for now is walking the bub in a pram as well, so I'm hoping with my healthier eating I'll get back to my pre-preggers weight by the time I head back to work in April. Good luck with your diet, sounds like you're doing really well on it!

  6. Good on you Lilit for making the choice to get healthy!!! I can't imagine how tiring and time consuming being a mum is, however I am inspired by your dedication to eating better and wanting to look after yourself! Good luck and keep going:)

  7. I'm always freaked out by diets that cut out entire food groups. I hope it all works out for you :)



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