What does it take to lose those pregnancy pounds for good? These moms share what worked for them, plus their dramatic before and after pics!
Kathia Rodriguez, 35 San Diego, CA Height: 5'7" Pre-weight-loss weight: 214 Current weight: 141 Pounds Lost: 73 How she did it: Jenny Craig
Her top tips: Share meals. "I used to go out to a restaurant to eat and then feel sick after, because I was eating too much (which is why I had 73 pounds to lose!), but on the Jenny Craig program, I actually learned what a portion size was. Once you eat a proper portion size, you definitely feel the difference. Most restaurant portion sizes are huge! And your waistline ends up paying for it in the end. So, when I'm going out to eat at a restaurant, I share with my husband. If we go out for Italian food, we'll order one salad, with the dressing on the side, and order one pasta plate. Then we split everything. This way, we can easily eat out and not overdo it. At the end of the meal, we both feel good -- and I don't have any leftovers to take home and have in the fridge that I may be tempted to eat late at night."
Snack smart. "I keep pre-cut carrot sticks, celery sticks and bell peppers in portion-controlled snack bags in my fridge. If I know that I'm going out to run some errands and will be away from the kitchen for 4 or 5 hours, I take them as snacks and nibble on them while I'm out and about. That way, I don't grab an unhealthy snack on the go and then feel guilty that I 'blew it' for the day on something that didn't really fill me up."
Keep moving. "I'm not a big fan of the gym. So I have to find something that works for me to get my activity in. My consultant at Jenny Craig worked with me to figure out what kind of activity I would like that wouldn't take hours out of my day. She recommended that I start walking, so we figured out that I can easily walk my daughter to school every day. Before I knew it, it was a habit and I actually look forward to the time that I have with her in the morning and hearing about her day at school on the walk home. I also bring my phone everywhere, as that's what I store my music on. If I'm at home and have an hour, I'll plug in my ear buds and play music on my phone and start cleaning the house. I vacuum, dust, mop, or put away the dishes, while dancing away to my music! It's a great way to burn some calories while getting the housework done. And the best part is that I don't even feel like I’m cleaning the house or exercising, because I'm enjoying the music so much."
Eat at home. "I do all of the cooking for my family. And when I started eating healthier, they did as well. We cut way back on red meats and fat, and added lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, and also use herbs to season food to cut down on the salt when cooking. Don't get me wrong, we still indulge in our favorite foods, just not every day or in huge portions anymore."
Get positive support. "My consultant at Jenny Craig was my biggest support system. She was there every step of the way as I lost the weight. I was also very lucky and had a very supportive husband. I think it's essential to surround yourself with others who are in it with you, supporting your healthier lifestyle. But it's also important to be your own support system as well and be nice to yourself! No one else is fully going to understand why you want to lose the weight, and no one understands how you feel when you look in the mirror. Every morning when I wake up, I look in the mirror and tell myself that I look beautiful, even if I am not feeling that way. There's no harm in thinking positively and being supportive of yourself -- it can only help!"