Considering a Weight-Loss Program
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Starting a cookie business did not help with the initial post-baby weight loss, and my exercise time took a back seat to family, work, and running a company. I got up around 5 am to get ready for work (and pump, back when I was still doing that) and then after work, I didn’t want to take any more time away from my son. For a long time I swore that I couldn’t work out late at night.
Then I finally decided that I felt awful enough to try it. So for a week, every night after I got my son in bed, I worked out with 30-Day Shred. Within two days, I had more energy. (I couldn’t walk up the stairs, but I had more energy.) The workouts are only about 20 minutes long, and it’s really hard to make the excuse that you really can’t find 20 minutes at some point during your day or night to work out. Seriously. It’s 20 minutes. And it works.
Once my husband decided to get back in shape, too, we bought an Arc Trainer, which we both use five or six days per week. I can catch up on TV, listen to podcasts, or books, or just zone out to music. Now I do about 20-30 minutes of cardio (which is now ME time) and abs/weights or I do 30-Day Shred or another of the Jillian Michaels videos.
—Lennox McNeary, MD, a mom of a four-year-old son, a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Carilion Clinic, and a cofounder of the Mommy Doctors Bakery (makers of Milkin’ Cookies), in Roanoke, VA
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Fad diets and diet medications don’t work. Instead, I follow a simple program called the 5- 2-1-0 Rule.
“5” is for eating five fruits and vegetables a day.
“2” is for two hours or less of screen time a day.
“1” is for one hour of exercise each day. This doesn’t have to be intense aerobics! It can include anything that gets your heart rate up, such as walking up stairs and playing with your kids.
“0” is for no sugary drinks. I avoid sweet tea and soda. Instead I drink unsweetened tea or flavor water with lemon or frozen fruit.
—Eva Mayer, MD, a mom of a nine-year-old daughter and an eight-year-old son, an associate professor of pediatrics at Temple University, and a pediatrician with St. Luke’s Pediatrics Associates, in Bethlehem, PA
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: When I realized that for the first time in my life I needed to lose weight, I joined Weight Watchers. I don’t have time to get to meetings, so I joined their online program. It worked really well for me. I registered and created a profile. The site helped me to determine the number of Weight Watchers points I could eat each day. Each point is a simple calculation of a food’s calories, fat, and fiber. They have calculators and food charts online. They use your age, height, and current weight to help you figure out how much weight you have to lose and what the appropriate number of daily points are to help you reach this goal. There are even places online where you can enter your activities and get an estimate of calories burned.
I kept track of my points with a smartphone app. It really helped me get back into the frame of mind of eating for one! I also set my goal weight on my phone, and the app monitored my progress toward meeting that goal.
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: I find it tremendously helpful to use an online program called FatSecret.com. I log everything I eat, and that really helped me to identify what worked, and what didn’t work. Also, knowing that I’m going to log what I eat makes me a lot less likely to eat to excess. Also because I log foods before I eat them, sometimes when I see how many calories a food has before I eat it, I change my mind and don’t eat it.
FatSecret.com is free. It offers a food and calorie finder that includes both “whole” foods, restaurant foods, and packaged foods. You can also find nutrition information for your own recipes by plugging in the ingredients.
—Katherine Dee, MD, a mom of eight-year-old twin daughters and a six-year-old son and a radiologist at the Seattle Breast Center
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: After my son was born, life was so hectic. My husband and I really weren’t eating well. One day, a patient told me she had lost a lot of weight on the South Beach Diet. When faced with resolve now to lose weight, I Googled it, and I came across a wonderful website, KalynsKitchen.com. This site offers delicious, nutritious recipes by a woman who lost 42 pounds. Many of the recipes can be used on the South Beach diet, and many of them are low-glycemic and low-carb. Other diets and meal plans seemed stagnant and did not really let me cook.
That site was so helpful. I love to cook; I find it very therapeutic. I don’t like to get new recipes from cookbooks because they’re static. A cookbook isn’t a living thing. I needed a diet that had an infinite amount of options.
KalynsKitchen.com is ever-changing, with new recipes and ideas every day. Once I discovered it, I felt like a home chef again. I refer to the site almost daily. I send my patients there! It’s amazing!
—Amy Thompson, MD, a mom of six- and four- and two-year-old sons and an ob-gyn at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, in Cincinnati, OH