Pregnancy Weight Gain and the “Body Love” Program


Seven months after giving birth my body feels close to pre-pregnancy (albeit a little bit softer). Putting pressure on myself to “snap back” just wasn’t something I gave a ton of energy for the months following Noa’s birth. It entered my mind every once in a while, but I was able to quickly compartmentalize it because I had too many other changes I was trying to adjust to as a new mom. Weight loss (and hating on my body) were not priorities.

 While I don’t necessarily love weight as a top indicator of health, I’m going to give you the numbers because I personally like quantitative information: I gained 37 pounds while pregnant. Ten days after giving birth I had lost 23 pounds. Two months post birth I had lost five more, bringing me nine pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. For the first four months I didn’t do formal exercise (just walked a lot) and ate wholesome foods, but my appetite was nuts from breastfeeding (I was probably over eating). Seven months after Noa’s birth, I’m still sitting with that extra nine pounds and I’m ready to give it some energy now.

I‘ve been exercising 4-5 days a week for about three months. Still, the weight is stuck to me like super glue. I’m a big fan of intuitive eating and not so much a fan of diets. My method of eating has always worked to keep me at a healthy weight, but it just isn’t cutting it for my current goals. I’m not just talking about that extra nine pounds. My energy is low, my sleep is poor, my skin is dull, and I’m just nowhere near thriving.

I know and respect the power that food has on our body. While I always eat a lot of nutrient-dense foods, I’ve been reaching for sweets and caffeine more than usual, and pre-quarantine we were ordering in a lot. Let’s not discuss my wine consumption (eek)!

So how could I add more structure to my eating without going into full blown diet mode? I know anything that involves math (calorie counting, macro counting) puts me into diet mode. That cuts out ninety percent of the plans out there. Enter: Body Love by Kelly Leveque. I was reading Lauren Gore’s blog and she mentioned following a plan by Kelly. I bought Kelly’s books and her approach instantly clicked with me for a few reasons:

  • It’s based on an easy formula that doesn’t involve math: Fiber – Greens – Protein – Fat. You simply check those boxes at each meal.
  • This approach is all about energy and blood sugar stabilization which I desperately need help with.
  • She’s into meals that sustain you, rather than the old school “eat every two hours.” I really think we need to give our digestive systems a damn break so this clicked with me. I also don’t have time to prep food all day (who does)?
  • Her recipes are straight forward and simple
  • She is SCIENCE based and really explains the logic behind her philosophies in a way that’s engaging, but also supported by studies. I feel empowered rather than overwhelmed.

I’m craving structure right now so I am following her detailed 21-day plan. This is optional – you could easily follow her formula at any restaurant or with your own recipes. I’m going to keep you updated weekly on my progress. Let me know if you have any specific questions about the plan or my experience. If you want to try it for yourself you can buy her first book here (this one dives deep into all of the science behind her recommendations). The second book gives quicker explanations and then provides four very specific 21-day plans.

Here are my goals for the next 21 days (and beyond):

  • Improve the quantity and quality of my sleep
  • Lose the extra weight
  • End my nightly wine habit that I’ve picked up during quarantine
  • Have consistent energy throughout the day
  • Add meditation in daily
  • Improve my running pace to 8 minutes / mile (I’ll be doing more cardio as  part of this 21-day commitment). Right now I’m running 9-minute miles and I attribute that to feeling so sluggish

Comment with your specific questions!