Real Food Weight Loss {How I Lost 60+ LBS}

Real Food Weight Loss

Photo on Left – 8+ months pregnant & 186 LBS ~ Photo on Right 20 months postpartum & 125 LBS

 

This is not a diet post. I don’t believe in diets. Counting calories or eating prepackaged diet program meals is no way to live your life. This is about eating real food the way it was intended to be eaten and achieving your ideal weight, whatever that is for you.

This is my story about how how lost all my baby weight plus over 20 additional pounds to be at what I consider to be my ideal weight. I realize that everyone’s story is different. Everyone’s ideal weight is different. You can be unhealthy at any weight, skinny or overweight! I’m sharing my story to both inspire and help you be nourished on your path to real weight loss!

To be fair, much of the weight I lost was gained during pregnancy. I was pregnant with my fourth baby in 2011 and gained around 40 pounds with him. I was 33 at the time and was concerned that the weight may not come off as easily as it did in my 20’s with my other children. I wasn’t at my ideal weight when I became pregnant either! I ate a Weston A. Price based diet while pregnant so I was eating a lot of food. I was determined to have a nourished pregnancy!

I LOVE being pregnant and don’t mind that I’m not a super skinny pregnant lady! My babies are all healthy and I gained between 30-40 pounds with all of them. That’s just what my body does. I make sure to get adequate nutrition while pregnant and not eat junk. The photos you see of me pregnant really do reflect the joy I felt carrying my precious son! Pregnancy is so incredibly beautiful!

I gave birth on December 22, 2011. It was an incredible homebirth! My midwife arrived 5 minutes AFTER my baby boy was born! Yep, you read that right! His Daddy caught him! It was the most empowering experience I’ve ever had! 

By the summer of 2012, 6 months after my son’s birth I had lost what I had gained during pregnancy but was definitely not at my ideal weight. My clothes didn’t fit right and I was out of shape. You can see the beach picture below. Throughout that year, my body continued to shift back to its pre-pregnancy shapem I remember that I got a lot of help from Bowflex which made it a lot easier for me to lose weight.

In March of 2013, my oldest daughter, baby and I were in a car accident that required me to start seeing a chiropractor a few times per week. I really feel that getting those adjustments triggered something that helped me begin to lose weight. My nervous system was getting a much needed adjustment!

In April I decided that we would go grain-free for the month. This is the key to it all! This was my version of a cleanse. This is how I reset my system. We cut out bread, rice, pasta, oats…all grains. We don’t have any food sensitivities but I felt that our diet was very grain heavy. Though most of our grains were soaked and sprouted, we were just eating too many of them. We went cold turkey and cut them out! It was a pretty amazing experience! We replaced the grains with more vegetables. Without grains, our diet was much more nutrient dense. We weren’t filling up on rice, bread, or pasta. Instead, we were eating real nourishing food. 

My body fat quickly diminished and other people began to notice. Over the next few months I dropped over 20 pounds. I was eating plenty of food and not doing any crazy exercising. I am breastfeeding so I am careful about what I eat and drink! After April was over we added grains back in but are still, even now eating way less than we were previously. I feel better when I eat less grains. I am a protein type so my body thrives on good protein. I also took slimnow natural power cleanse to help detox my body as that would help me with the weight lost.

I was already eating real food. I just needed to revamp things a bit and really concentrate on nourishing my body. I began walking with my kids and our brand new puppies daily and doing light strength training exercise using my own body weight as resistance. Nothing major, just 30 minutes a day or so. My toddler keeps my on my toes and I’m very active! If you exercise and want to get the best results I suggest getting an ann chery waist trainer to keep your body in good shape.

Here is an example of a day of meals:

Breakfast: Eggs, bacon and a cup of raw milk or herbal tea.

Lunch: Salad with grilled dark meat chicken and salmon roe, kombucha or water kefir.

Dinner: Deconstructed Hamburgers and Skillet Potatoes.

Here are 6 Tips to a Nutrient Dense “Diet”:

  1. Completely cut out processed foods. Wean yourself off if you must but cold turkey is best!
  2. Eat good fats like butter, lard, schmaltz (chicken fat), ghee, coconut oil, tallow, palm oil (from sustainable sources).
  3. Eat nutrient dense foods like salmon (and roe), grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, and raw milk instead of filler foods.
  4. Eat (and drink) fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, water kefir, milk kefir, yogurt, kombucha, etc.
  5. Get most of the carbs the body needs from vegetables (and fruits) instead of grains and eating them with a bit of fat to unlock all the nutrients.
  6. Know your metabolic type. Protein or Carb type?

Here is my journey documented in pictures:

Me, 3 weeks before baby #4 was born.

Me, 3 weeks before baby #4 was born.

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Baby Blake and I on Christmas Day 2011, 3 days after his birth.

Baby Blake and I on Christmas Day 2011, 3 days after his birth.

 

Me, summer 2012.

Me, summer 2012.

Here we are in June 2012.

 

My family a few months post baby #4 and me with 20 pounds left to lose!

My family a few months post baby #4 and me with 20 pounds left to lose!

This picture is of my daughters and me in February 2013 

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My kids and I, August 2013.

My kids and I, August 2013.

 

Me, at the end of my real food weight loss journey. 60 pounds down from my top weight while pregnant with this cutie!

Me, at the end of my real food weight loss journey. 60 pounds down from my top weight while pregnant with this cutie!

 It definitely was a journey!  I didn’t lose the weight overnight. I didn’t take some magic pills, drink shakes, drink coffee or takes stimulants. I didn’t do cleanses or join a gym. I simply ate real food and moved my body! I stayed out of my own way and let my body do what it needed! You can too! Keep track of what you eat. Cut out or reduce grains just for awhile and eat a more nutrient dense diet. See how you feel!

What’s your real food weight loss journey been like? What worked for you? I’d love to hear about it! Please post in comments!

 

 

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PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Comments

  1. says

    This sounds almost identical to what I am going through right now and it’s exciting! I had baby #4 last fall and the weight wasn’t sliding off as quickly as with the other 3 (I am 31 now). I was frustrated since, like you, I was already eating a nutrient dense, real food diet. I cut grains and legumes 5 weeks ago and I am back to pre-baby size, but I feel another 20 pounds would be ideal and I am on a roll. My favorite is not cravings the grains and sweets! Thanks for sharing. You go, momma!

    • says

      Thank you, Kirsten! Congrats on your journey!! Be encouraged, a few little tweaks here and there and it really seems like the extra weight starts to slide off! It’s like our bodies are craving the little changes so they can be awesome!!

  2. says

    You look amazing!! Thanks for the motivation to make me want to do the same.
    I’m still holding onto baby weight, and would love to lose around 40 lbs. myself to get to right around where I was when I was at my happiest weight.
    I have been trying to eat healthier, too, but also think the grains are what have been hindering me. I notice that when I cut them out cold turkey that my cravings go away, and I eat much better.
    BTW- to refresh your memory. I’m the newbie that you just welcomed to VGN. 😉

    • says

      Hi Tracy!! Thank you so much for your kind words! It definitely was overdoing the grains that was making my body hold on to the weight! I was so excited to be doing my own sourdough and sprouting and soaking all my grains that I got carried away. It was important to cut them out and then bring them back in a balanced way. I’d be very interested to know how you make out if you try it!

  3. says

    So inspiring, Sarah! My fourth had serious food sensitivities and I went on a grain free/dairy free (in addition to other food triggers) diet. I had tried so hard after my third to lose the baby weight and couldn’t do it, even with lots of exercise. Eating a real food diet after my fourth was amazing because the weight just dropped right off.

    • says

      Thanks, Heather! I agree! I had tried the hard core exercise route prior to getting pregnant without tweaking my diet and didn’t get the results I had hoped for. It’s the food that is key! How are your baby’s food sensitivities now? Are you still grain-free?

  4. says

    I loved your story. I had the same kind of experience myself. I just ate real foods (although different types to you) and lost 56 pounds. I also gained a lot of weight during my pregnancies.

    I agree that cutting out processed foods is the key but it’s still easy to overeat even on healthy real food.

  5. Crystal says

    How are you able to maintain the weight loss after adding the grains back? I would love to try this, but I know that unless I had a true intolerance to grains that I would never maintain NO grains, it’s comfort food and filler when the budget gets tight. You said you added grains back in eventually so what’s the key to adding them and not gaining the weight back?

    • says

      Hi Crystal! I pay close attention to the amount of grains that I eat now. I was eating WAY too many and cutting them out made me realize that my diet was grain heavy. I added them back but more moderately. I make better choices now. I don’t think I would have been as aware of my grain intake had I not cut them out for a whole month. Now I only eat grains a few times a week. I got used to how wonderful I feel without them that I every couple of days is enough for me. You’ll have to experiment with the amount that works for your body.

  6. mamajo says

    i have been trying to lose my baby fat and therefore in search for a better “diet” came across this real food quest that apparently many are on. i have done so for past two months, eating lots of good fat, milk, eggs, meat all from really good sources, etc with a lot of cuts on sugar and grains….however, not only have i not lost baby fat, i am now 5 pounds heavier…what should i do?

    • says

      Hi Mamajo! Maybe try cutting out sugar and grains completely for a month to reset your system? I’m not a fan of cutting things out forever unless there’s an allergy because those foods have their purpose. Are you breastfeeding? Exercising?

  7. Cayce H. Cronk says

    Very inspiring Sarah! I too lost 40 pounds going grain free. I gained a few pounds back over the winter. I seem to crave heavier foods like grains when the weather is cold. Wanna get back feeling better again! How do you feel about whey protein powder?

  8. Stefanie says

    Hi Sarah! I have just found your site by googling “real food weight loss”, and I am looking forward to reading and following your posts. My family and I have been eating a “real food” lifestyle for about 2 years now. However, during this time I have been struggling to lose weight, and have been more in tune with other health issues that I have that I always assumed were just “normal” (poor digestion, acid reflux, moodiness, etc…). I am determined to lose the weight in a more natural way that nourishes my body instead of restricts it of the nutrition it needs. I follow a lot of other real food blogs, but most seem to have never had any weight issues, and dont really address how to eat real food and lose weight. I find your story inspiring and I hope that I find some great information on your site!

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