Monday, July 13, 2009

I'm losing weight

I'm currently 55 kilos (121 lbs), which is 3 kilos less than my pre-pregnancy weight, and equal to my highschool weight. Shira, on the other hand, is growing nicely. I know, I should get my thyroid checked, but I have a feeling this is quite simply because I'm having difficulty to eat enough to keep my weight. Nursing burns up to 500 kcal per day, and I'm not eating more than I did before I had Shira. No wonder I'm losing weight.

To complicate matters, I'm not the type of person who eats for fun or comfort when alone, and most of my meals during the week are taken alone (when my husband returns very late from work we might not even eat dinner). So eating is mostly functional for me. I don't have much of an appetite. Add to this the fact that I'm often in a hurry and simply don't have time to sit down and eat a decent meal.

If you are thin and want to gain some weight, or at least keep your current weight, it can be an extra challenge if you're vegetarian (like myself) and/or have dietary restrictions, such as lactose intolerance.

I want to gain some weight, because I don't like seeing my ribs so clearly, however, I want to do that in a healthful way. No junk packed with sugar, cholesterol and hydrogenated fats, thank you very much! So, just a list of ideas for myself and other moms who might be struggling with keeping their weight while nursing:

* A bowl of oatmeal, made with whole milk and with a handful of raisins added, is a wonderful, nutritious breakfast.

* In a hurry? Have healthy snacks available to you throughout the day. All kinds of nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashew), dried fruit, or a yogurt with a handful of dried berries mixed in, can tide you over until you have time to sit down for a proper meal.

* A sandwich with a salad of avocado and hard-boiled eggs is great for a quick dinner.

* I made a carrot cake with a reduced amount of sugar and oil, and loaded it with good stuff such as raisins, cranberries, blueberries, sesame and sunflower seeds.

Well, I'm off to eat something. When you're nourishing a baby (either born or unborn) with your body, nutrition really must be a priority. And even if you aren't pregnant or breastfeeding, it's important to take care of your health!


Sasha said...

For me all the thing you mentioned are like a super-diet,and I weight 57 with height 1.70.
Pay attention,that yogurt,oatmeal,salads,food with reduced sugar will not help you gain any weight. You'll have to eat foods like lasagnas, pasta etc to gain weight,and no yogurt and oatmeal will help you,and you as a nutritionist know it. Things you have mentioned will on the contrary boost your metabolism and help you lose weight. I really wish you good luck!

Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed with Hashimotos disease after my second child. I got down to about where you are now, and could not figure out how or why. Then, I gained 8 lbs easily and started having many other hyopthyroid symptoms. Even if you do not want to get your thyroid tested, it might be good to be aware of the symptoms of a thyroid problem as they can be very subtle at first, and easy for a new mom to brush off as fatigue from taking care of baby, etc.

If you do get your thyroid checked, be sure to ask for an antibodies test, not just TSH. My TSH was borderline high, but my anti thyroid antibodies were extremely high, indicating atuoimmune thyroid disease. The doctors missed it for a year as they were only testing TSH while I got sicker and sicker.

Anonymous said...

I was the same way. When I gave birth to my 1st child at 19, I had lost all of my pregnancy weight plus 3 more lbs by my 6 week check up. And she was a 9lb baby! I have always been skinny and at 47, I still don't have to watch my weight like so many others.
One thing I wanted to recommend is to drink milk. It fills you up, it's good for the baby and you can have milkshakes in the hot summer months that will add calories plus be nutrtional. Or have smoothies made with yogurt, milk and summer berries. Calcium is very important but I'm sure you know that. I love the name of your daughter. That 9lb baby of mine had a little boy just one month before your Shira was born. Our first grandchild.
God Bless and keep on writing-
Laura -U.S.A

Mrs. Anna T said...

I do eat lots of pasta, rice, and other complex carbohydrates, but it's easier for me to add snacks throughout the day than to eat more during a single meal.

Sammybunny said...

I know that cashews are particularly good when trying to healthily gain weight, so I know you mentioned those.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear -- I wish I could be so uninterested in food when I am alone. I dearly love to eat -- and have packed on 20 pounds in the past couple years to prove it! Fortunately, I am not officially overweight (yet) but I am trying to lose it and get back to where I was. It would be nice to fit into my old clothes.


A Dose of Joy said...

Hi Anna,

I came across this article and thought of you. Some things I don't quite agree with, but it is a serious look at breastfeeding.


Zora said...

You are probably doing this already but perhaps as a reminder to others, be certain that you are eating the full-fat version of foods: whole milk, yogurt made from whole milk, full-fat cheese, cream cheese, ice cream etc. Nursing mothers need this fat for themselves and their babies.

You might also increase your portion size of everything. An extra quarter or half-cup of yogurt, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, etc., an extra egg, another handful of nuts; this will make a big difference and needs very little time or effort.

AnneK said...

I have been struggling with gaining weight this pregnancy. I am 34 weeks pregnant and 117 pounds (5'1"). I can't have nuts, almonds, chickpeas etc as it gives me gas. I drink soymilk everyday and try to each as much as I can. If I eat too much also, there is gas. Hubby is worried about lack of weight gain. We are having an ultrasound next week to see if baby is doing well. I have to admit, this weight thing is causing me a bit of worry.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

I thought I was losing weight from nursing too until I hit 103 pounds after a week of eating ridiculous amounts of ice cream and finally decided to see the doctor. I'm so glad I did! I did have a thyroid problem, Graves Disease. I feel so much better now that it's taken care of!

Good luck with your weight gain. Do take care of yourself.

Bethany Hudson said...

We've used many of those ideas for Sophia, my *almost!* 2-year-old with an insanely high metabolism (she's the weight of a 12-month-old). I, on the other hand, do not have that problem. I don't know what I weigh at this point (6 weeks postpartum), since we don't have a scale, but I'd guess I have about 15-20 lbs. or so still to lose from the 45 lbs. I gained during pregnancy. Gosh, I wish I didn't eat for comfort--but I LOVE food!!


Julia said...

I can believe that nursing would make it hard for someone like you to gain weight. I tend toward gaining fat easily, even as a vegetarian. I got thin while nursing my daughter, but for me it was a good thing, lol. Once I quit nursing I gained all the weight back. It sounds like the protein and the whole fat dairy is a good idea. Maybe you could make your vegetables with more fat from butter or olive oil. I've heard drinking too much juice isn't good for kids because it fattens them up. Maybe you could try drinking more juice. ? Good luck!

The Whites said...

i lost all my pregnancy weight except for the 4 lbs i seem to be holding onto by 2 weeks and i'm now 8 weeks pp. i think breastfeeding is an amazing gift from God and not only for bonding and nutrition :-)

Deanna said...

Anna, eat.
Even the Almighty ate meat.
He gave us permission to have dominion over these creatures that provide meats.

Anna, eat.

Eat some beef, full of protein and the right balance of nutrition and nourishment for people.

Anna, eat.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anna,
You sound so much like me. DH begged me to stop nursing once when I hit 105 lbs. He was honestly concerned for me. My son was 16 months then so I agreed. I have had 2 children since and have kept more on. Just keep eating when you can. As your child(children:) get older and more of them you will be making meals and snacks for them (and you:) and it will be easier to keep the weight on. Also the closer you get to 30 the easier it will probably be to keep it on and you will be thankful you were ahead! If baby is growing well and you have energy to get things done then you aren't doing too bad. Oh and don't be afraid to eat HUGE helpings (and 2nds and 3rds!)of what you do make. I would eat 3 times what my hubby did and I wasn't ashamed! I was still half his size! :) I feel like a cow grazing, eating all day all the time but I have kept enough weight on this time around and have been able to nurse while pregnant:)
Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Sasha, the foods you mentioned are all things recommended by doctors and nutritionists for losing, not gaining, weight. You need full fat dairy products, starches, carbs. Think pudding, not yoghurt!

Persuaded said...

Well, as I am quite the roly poly little thing, I can barely even imagine having difficulty keeping weight on, lol. I really think that pregnancy/childbirth/breastfeeding fundamentally changed my metabolism. I gained weight even when I was nursing... even when I was nursing *2* children! And although I do like to eat, I'm not a huge eater. That said, my daughter with Down syndrome had a great deal of difficulty gaining weight and keeping her weight at a healthy level. We did as you are doing now... encouraged lots of snacking on healthy, calorie/nutrition dense foods. Raisins were a big fave, as well as cheese and crackers. I always tried to make even a small snack count. For example if she wanted an apple, I'd give her a couple of apple slices with peanut butter. If she wanted bread or toast with preserves, I'd add a layer of butter in there too. Also a good solid snack right before bed helped. Nice to know that Shira is gaining weight so well, yes? ((hugs))

C. said...

Hey we're veggie too!

On the oil can substitue white beans for oil. My sister does it all the time to lessen oil (I want to say its equal measurements but double check)but to get extra fiber in her picky kids. You can't taste a difference!

Anonymous said...

You don't say how tall you are but if you around 5'3" 5'4" 5'5" 121 sounds about right. Take 100 pounds for 5'0" and add 5 pounds per inch should give ballpark number. Of course, there is a matter of personal preference but I wouldn't thing 10 pounds more than that would be healthy.

Kyle, Amanda, and Tobias said...

The exact same thing happened to me and as I mentioned it was a thyroid problem. Just be aware that if it is postpartum thyroiditis your symptoms will swing the opposite direction eventually (around 7-8 months for me) and you may gain weight without trying to and/or feel tired and depressed. Just something to be aware of.

I found for gaining weight that a tall glass of milk and a peanut butter sandwich helped me. I could drink/eat this one-handed while nursing or while cleaning the house and it contained the good fats I needed. And it required no prep time, important when you're home alone all day with a little one and don't have the time or motivation for more.

Marie said...

Here is how I would alter your list to get in more calories:

1)Add a handful of nuts and a tablespoon of butter to your oatmeal.

2)Spread some mayonnaise on the sandwich and add some creamy dressing to the salad. A vinaigrette with olive oil would add extra calories, too, as would tossing in some full fat shredded cheese.

3)Make your cake using the full amount of fat and try to eat one slice a day. Pair it with a glass of milk. For someone who eats as healthy as you, I don't think the indulgence of a slice of cake a day would be an issue.

Anna, I certainly hope the reason for your weight loss is breastfeeding combined with an inclination towards "functional" eating. Maybe keep track of how much you eat and really mindfully try to get in that extra 500 calories in addition to what you already eat. Try for a bit and if you still aren't gaining any weight, speak with your doctor.

Wishing you all the best.

Shannon said...

Hi Anna, I would make sure to get lots of protein-as the complex carbs tend to provide. Include some good fats too but do please, get your thyroid checked. 120 lbs, is awfully thin for someone with your height! Myself on the other hand, needs to lose weight! I think that eating more small meals is better than gorging on a big dinner, better for metabolism. Please get well!

Anonymous said...

Cheese cheese and more cheese

Annajean D. said...

As much as I appreciate your challenges of gaining weight I often wish that were my challenge. I have the opposite problem- if my lifestyle slows down for just a few weeks even I start gaining weight. But I'm also in love with sweets so that doesn't really help my situation any.

Cynthia Berenger said...

Dear Mrs. Anna,

You know your own tastes the best, of course, but what helped me to gain some needed weight was a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat with a glass of whole milk twice a day. In addition, these extra mini-meals were relatively inexpensive and could be eaten while I did other things. Ten a.m. and four p.m. worked best for me. Hope this helps.

Agape always,

Mrs. Anna T said...


I'm not sure what you mean by the Almighty eating meat. He does not have the form of a body, so how could He eat anything?

Anyway, telling me to eat meat is like telling me to eat the soles of my shoes. :o) Meat simply isn't food for me.

Undersharing said...

My old personal trainer's very fit, very healthy-eating husband got cancer a few years ago. She was remarking to us that it was inconceivable to have whole milk, snack foods, and oils in the house but that if it got him to put on some weight in his recovery period, she'd put the stick of butter into each meal to make it happen.

Healthy food is always important, but at some level it's just a matter of getting the calories in any way you can. It may be putting an extra glug of olive oil into your pasta or some pats of butter on top of peanut butter covered in jelly on your toast.

I'm thinking of how endurance athletes, the ultramarathoners or mountaineers, eat to cover their extremely high needs for multiple days at a time. I know you want to have many more children so it's not that much of a stretch to think of your body as that of a runner in a 100 mile race- you're going to be uncomfortable and there are things that feel awful but are the only way to keep going. Eat up and have some butter!

ROSIE said...

When I was nursing all of my babies, it was easy to lose a bit too much weight--and we all know it's hard for a mama to finish a meal when there's a baby or toddler (or more than one) to assist or care for...

One thing that really helped me was to have those healthy snacks pre-made and in small containers so that as I walked to my favorite nursing chair I could quickly grab a snack to take with me and nourish myself as I nourished my baby. This was particularly important when nursing my oldest child, who was very late at starting solids (at a specialist physician's recommendation) due to intestinal problems)--I had to provide so much quality milk for her, and the mother's body will do that at her expense if the nutrition isn't there.

Anna, I think you're doing a great job! The answer isn't always increasing the amount of food as much as it is increasing the nutritional density of the food. I make some yummy muffins with fruits/dates, extra grains, nuts and seeds....there are multiple variations on the recipe (even a pumpkin spice version!) and they are super nutritionally dense in a small-ish size package that is convenient to eat for a snack, on the run, or just when not too hungry.

God bless you!


Deanna said...

Dear Anna, No need to eat shoe leather.
Please read Genesis Chapter 18. I'll jump some scriptures to condense this on comment. Please note the word ate in verse 8.
1) NOW THE LORD appeared to Abraham by the oaks or terebinths of Mamre; as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day.
2) He lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood at a little distance from him. He ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the ground
3) And said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servent, I beg of you.
7) And Abraham ran to the herd and brought a calf tender and good and gave it to the young man to butcher; then Abraham hastened to prepare it.
8) And he took curds and milk and the calf which he had made ready, and set it before the men; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
10) The LORD said...
13) And the LORD asked...
17) And the Lord said...
20) And the Lord said...
26) And the Lord said...
27) Abraham answered, Behold now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord.
33) And the Lord went His way when He had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

I checked the Hebrew verbage for the meaning of Lord in this chapter. It is indeed the Almighty.

Blessings to you, Anna.
from HomeHavenMinistry
'cauz home is indeed a ministry

Mrs. Anna T said...

Deanna, when we studied these verses, we learned that the passers-by were God's angels, and while the Almighty indeed spoke to Abraham, it didn't mean He was there partaking in the meal.

Anonymous said...


Maybe you can glean a few interesting ideas from this girl's experience:

Just try to ignore all the evolution stuff...

Deanna said...

Blessings to you, Anna. I'm so very glad you replied to my comment.
Question for you concerning previous comment.

You mention that these 3 passers-by in Chapter 18 are God's angels. When they visit Abraham, there are 3.
Would you agree that in verse 8the angels ate?
God visits with Abraham during this chapter.
Verse 16 states that the men(God's angels) rose up and went to Sodom.
God remains while the angels go onto Sodom.
God and Abraham continue in their conversation.
Verse 22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the Lord.

The angels go to Sodom.
Now there are 2 angels. Where's the 3rd angel?
That angel was the one that stayed and visited with Abraham.

Anya said...

Anna - glad you brought up the 'underweight' thing. I am 35, have 4 children and now wiegh just on 53kg. I'm 5'11". People always say how thin I am, but I really do eat huge amounts.
Interestingly, I was diagnosed with Coaeliac disease a few months ago. Not sure how this relates to the weight.
I'd love to be a more healthy weight (and shape!), but I also am aware that I can't just fill upon saturated fats (we have heart disease in the family). I'm keen to hear how you go with it all. Thanks for sharing this.
Anya xo