26 answers

Frustrated by Lack of Weight Loss

My baby is almost 10 weeks old (my how time flies). During the first 2-3 weeks post-partum, I lost about 15-20 pounds pretty quickly and then plateaued. I have been going to the YMCA to work out since she was 6 weeks old. I am doing about an hour to an hour and a half of cardio (treadmill walk/run, cross trainer, etc--I rotate) 4-5 days/week on average, plus some weight training. I also limit my soda intake to 1 or 2 on saturday and/or sunday (my "treat") and stick with water and milk during the week. I have cut out my evening bowl of icecream (pregnancy craving!) and eat fairly healthy otherwise and have not replaced the ice cream with anything else. So you can imagine my frustration when I have only lost 1 or 2 pounds (and those seem to keep coming and going). I know that muscle weighs more than fat, and I'm sure I've built up muscle with all this working out; I also know there are 3600 calories in a pound. The machines I work out on calculate calories based on weight entered (and I tell the machine the truth!) and I'm sure they are not entirely accurate, but I figure I'm burning about 500-700 calories just on the cardio stuff I do, plus weight training and my regular activity during the day. So I figure with the excercies calories burned, plus the ice cream calories that have been eliminated(it was a very large bowl of ice cream each night), I should be losing about 2 to 3 pounds every week to 10 days. Anyone have any insight regarding the slow progress? I am certainly not giving up by any means and I definitely feel great after my workouts. But I go back to work in 2 1/2 weeks, work outs will have to get cut down to 45 minutes max (if I can get myself to the gym by 5:00 a.m.) and have NO pants that fit that are work appropriate (side note, maternity pants are falling off, but the pants that I wore before needing true maternity pants don't even come close to fitting--I probably have 50 pair of pants in my closet from my 2 pregnancies, so I really don't want to spend the last 2 weeks of maternity leave shopping for pants!) Thanks for any insight! Sorry for the extra info, but thanks for "listening"!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the encouragement. Let me clarify, that the approximately 50 pair of pants (I will count later just for kicks!) are over the course of 5 years worth of accumulation through the ups and downs of weight gain/loss/redistribution during and after my 2 pregnancies. I have many "in between" pants from the first pregnancy, and they don't seem to fit either (I am short and wore larger sized petite pants with elastic waists until I really needed maternity pants--some of which never "fit" right during the second pregnancy either). I truly enjoy working out--if I skip the cardio portion I don't feel like I worked out--must be the "runner's high" (except it's not always running b/c that is just plain hard for me!). I have heard the "9 months to gain it, at least that long to lose it", I guess I just didn't realize that would be the case regardless of the amount of effort in terms of exercise. I don't really care what the scale says or the size of the pants, but it would be nice to have a "reward" for all of my effort, so for now the reward is that I feel GREAT after my workouts. I am actually sad that, if I manage to make it to the YMCA at 5 a.m.(am I crazy?!) when I go back to work, my workouts will likely only be 45-60 minutes. Thanks for all the encouragement--apparently mother nature trumps exercise physiology post-pregnancy! And I did have a small bowl of ice cream last night and a chocolate chip cookie from Fazoli's (YUM!) today. Happy Thanksgiving!

Featured Answers

I had the same problem, and the weight didn't start to come off until I started Weight Watchers. I was exercising like crazy before I joined, but still only losing a few pounds a month. I didn't realize how many fat grams I was eating a day, but once I started weight watchers counting system I lost 35 lbs in 16 weeks, and I feel great! I even exercised less but lost more weight. I wish you the best!

Sorry to hear. I know it's frustrating. I had the same problem with my first child. I worked out like a fiend, had a personal trainer, ate 1400 cal diet (nutritionist supervised), did all the right things. It still took 1 year before I looked like me. My doctor explained that some people's bodies have a fat storage mechanism that kicks in to protect them after the birth of a child. Which would be useful if we were living in caves and living off the land. Not so convenient for modern society.
With the second child I vowed to test the theory and not panic. I only work out a little, 20 minutes twice a week and eat whatever I like. Same exact weight loss as with the first one. I know, it's crazy! I thought it might make you feel better to know you weren't alone. Relax and have a bowl of ice cream if you like.
Good luck.

More Answers

You've gotten this a lot but...give yourself a break! You are doing lots of good things for yourself, eating well and exercising, and I think you need to realize that it takes some time. If you read what medical experts (not celebraties or others) say about baby wt. loss they will tell you that it is NOT uncommon to take at least 9mo (9 mo to gain it so just as long to loose it)if not closer to a year to loose the baby weight. I've ready many books in which women have said even w/faster wt loss, their body was still not at it's pre=pregnancy state until closer to the 9mo mark- think about all the things that stretch out, hip bones, and soon- they can't just magically go back into place. Realize that normal and SAFE wt. loss is only around 1-2 pounds a week. So I would suggest you keep doing what you are doing, go to a goodwill or thrift store and get a few pairs to get you through the transition, and spend some time giving yourself a break and some permission to not be Heidi Klum. Because a vast majority of people do not loose all their wt. while on maternity leave. ANd...finally if you still feel like you want to do more, consider keeping a food journal, we often eat far more (bites, tastes, licks,etc) then we realize until we write it down.
Also just something to think about other your wt.... are you sure you are not to obssessed with this goal. Really stop and think, is it for stress relief and enjoyment, or is it ONLY for wt. loss. SOmetimes when we do things for the wrong reasons, they don't work, exercise and diet included! But seriously your baby will not be 10wks, 4months, 6months, etc old forever and I just hope you are able to enjoy all that and not spend the whole time obsessing over your pants size...Just "food" for thought"- please don't be offfended but it's probably good for everyone to examine such thoughts.
Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Like the other writer said, I think you're putting way too much pressure on yourself. I didn't lose all of my weight until a full year had passed since I gave birth. I think if you stop thinking about it so much, you may actually start losing the weight faster. I find that just chasing my little guy around helped to lose the weight. Also, think about eating lots of small, healthy meals throughout the day. THis helps to speed up your metabolism and helps to make the weight come off. But, again, I think, just relax and enjoy your little one. Oh, and I couldn't fit into my pants for a long long time. I bought one size up from my normal, and just waited until that extra weight came off. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

What really helped me is the simple rule of burning more calories than you are eating. I did not have great success until I started recording my food and exercise through sparkpeople.com It is a free site and there are also groups you can join and interact with people from all over the country, including Canada.

To help with calories burned while exercising I invested in a heart rate monitor, calibrated it with my height and weight and always wear it while I am exercising.

Using the method of tracking food and exercise I have lost 20 pounds since January. I am now at my goal weight and am currently in the maintain and encourage phase! Take a look at the site, check out some of the groups, it's great!

1 mom found this helpful

WoW, honestly, your baby is 10wks old, please give yourself a little credit--and a little time. My daughter is 17 months and I still have that 10 lbs of left-over that I just can't seem to shed...I think it is a combo of being older w/ a slower metabolism than I used to have--and the fact that I am EXTREMELY busy w/ my 17 month old daughter.

I hate to sound rude, but you sound a bit obsessed w/ this. Maybe if you took a deep breath, and just continue to work out but not obsessively it will just come. Sometimes I gain weight when I stress--even if I am counting calories and working out.

The body works in mysterious ways-- maybe this is your bodies way of saying something to you.

Good Luck and enjoy those babies! They don't stay that little for long!

1 mom found this helpful

I think you are being way too hard on yourself! You've had 2 children, for crying out loud. Reality check time: Go ask 10 mothers if they now wear the same size pants they wore before they had children. If you're patient enough to wait around while they laugh hysterically, 9 of them will eventually be able to utter "No." Even if a woman loses all the pregnancy weight, her body is often just "different": saggier stomach, etc.

I think that if you enjoy working out, by all means, continue to do so. It is great that you are finding time to do it and I'm sure it's some much needed "me" time. You may or may not resume your original weight or pants size, so accept your body for what it is: incredible, amazing, life-giving.

1 mom found this helpful


I always think it's best to remember that it takes us 10 months to put on the weight so it may take us awhile to lose it. Don't be so hard on yourself, it sounds like you are really trying. Some experts say we can actually excercise too much which does not help weight loss. I didn't lose any of my weight until my children were all over a year old. With my third I found it more difficult so I joined Weight Watchers. I started in July of '06 and had lost 35lbs by Feb of '07. I have kept that weight off so far which seems to be the hard part. I think they have a great program though and recommend it to lots of people. Good luck to you on your journey it just takes time =)

1 mom found this helpful

I hear ya. This is VERY common. My little girl is 9 months old (today!!!) I just lost all of the baby weight at around 8 months. I had gained a total of 38 lbs and like you I lost about 20 right away... the rest obviously took awhile. I would NOT be discouraged and I would also take the advice that I am sure you have heard before "it took 9 months to put it on, it will take 9 months to take it off".

try not to think about it so much. it will come off. im the same as you. the first month most of my weight came off. but for all them it took almost a year before the rest came off. with my last one being only 3 months old i haven't tried as hard to get it off (too busy with the 5 of them!) but haven't let myself go either and im only 7 lbs away from by weight before i got pregnant with my 17 mo. im not sure why its coming off so easily with out trying, im guessing all the running around i do with the other kids. give yourself some time, it will come off. in a couple of months im sure you will be looking back saying what was i so worried about? i would suggest a second hand store for some clothes in the mean time. i know it sucks having to buy more but at the cheaper prices it might make it a little easier and alot happier when you can donate them back to the store for the next mom! good luck.

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