How To...Lose the baby weight (what worked for me)

I gained quite a bit of weight when I was pregnant.

At the time, I didn't realize that I was overweight. In fact, I felt great weight-wise while pregnant and I loved having an excuse for eating random junk food all day. When I look back at the pictures, I realize that I was in fact, a bit on the bigger side. This is totally embarrassing for me to post my before pics, but hey, sometimes seeing is believing - and if it helps encourage someone else to realize their goals, it will be worth it.
Some people drop their baby weight with ease, but it was a challenge for me. Here's how I did it:

Join/create a Biggest Loser Challenge or find an accountability partner - A friend set up a Biggest Loser challenge on Facebook. Everyone paid $20 to join a 3 month weight loss challenge and the top 3 were paid out at the end. 23 people joined the challenge. This was a HUGE motivator. Every Sunday, by 11am, everyone had to send in their weight or face a half pound penalty. The beginning and end weigh in had to be captured on video and you had to wear the same thing and use the same scale you started on. Every week the stats were posted up on Facebook. The weight loss was calculated by total percent lost (much more fair than by the pounds lost). Having to report my weight to someone every single week for 3 months was the best motivation in the world! I didn't want to report the same number week after week, so I made sure I was sticking to my plan. I ended up coming in 2nd place and taking home $120 (*pats myself on the back*).

Learn how to set up your own challenge here:  How to start a Biggest Loser Competition

No eating after 8pm - Basically, dinner was the last time I'd eat for the day, even if I was up really late (which happens often). My husband and I used to eat after-dinner snacks (ice cream, cheese and crackers, popcorn, etc) almost every evening. It was bad for us and totally needless.

No obvious sugar - What's an obvious sugar you ask? Well, it's that vanilla coffee creamer or blueberry muffin (those usually have a lot of sugar in them!) or desserts at parties... yup, pass it up, it's not going to help you lose that weight, so move along to the vegi tray.

No alcohol - Alcohol is actually loaded with calories - you don't need those extra calories, so skip the wine/beer/liquor until you reach your weight goal.

Look up just how many calories are hiding in your favorite drink: Calories in Alcoholic Drinks

Exercise - This seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, to be honest, I only exercised 2-3 times each week (if I was lucky) and combined with everything else in this list, it worked. Some weeks I didn't even workout (it's hard to find the time when you have little kids running a muck). When I did exercise, I would most often run a 2 mile loop around my neighborhood. Occasionally we would take the family on a bike ride or a hike (with the littlest strapped to me) - any exercise counts!

Portion control - Take smaller portions and slow down your eating. By eating slower, you will realize you are full before you've over-eaten.

In 3 months time, I ended up losing my baby weight and I even dropped below my wedding weight!

How about you - are you struggling to lose weight? Did you already lose your pregnancy weight? Do you have any advice or success stories to share??

If you are at the start of your journey, I hope these tips help you to get to your goals. You can do it!