Hey guys. Just a head’s up that I’m going to be talking about food and weight in this post so if that’s a trigger for you, check back in with me tomorrow for an awesome fall yoga flow. <3
In the food, fitness and health space a lot of the focus is on weight loss. But what happens when you need to go the other way? I’ve received quite a few emails from readers throughout the years asking for help with needing to gain weight. The unfortunate thing is that a lot of time they are nervous or even embarrassed to be asking about it.
I am now finding myself in their shoes…and it feels like something I don’t want to talk about here but need to talk about here. I realize that at four months postpartum, many women are just beginning their journeys of losing pregnancy weight and getting back into a fitness routine so it is difficult for me to say that my focus at four months postpartum is gaining weight. I don’t want any other woman to feel like she is not perfect exactly where she is on her unique postpartum journey.
Anxiety and stress have always manifested physically for me. When I am dealing with hard or sad things, the first thing to go is my appetite and when I do eat, my stomach is a mess. The last few months have been tough and in dealing with it all, I have lost too much weight. I also think that breastfeeding has been quite an energy drain on my body. (But something that I love doing and am committed to continuing!)
I have been making a conscious effort to increase my food and calorie intake with the intention of gaining weight. I’m still primarily walking for fitness but I am working out 2-3 times a week doing running and/or strength training. The goal with that is not weight loss but rather gaining muscle mass and having a healthy outlet for emotional stuff.
Some of the things that are most effective for me when it comes to stress, anxiety and the stomach and gaining weight are…
- Eating with other people. This one is huge and it helps so much.
- Snacking more. Everything from bars to chips to peanut butter filled pretzels to spoonfuls of nut butter and everything in between.
- Smoothies with lots of full-fat yogurt and nut butter.
- Choosing full-fat dairy whenever possible.
- Adding collagen powder to coffee or tea.
- More carbs. They are just so easy for me to digest when my stomach is not at its most settled.
- Daily ice cream or other treats.
- Adding healthy fats wherever I can like nuts, nut butter, avocado, lots of real butter, etc.
It can sometimes be a hard line to walk of wanting to still eat pretty healthy overall and not just eating crap to try to gain weight.
Thanks for letting me talk about this here. I always want to share as openly as I can and this felt like something I had to address. I would love to hear any insights you might have on this topic if it’s one you can relate to.
To wrap it up, some recent eats.
5% Fage plain Greek yogurt, homemade granola, peanut butter, cherries, blueberries and bananas.
Yogurt, fruit and granola at Amelie’s and a cappuccino made with whole milk.
Lots of turkey sandwiches with mayo, mustard, avocado, cheese and bread and butter pickles.
Salad with arugula, lemon juice, honey and olive oil and topped with carrots, avocado, pears, pepitas, feta, chickpeas and dried cranberries.
Lunch at a friend’s house and she served the most delicious spinach and tomato quiche and salad. I LOVE QUICHE! Seriously, it’s one of my all-time favorite foods.
Leftover turkey and sweet potato chili (a take on this recipe). I had a slice of pumpkin bread on the side.
Trader Joe’s cauliflower rice stir fry, scrambled eggs and ground turkey. Seasoned with ginger soy sauce and Sriracha. Each serving of this had 1/4 pound ground turkey, one scrambled egg and half the bag of the stir fry mix.
Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi with sauteed Italian sausage, sauteed mushrooms, baby spinach and ALDI butternut pumpkin pasta sauce. I also melted a slice of cheese in the dish and topped it with parmesan. This was really good as a dish but the cauliflower gnocchi was just okay. Kinda mushy. I’ll stick with the real thing.
You’ll notice that my dinners are one-dish meals and things that I can eat two nights in a row. That is about all I can manage right now with Finn in the evenings!
Post-dinner slice of buttered sourdough toast with jam.
Homemade pumpkin apple bread. Recipe soon!
My friend that served quiche for lunch also made this delicious mixed berry crisp.
Finally, salted fudge brownies with ice cream.
Does stress/anxiety/emotions affect your appetite? If so, how do you deal?
Did you find that you needed to increase calories/food intake with breastfeeding?