Mother of three loses 30 kg post-pregnancy with ketogenic diet and exercise

By My Y   January 15, 2024 | 06:08 pm PT
Vu Hong Anh, 26, successfully lost over 30 kg after each childbirth by adopting clean eating and keto diets, as well as exercising at home.

Currently self-employed, Anh first became pregnant in 2019. She was hospitalized multiple times before delivery due to high blood pressure, seizures, and pre-eclampsia.

She underwent an emergency delivery in the 37th week of pregnancy, after which her weight stood at 90 kg. Her body developed stretch marks, and her skin sagged, making her feel self-conscious and insecure, leading her to avoid social interactions.

Anh, at 90 kg, before her delivery. Photo courtesy of Anh

Anh, at 90 kg, before her delivery. Photo courtesy of Anh

Initially, Anh tried using supplements purchased online to lose weight. Although her weight decreased rapidly at first, she later developed gastric ulcers and kidney weakness, forcing her to stop taking them.

Dr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, head of the Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery at Central Military Hospital 108, advises caution with online weight loss supplements, especially those advertised as herbal remedies but containing undisclosed pharmaceutical ingredients.

He warns that weight loss products with unclear origins or lack of verification can stress or harm the liver and kidneys, and pose risks of complications like digestive disorders, cardiovascular issues, and nervous system disorders. Using these products with other medications can also reduce the effectiveness of both.

"Weight loss-aiding products cannot replace a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle," Tuan emphasized.

Anh abandoned extreme weight loss methods, switching to the keto diet and dedicating 1 to 1.5 hours daily to cardio and tabata workouts. This helped her reduce her weight to 51 kg after a year.

The keto diet focuses on fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, utilizing ketosis, where the body burns fat for energy. It involves consuming grains, fruits, starchy vegetables, dairy products, and certain nuts containing carbohydrates. While effective short-term, it can have adverse effects long-term.

After giving birth to her second child in 2021 and reaching 93 kg, Anh resumed her weight loss journey. She combined the keto diet with clean eating, focusing on natural foods and limiting processed items. This approach helped her maintain her figure while ensuring an adequate milk supply for breastfeeding her baby.

A clean eating diet focuses on promoting overall health, weight loss, and maintaining a healthy physique by emphasizing the consumption of natural foods. The general principle behind this diet is encouraging the intake of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and healthy fats. It also emphasizes limiting fast food, processed foods, sugary items, and other packaged foods.

Combining the two diets, Anh consumed adequate nutrients while limiting carbohydrates, opting for slow-digesting carbs and avoiding fatty meats or skin. She restricted useing spices while cooking, and prepared her meals to have control over the ingredients and portion sizes.

She also prioritized using healthy cooking methods such as steaming or pan-searing. Healthy ingredients like olive oil were also prioritized, and she ate five to six times a day, including three main meals and snacks like fruits, yogurt, and detox water.

She also ensured that she stopped eating before she felt full. She started refraining from overly sweet fruits such as durian and longan as well.

When she hit a weight loss plateau, Anh practiced intermittent fasting, favoring the 16:8 ratio—fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window.

Anh before and after successfully losing weight after her third childbirth. Photo courtesy of Anh

Anh before and after successfully losing weight after her third childbirth. Photo courtesy of Anh

However, due to an unhealed surgical incision, Anh couldn’t perform intense workouts and experienced back pain and fatigue. She turned to acupuncture and boxing to improve her health.

Thirteen months postpartum, Anh achieved her goal weight of 54 kg.

Anh gave birth to her third child five months ago. Similar to her previous pregnancies, she experienced preeclampsia and gained a significant amount of weight during pregnancy. Her body mass measured at 90 kg after her delivery.

However, thanks to her prior preparation and experience, the mother of three kept her keto combined with a clean eating dietary regimen to maintain her health and prevent weight gain. While her weight quickly dropped to 58 kg just four months after delivery, her waist circumference also decreased from 115 cm to 70 cm, resulting in a slim and well-defined waistline.

Anh has become confident and full of energy after successful weight loss. Photo courtesy of Anh

Anh has become confident and full of energy after successful weight loss. Photo courtesy of Anh

Since it was her third cesarean delivery, Anh primarily focused on altering her diet rather than engaging in excessive workout in order to avoid putting strain on her surgical incision.

She still follows the dietary regimen now to maintain her health and prevent weight gain. She said she is satisfied with her ongoing efforts and constant dedication to her well-being.

"Only when I am at my desired weight do I feel like I'm truly living with self-confidence and much more energy," she stated.

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