Photography by Shadi Garman
After I had Charlee, I really struggled to lose the extra baby weight I had gained during pregnancy. I gained 50 lbs during my pregnancy which was quite a shock to me. For some reason I had this really silly unrealistic idea of how pregnancy would be for me. I was in for a rude awakening! I was SO swollen and heavy by the end of my pregnancy that I could barely sit down, let alone walk. I remember Matt and I went to a movie the week before I gave birth and I was so uncomfortable the entire time that I could barely make it through the movie! HA! After I had the baby, I lost about 30 lbs of weight in the first three weeks. I was so happy to have that relief and remember thinking to myself “oh great! The weight will just fly off.” Unfortunately for me, that was not the case. I plateaued with 30 lbs left over. I wish I could say that I was super comfortable in my body and didn’t worry about the weight I had to lose. I am not going to pretend like that is true. I definitely felt far from my true self during this time. On one hand I felt incredibly confident in my abilities as a Mom and the fact that I had actually given birth was super inspiring and gave me a different view of myself physically. I felt strong and in awe of what I had been able to physically accomplish. With that said, on the other hand I felt far from myself and couldn’t help but analyze my figure. A lot of this negativity had to do with the fact that I had postpartum anxiety. You can read more about my experience with that here.
One day, when Charlee was around 6 months old, something clicked. I decided I needed to make a change. I downloaded the BBG Sweat app in the app store and started working out 3-4 times a week. I saw slow changes in regards to my body but I still wasn’t losing weight. I was toning up, but not losing pounds. I realized that if I wanted to lose the weight I was going to have to diet. I had never dieted before in my life so I had absolutely no idea what to do. I wasn’t knowledgable at all about the science behind weight loss. Luckily, I came across Tanya Zuckerbrot’s instagram around this time. Tanya is the creator of the F-Factor diet. I started following her and learned that the F-factor diet lets you eat carbs and drink wine from day ONE! I was intrigued haha! I bought her book and it all started to make sense. The best thing about Tanya’s book is that she explains the SCIENCE behind weight-loss. I had been making what I thought were “healthy choices.” After reading her book I realized that I may have been eating healthily, but not in a way that was going to activate weight loss. I started step-1 of her program and after 6 weeks had lost 10 lbs! yes, 10 lbs! Since I have been on her plan, I have lost 15 lbs. I still have that last 5 lbs to go, which is OK but honestly I feel great. I am back in my old jeans, and feeling in control of my body and more like myself.
So you may be asking…”ummm isn’t this post supposed to be about a magic cracker?!” Well, I am getting there ;). On day one of the F-factor diet, you can eat carbs. This doesn’t mean that you eat bagels for every meal, but you substitute and make adjustments throughout your day to allow for carbs. You learn about healthy carbs and how fiber is the secret behind weight loss. You see, your body only burns fat for fuel in the absence of carbs. If you don’t have carbs to burn in your system, your body then starts to burn the fat. That’s why athletes will “carb load” the night before a race or game. The next day, their bodies aren’t diluting their energy supply because they have eaten a ton of carbs which their bodies burn first. So, what F-factor teaches you is that you can eat carbs as long as you net them out with fiber. Fiber nets out carbs! It’s amazing! Instead of depriving yourself, you actually focus on what you are going to ADD to your diet. Meaning, if I am going to eat carbs, I go for a carb with a high fiber content so the net carb is less. Which leads me to…GG crackers! GG crackers became my go-to carb. If I went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant, I would dip GG crackers into guacamole and skip the chips. If I went out to eat at a Mediterranean restaurant I would top my GG crackers with hummus and babaganoosh and skip the pita. In the mornings, I would put scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese on top of my gg crackers and make a yummy and delicious sandwich and I never felt like I wasn’t able to eat my favorite things. GG crackers have only 4 grams of carbs per cracker, with 2 grams of fiber, which nets out to only 2 grams of carbs. Fiber is the key ingredient to these crackers. Fiber has 0 calories and keeps you feeling full for longer. By swapping normal bread, chips or crackers for GG’s I was able to enjoy my normal foods while still losing weight! I never felt deprived and still don’t! I wish I could tell you all every single thing about the F-factor diet and the amazing science behind weight-loss, but that would take a long time. I just wanted to share how I was able to lose the baby weight and not feel like I was depriving my body.
I am now on step 3 of the F-factor diet. I am no longer actively trying to lose weight but instead maintaining. That said, after learning so much about nutrition and weight loss from the F-Factor diet, I’ll never look at food the same way! Knowledge is power!