In yet another example of the media gets it wrong sometimes, there’s this:
Kendra Wilkinson Baskett lost 55 pounds just five months after giving birth to her second child, thanks to the low carb, ketogenic-style Atkins diet. The 5-foot-4 Wilkinson, whose pre-pregnancy weight was 120 pounds, tipped the scales at 175 pounds during her second pregnancy.
“During my pregnancy, I started at 120 and ended up at 175,” Kendra told E! “I researched the perfect diet for after the baby. I love meat, I love vegetables. [Atkins is] low-carb and it’s working so good.”
Wilkinson, who gave birth to daughter Alijah Mary in May 2014, is now at her pre-baby weight, although she’s still dieting and exercising to get toned.
Listen to me: In a “healthy pregnancy” you gain roughly 25-35 pounds. Once you have your baby, you lose 4-9 of those pounds, followed by an additional 3-5 pounds after the birth; and if you breastfeed, you lose a little more—it takes calories to produce milk (about 300 more)—that said, it’s not unusual to see some women drop 15-20 pounds between delivery and 6-weeks post birth; add a workout regimen to that, even better.
That said, it’s unlikely Wilkinson lost 55 pounds all because she was on a Ketogenic Atkins-style diet. If anything, she lost the weight because of her diet and her dedication to a strict fitness regimen. And, because she was so focused on maintaining her fitness level beforehand, chances are good that what she had left to lose was a number closer to 35-40 pounds (still a big number, but manageable within that time frame); roughly 2 pounds a week over 5-months.
Look, post-pregnancy, weight loss is difficult, and if much of the weight you gained is due to bad eating and poor health and exercise habits (assuming you were able to actually maintain a fitness regimen and chose not to), it’s even harder. Even so, stories like Wilkinson’s only serve to shame those who chose to handle their 9-months differently.
It’s deceptive and it’s wrong. Period.
The most effective thing to do post-pregnancy is get back to eating clean—a lifestyle that’s absent of processed foods and focused on whole and organic fare—and working out at least 3-4 days a week, for 30-60 minutes a day. If you’re able to do that, you will be able to gradually lose the weight and return to your pre-baby size, assuming no underlying health problems exist.
Most importantly though, don’t look at stories like this one and think it’s the norm and you’re an anomaly—they’re not: every woman is different and you have to do what works for you.