Losing pregnancy weight is never something a mom should feel compelled to do. But for women who do want to drop pounds, the key is finding a plan that fits into that hectic new mother lifestyle. For blogger and influencer Amber Fillerup Clark, that plan is keto.
Clark, who gave birth to her third child earlier this year, recently wrote about her keto experience on Instagram. In her post, she included two side-by-side images: one showing her body at nine months pregnant, the other at six months postpartum.
She tells Health that she first tried the keto diet after her second child, daughter Rosie, was born. She decided to go back on it after having daughter Frankie in February.
Her husband, David, has done keto on and off for about 10 years, she says. He always told her how great keto made him feel, but she was still skeptical about trying the trendy high-fat, low-carb plan. "I am the type of person that if I’m going to have a cookie I’m gonna have a few," she wrote on Instagram. (David is also on Instagram chronicling his keto journey and the meal plan he created.)
When she tried it the first time, she quickly understood why David was hooked. "I felt like it was a really good diet for me because it didn't restrict the amount of calories I could take in," Clark says. "Calories are really important for nursing, and they're also important for how I eat—I like to feel full. I don't like to feel like I'm depriving myself."
For her second go-around on keto, Clark says she likes that she can snack on the diet (her top snacks are nuts, string cheese, and pepperoni). Keto has also helped her cut back on her sugar intake. "I feel like I have so much more energy," she says. It's even eased her sweet tooth. Instead of eating several cookies at a time, "now when I eat sugar on a cheat day, after half a cookie I'm like, 'Gosh, that's so rich,'" she explains.
Cheat days (which some keto dieters allow themselves) are important for Clark. She usually has them on Saturdays, when she's most likely to go out with friends. "I don't want to be the person who can't eat anything on the menu," she says.
When she and David eat at home, they stick to their favorite keto-friendly meals. Breakfast means cauliflower, egg, sausage, and cheese casserole or grain-free granola with almond milk and strawberries. For lunch, they love chicken tortilla or broccoli and cheddar soup. When dinnertime rolls around, they whip up spaghetti squash with chicken or a low-carb sauce, or chicken with broccoli and cheese sauce.
Although Clark has found success with keto, the plan isn't for everyone. Many find it too restrictive, and some people end up with unpleasant side effects. It's also more of a lifestyle, which can be hard to sustain long-term.
Still, Clark says she plans to stay on keto, though she knows she'll go through periods where she lets herself be more flexible with her diet, like when she's traveling. "When I did keto the first time, I probably would have said that I wasn't going to stay on it, but now that we have a routine and all of our go-to recipes, I really do hope to stick with it."
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