Allison Finnegan, 5'2"
Mom to Ben, 8 months
Starting weight: 172
Ending weight: 148
"As soon as I went back to work, the baby weight I'd lost on maternity leave started to creep back. In the past, when I needed to lose weight, I exercised more. Now I just don't have that kind of time. Three days a week, I leave the house at 7 a.m. and don't get home until 7 p.m. On those days, it's all about convenience. Once I get to work, I have instant oatmeal or a pastry with my coffee. Lunch is pizza or a deli sandwich from the cafeteria. Chocolate usually makes its way into an afternoon snack. On work nights, dinner is easy, like pizza or pasta, and I have a big bowl of ice cream every night."
The nutritionist weighs in. "Allison tends to eat comfort food and snacky things, like chocolate and animal crackers, when she's tired or stressed. By the time she gets home from her two-hour train ride, she's starving and not in a frame of mind to make good choices." Glassman had Allison completely eliminate sugar and white bread and refined snacky foods for a couple of weeks. For breakfast, instead of a pastry to go, she had Allison eat some protein and a high-fiber carb. On work mornings, she could still have instant oatmeal but with almonds added for a protein boost. If she's at home, an egg-white omelet with two-percent cheese provides a high-protein change of pace. For lunch, instead of pizza or a sandwich, she could choose the fish or chicken (grilled or broiled) or have a salad. To keep her blood sugar from spiking and dropping, Glassman instructed Allison to eat a snack containing protein and a high-fiber carb roughly two hours after eating a meal. "This prevents that vicious cycle of being so hungry you make bad choices that leave you hungry and craving sugar a half hour later."
How it went. "The first few weeks were really painful. I missed ice cream and pasta. But after the shock wore off, I stopped craving all that sugar," Allison says. "Every afternoon, I have Dannon Vanilla Light & Fit yogurt mixed with almonds. Salmon and sauteed spinach is my favorite dinner. I eat two peppermint patties right before I go to bed. If I had them earlier, it would probably trigger a binge, but they satisfy my sweet tooth."
The exercise routine. Allison said there was no way she could exercise on the days she commuted. "I only spend an hour with Ben on those days," she says. "No worries," Norcini says. "You don't have to kill yourself. I told her to do cardio three to four days a week, stepping it up as she got in better shape, and one strength workout."
How it went. "My husband and I take turns going to the gym on weekends. I work out at least three times a week. I'm doing spin, and I went running on Christmas and the day after -- something I never would have done before!"