Kim has lost 42 pounds from the 60 she gained since giving birth to Saint West three months ago. Samantha Lefave from Redbook magazine talked to Kim’s nutritionist Colette Heimowitz, VP of nutrition and education at Atkins Nutritionals to find out what she was eating to lose all that weight so fast!
1. Kim’s a hard-core Atkins devotee.
Okay, I knew this already, as she followed the same plan to lose weight after giving birth to North. She also isn’t shy about professing her love for the program on social media—Kim’s thrown shout-outs to the company on Twitter—or being the brand’s ambassador. But what I didn’t know is that she’s actually been a long-time follower. “[Kim] was originally introduced to the Atkins diet by her father when she was in college,” says Heimowitz. “It was very familiar to her and she trusts the plan because it worked so well for her in the past.” Hey, if it ain’t broke…
2. She’s all about that protein.
Whether it’s eggs, fish, chicken, or meat, Heimowitz says Kim has protein in every single meal to help keep her full and satisfied. Makes sense, as research has shown that those who get the daily recommended amount of protein into their system lose more weight than those who don’t. Couple that with high-fiber foods (think artichokes and squash) and healthy fats (like avocado and olive oil) like Kim does and Heimowitz says you’re on the way to weight loss success.
3. Oh, and she loooves cheese.
Cheese omelettes with turkey bacon. Sliced chicken with fresh mozzarella. Onion soup with melted cheese on top. A few slices with black olives. Girl loves all of the above, and Heimowitz says it’s cool—but there are rules. “[Kim] is limited to four ounces of cheese a day,” she says. Other foods that come with restrictions: Sour cream, half-and-half, and butter. “These things aren’t unlimited, but she can have them—just enough to keep you satisfied,” explains Heimowitz. “[Because] a tab of butter on broccoli is way better than just boiled broccoli.”
4. Kim is not going low-cal.
Low-carb, yes, but low-cal? I don’t think so. “A low-calorie diet leaves you hungry all the time, and you need to not be hungry in order to be successful,” says Heimowitz. “When you have adequate calories, protein, fat, and high-fiber carbohydrates [in your diet], you won’t be tempted to add something. All the willpower in the world is not going to keep you away from that donut if you’re starving.” In other words, you don’t need to drastically cut cals to lose the baby weight (nor should you, especially if you’re breastfeeding, as food comes with important nutrients that your baby needs). Science shows that restricting calories slows down your metabolism anyway, so you burn calories at a slower rate and end up hanging on to weight rather than shedding it. So go on and eat breakfast already.
5. In fact, she eats 1,800 calories a day.
That’s on the lower end of calories you should aim for while breastfeeding (which Heimowitz says Kim is still doing), and experts say most women average between 1,800 and 2,200 calories per day. It’s different for everyone, though, and the Mayo Clinic suggests taking in about 400 to 500 extra calories a day from what you normally do to keep your energy levels up.
How do those calories break down for Kim? Heimowitz says she gets four to six ounces of protein, four ounces of cheese, eight to 10 servings of veggies, and two tablespoons of added fat per day (so not including the fats she gets from whole foods or protein sources). But because she’s a celebrity, Kim doesn’t have to worry about measuring sh*t out most of the time thanks to her chef and nutritionist planning—and then making—the menu. That said, Heimowitz concedes that Kim is so busy and on the road a lot, so she doesn’t always have her team with her. Meaning every once in a while, she has to eat out and make good choices like the rest of us.
6. Yes, she has a no-no list.
Foods Kim can’t eat while on the Atkins diet include: “Sugar, sweets, cakes, crackers, white flour, white rice,” says Heimowitz. And while we all know Atkins is low-carb, that doesn’t mean no-carb. It’s about choosing smarter ones. “The secret is [to] pick high-fiber carbohydrates that slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream,” explains Heimowitz. “[So] instead of white rice you have a little brown rice. Instead of a white potato you could have a yam. And [when you want] dessert, you can make one with Splenda instead of sugar.” (Though you should still be careful about how much you use.)
Now, that doesn’t mean Kim never eats these foods. But while she’s on a mission to lose the baby weight, Heimowitz says they’re off-limits. “When you’re highly motivated and committed, [sometimes] you prefer tight guard rails [because] you don’t want to throw progress off,” she says. “Once you reach your weight loss goal, then you can find out how much of those things you can tolerate in moderation without going overboard.”
While that makes sense for some people, don’t sweat it if it isn’t your style. Eating everything in moderation can work when trying to lose weight too, but portion control is key.
7. Kim’s losing about two pounds a week.
Which sounds about right, as experts say it’s healthy to lose one to two pounds per week whether you’re a mom or not. But shedding faster isn’t an option, as Heimowitz says it could affect Kim’s milk supply. And keep in mind, “weight loss is not linear,” so Kim isn’t shedding exactly two pounds every single week, rather an average of two per week when you look at the month as a whole. Why does that matter? It means you don’t have to be so hard on yourself, or think poorly of yourself if you don’t hit the mark one week. Everybody is different and there are a ton of outside factors that influence weight loss (diet, stress, and your environment, for starters), so you might drop three pounds one week and zero the next. No biggie.
8. It’s easy to eat like her.
If you want to, you can even steal her meal plan. Because I got it for you—you know, ’cause I’m nice. ????