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This Young Mom Took Charge Of Her Weight Loss After Giving Birth

Find out how young mom Marga Banaga lost all the pregnancy weight she gained during the pandemic!

It's one thing to try to lose weight on the first day of January at the beginning of a new year. It's an entirely different story and feat altogether if you're a mom who just gave birth to a child. After nine months of carrying a human being in your womb, it sure isn't easy to bounce back to your pre-pregnancy body over night. And there's nothing wrong with that too.

We're here to give you inspiration that if you do decide to lose the weight, it can be done, and it will all be for yourself and for your family—not the judgment of society. We spoke to young mom Marga Banaga, who candidly shares her journey with diet and fitness on social media. Keep scrolling to find out how she did it!

Marga then and now

Metro.Style: Tell us about your pregnancy journey and how you gained weight.

Marga Banaga: I was around 12 weeks pregnant in the beginning of lockdown. With fear of the unknown, I turned to food for comfort. That was the time that the village food Viber groups were very active and accessible. With all the food trends like sushi bake for example, eating delicious food was what I looked forward to the most. I was also very active prior to pregnancy but that shifted with the lockdown. I did not move much. I gained around 60 pounds throughout my pregnancy and my cravings were mostly sugar!

MS: What made you decide to lose the weight you gained during pregnancy?

MB: I realized that in order to take better care of my daughter I needed to take care of myself first. My weight gain was affecting my quality of life. I felt easily exhausted even with simple tasks around the house. I needed to change my ways so that I can spend many healthy and happy years together with my daughter. I also want to be a good example for her so she sees that she has a strong and healthy momma.

Marga then and now

MS: What was your strategy? Did you employ the help of experts? How did you come up with your program?

MB: I did hire a personal trainer for the first two months (hi coach Dimple!) when I started as I wanted proper guidance with refreshing my heavy weightlifting and also to avoid diastasis recti. When we get pregnant, our abs separate (diastasis recti) to make space for the baby so after giving birth I needed to make a conscious effort to heal my core. I started my calorie deficit 10 months postpartum when I stopped breastfeeding. Focusing on high protein but still having anything I wanted in moderation. I made sure to walk 8,000 to 10,000 steps daily (through youtube walking workouts or when i'm mindlessly scrolling through my phone I do so while walking around my sala). With my workouts, I started with "no repeat" Youtube workouts first because I wanted to enjoy it first then started lifting heavy so I can build muscle. 

MS: How long did it take you to lose the weight and what challenges did you meet?

MB: It took me around 8 months to lose 41 pounds. From 76 kg in January to 57 kg in August. I found it a bit challenging to stick to my deficit when we would go on out of town trips or go out with friends but I made it work and just adjusted my deficit. It's all about finding a balance and doing something sustainable long term! 

MS: Is it different losing weight now that you're a mom compared to when you weren't yet?

MB: It was definitely harder losing the weight postpartum! My priorities changed as my main focus was taking care of my daughter. I would ask my family for at least one hour a day to myself so I can workout! Also the mommy pooch took longer to go away as  my body was healing from my c-section surgery.


MS: Please share your meal plan. Do you have cheat days? What treats do you give yourself?

MB: I post a lot of my meals on TikTok but basically I try my best to have protein + fiber + carbs for lunch and dinner! I believe in having a well balanced diet but I always make room for dessert! I do track my macros most days and my usual meals are:

  • Chicken breast, steamed okra, rice
  • Garlic butter shrimp + broccoli + rice
  • Ground beef + rice + salsa
  • Rotisserie chicken + cauliflower + rice
  • Protein shake with blueberries + banana ( a snack )
  • Tinola + sayote + rice
  • Nilaga + lots of soup and veggies + rice

I don't really eat pork because I'm not really a fan of the taste! I don't believe in cheat meals but I believe you can incorporate treats daily! My usual treats are violet crumble bars (130 cals) to satisfy my chocolate cravings, or protein donuts from Sincereley's Kitchen, gluten-free banana loaf from Mad Batter Co., sinless 90 calorie brownies from Baba Bake, and keto donuts from Dear Diet!

Baba Bake's Sinless Dark Truffle Brownies | @bababakeph

MS:  How can you help encourage women who have lost hope in losing their pregnancy weight?

MB: I would remind other moms to not be hard on themselves and to take their time. Slowly ease into things! Focus on healing first and spending time with their little bundles of joy! Our bodies did something so amazing! We grew a whole human! Something I am still trying to learn is to speak to myself with love and kindness. Once you feel ready, focus on one thing at a time and try not to do too much all at once. Aim to move more throughout the day. Slowly be more mindful of your portions. Start lifting weights (once your core has healed). Trust the process, stay consistent but most importantly enjoy the journey! Make sure you do workouts you enjoy doing and to prep food you enjoy! You've got this! 

For more inspiration, follow Marga on Instagram at @margabanaga