Patricia Lopez's weight loss journey after having fourth child

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- After having my fourth daughter, I wanted to really speed up the process of losing the "baby" weight.

With the last three kids, it always took me months, even over a year to get back to my pre-pregnancy shape. This time I was determined to focus on good, clean eating habits immediately after I left the hospital. That meant lots of greens and lean protein with a healthy dose of carbohydrates throughout most of the day.

My secret weapon was a "healthy start" green smoothie (recipe below). I drank one everyday for 21 days. At the same time, I also ate a fully raw vegan diet. Adding salads, fruits and nuts really jump started my weight loss journey.

After the 21 day renewal cleanse, I stuck to a low-carb, high protein diet and began exercising at 6 weeks post-partum. At 12 weeks, I was able to shed 21 pounds of the 25 pounds I gained.

The process although simple, was challenging. On days when I was craving a big greasy burger and fries, I turned to a big salad filed with lots of veggies. Sometimes, I just had to have a glass of wine or steak, but after eating so healthy for so many weeks, I found my body didn't react well to my old favorite food and drink.

I'm the end, I realized you can lose weight pretty quickly, but you must eat the right foods so that your body gets exactly what it needs. I still have about 5 pounds to go, but my focus is about clean eating and consistent workout routines.

Here's a photo of my weight loss journey:
From left to right: 39 weeks pregnant, 5 weeks post-partum and 12 weeks post-partum

From left to right: 39 weeks pregnant, 5 weeks post-partum and 12 weeks post-partum

Healthy Start Smoothie
    2 cups of baby spinach
    1 cup of red seedless grapes
    1 banana (frozen is best - add extra ice if using fresh)
    1/2 cup ice
    1/2 cup filtered water
    Blend all until smooth.

Pumpkin Smoothie
    1 cup pumpkin (raw or canned )
    1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
    1 banana (frozen is best - add ice is using fresh)
    1/4 tsp all spice
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1 Tbsp honey
    Blend all until smooth.

-Recipes provide by Stephanie Merchant
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