How does Wendy keep her weight down?

Moms of 16 children are not your typical candidates for diet books. But Wendy sure is. Her 2008 book is still a great seller, and for good reason. Here’s her response to the frequently asked question….

Wendy chronicles her journey in weight loss in her book.

Wendy chronicles her journey in weight loss in her book Love in a Diet.

Losing weight is a trial when you are having a baby and nursing every year! I struggled for many years before I found “the key” for me. I decided one day that I was going to find out why I was overweight. I went and bought a new notebook and just started to write down everything I put in my mouth, even a mint. I simply ate like I always did for about a week and found that I was eating way too many calories. I won’t tell you how many (sheepish grin). Then I analyzed my log and thought of ways I could cut back on my unhealthy habits.

The result? I lost 50 pounds! That was years ago and I have had many more kids since–one set of twins. I made it a regular habit to write down everything I ate, analyze the list, and figure out where I could feasibly cut back.

I also learned to move more. I really didn’t exercise much other than chase kids and keep the house clean. I would consistently remind myself that I didn’t need to be sitting around long. When I would feel the temptation to sit around, I would tell myself, “Wendy, get up and move!” So my motto to lose weight is, “Eat less, Move more!” Even bouncing your foot when you have to sit is burning calories. I came up with this plan out of necessity: I knew I couldn’t join a fitness center or Weight Watchers.

Another important thing about my weight loss was being relaxed, not desperate, about it. I did stick to the real foods, real butter, real cream, eggs. I didn’t just eat egg whites but the whole egg. I didn’t buy any diet food. I read all the labels. I bought a food book that showed calories. I cut out white flour and white sugar as much as I could. Another trick I found was to try to eat every two hours even if it was just three bites of an apple of a few crackers.

I would not stuff myself at mealtime and would look forward to a little snack later. In the morning, as soon as my eyes open, I would take 3 bites of something to break the fast of overnight. See, what I learned was when you starve yourself your body just goes into starvation mode and hangs onto everything so you don’t really lose weight. If you put 3 bites of somthing into your tummy every 2 hours and eat small meals your body can “trust” you and will drop the weight. I saved desserts for special parties and would be right back at it the next day. Sure, I had some days that I would overeat, but the key was to get back at it the next day. Have more good days than bad. Drink your eight or so glasses of good water every day. Soup is huge. A cup of soup is very satisfing but doesn’t stuff you.

I figured that my stomach was a muscle and that I needed to shrink it. I was used to eating too much at once. I didn’t think anything of 3rds at supper time! Now I am content with a simple serving at mealtime and small healthy snacks throughout the day.

I had to watch out for false guilt. I hated to see things get thrown out, and I used to often finish my children’s meals after dinner. I prayed and asked God to help me not to feel responsible for every scrap. He always met me there! So I stopped finishing any of the kids plates or anything else.

The transformation has been so dramatic that some of my friends have asked me what happened to my face! My brother saw me after 3 years and he said I was 1/2 the size I used to be. I dropped 5 sizes.

Wendy: Before and After

Buy Wendy’s book today!

About Wendy Jeub

Yes, Wendy Jeub has brought 16 children into the world, and loves each and every one of them. So much so, she'd welcome more!

  • http://gabbygwenhwyfar.blogspot.com/ Jennifer

    Ohhh… at 35 pounds over weight… I can’t wait to read it. (I betcha self-control has a little to do with it.) ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOL

  • Elisabeth

    Well, we have six, and I’m currently running about 50 pounds overweight, but the last 30 of it was put on while doctors were frantically trying to regulate my thyroid (I was born with congenital hypothyroidism). We also, unfortunately, had three arrows go back to the Lord before 15 weeks of pregnancy and that took its toll.

    But, as I get my medical issues under control and we pray for blessing from the Lord, I would love to hear any tips you might have (I have the self-control thing down…. now I just need to master the metabolism thing!)

  • Stacie

    I too, have done the same thing. As a result, I am only 126 lbs. I have 2 more pounds to go till I’m back at my prepregnancy weight and this is my 5th child. I’m so excited! I like to eat little snacks through the day and eat a small amount for meal times. It works great. Everyone wonders how I bounce back between children, this is the key! Don’t eat so much! Oh, nursing helps too.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Stacie, mother of 5

  • Shannon Mallory

    I can’t wait to see those before and after! I am not going to finsih off our scraps anymore!!! I never thought of that, but it adds up!

    Mommy to 4 sweet girls… will we ever have a boy??? : )

  • Tara

    Have you posted those “before and after” pics??
    Thanks so much for sharing this! I have 7 children. I have have been up and down the scale twice in the last 6 years…lost 60# after baby#4 kept it off for three years even during pregnancy#5 …gained it all back with baby #6 then lost 40# and gained it all back again with pregnancy #7. I sure wish I could end this battle of the bulge for good!!! Your success has pretty much confirmed my present thinking…”move more, eat less….you’d think chasing all the kiddos all day and all the housework would be enough “movement”!!! LOLOL!!!

  • Tina

    I had this same problem with a 6 member family. I ate too much for the energy I burned during the day. I now have a recumbant bike that has helped me to lose 90 pounds without working out intensely. I did ten minutes before each meal & reduced myself from two eggs/two slices of toast for breakfast to 1 each. I saw immediate results. I had to exercise to lose it but not everyday. Homeschooling had helped me to gain some weight by sitting more in teaching one on one. I now try to stand more while teaching & I have the children read to me while doing my bike.
    You are an inspiration to all of us!!

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Wendy Jeub

    Hi Tina and all, I am an inspiration? You are! You lost 90 pound that is so very cool, a big pat on the back from me.

    I am working on this again after a new baby and it is coming but slow. I am now walking 9 miles a week and it is fun and really good for me, mentally and physically.

    I am really watching what I put in my mouth. Soup and salad are great.

    I really would like to continue this blog with anyone interested.

    Smile and have a great day,
    Wendy Jeub

  • Rachel

    Hi Wendy!

    Thank you for sharing! You really simplified what it takes to lose weight. It reminds me of a book I read, ‘Look Great, Feel Great’ by Joyce Meyer. You two give very similar advice. = )

    I seem to overcomplicate things, and perhaps that is what has kept me from losing weight, and what has frustrated me in the past. Seems like every time I get frustrated with myself, I gain another 10 pounds.

    I’m going to follow your wonderful advice and start eating smaller portions and start moving around more.

    Thanks again for sharing, and for giving me hope that it is possible to lose my excess weight.

    Have a blessed day!

  • Marie

    Wish you could keep up this blog. Could use encouragement. Found out I have diabetes 2. So for once I HAD to do something. Doing ok with it but have a lot of weight to get off. I do like your suggestion that you are not desperate but relaxed about loosing weight. I am also writing down everything I eat. Am finding when I eat the RIGHT foods you are more full. I also eating more small meals. It does help.

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Wendy Jeub

    Hello Marie,
    So nice to hear from you. =D

    Thank you for telling me about your struggle with weight. I do understand how much hard work it is!

    During my 3rd pregnancy I was told that I had Gestational diabetes, I was very sad to hear that news.
    However, I got on the Diabetic diet and actually did very well controlling it with just diet changes and some exercise.

    I have just recently returned to my pre-pregnancy weight now after having my 14th baby and it was by doing all the things I had learned before. I put it all into practice each and everyday and stuck to it. Of course I still am. Arriving at my desired weight does not mean I stop doing all the things that got me here.

    Setting some goals is a great way to meet some of the demand of weight loss. Simply set a goal of say, ‘1 lb a week, so I have a goal that I will lose 1 lb a week over the next month.’ Now maybe that does not seem like a very big goal but on the other hand most people lose between 1 to 2 lbs a week, realistically on a good set diet and exercise routine. If on most weeks you meet this goal and on some weeks you actually lose 2 lbs a week and some weeks you don’t lost any, in 4 months you will probably average out at having lost 16 lbs or more this is great!

    When we lose weight at a slow and steady pace we are more apt to keep it off by naturally developing and implementing new habits, those new habits become part of our life and we become healthier people.

    Taking some prayer time and time to relax and de-stress are great ways to get to your goals too. Pray always and when you get to that point when you feel that you just can’t resist some temptation, God is faithful and will meet you there and provide a way out for you. You just have to be willing to take it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

    You know it is important and now you have to do something about it, just like you said.

    I am sure you are going to do just great!

    Please keep me posted on your progress, I would love to hear how you are doing.

    Holding you up in prayer.

    Wendy <
    Note: I am currently working on a book about diet and weight loss, it will be out later this year.

  • Carolyn Syvers

    I also noticed that Wendy has no wrinkles, great skin and hair, and looks SO young period —and especially for a mother that has 13 children.

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Wendy Jeub

    Well… Thank you so much Carolyn! Blushing…

  • Valerie

    Wendy, I noticed that you said you are working on a book on diet and weight loss. I can’t wait to read it! Yay! This is one area that I think, unfortunately, causes some women to decide to stop having children. You are an inspiration, and we would all appreciate the advice you could offer in a book. I have found your books and your CD to be wonderful and informative.

  • Valerie

    Wendy, I also wanted to ask you what your diet is like during pregnancy and if you exercise during pregnancy? Also, do you eat the same meals that your family eats or do you prepare something different for yourself? Thanks.

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Wendy Jeub

    Hello Valerie,
    Yes, yes and yes.

    I do watch my diet during pregnancy I make healthy choices and I do walk 2 miles every other day.
    I stretch and squat everyday.
    Yes, I eat what my family eats just less if it is a high calorie food and I make sure we have a large salad every night with supper.

    I have not gained as much this pregnancy as I have in the past.

    You can do this, keep up the good work!
    Joy in the Lord,

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Wendy Jeub

    I also do my Kegaels 400 a day and I do all this under the close eye of my Chiropractor.

    I do eat a lot of veggie based soup, I just love it.

    My book is entering into the final editing stages and will be out in the Spring.


  • Valerie S.

    Thanks! I can’t wait for your book to come out!

  • Sarra

    I am currently reading your book and loving it. My husband and I currently have 5 children and are considering having at least one more. But I am really struggling with the issue of putting on and taking off this weight every time, I don’t feel like I can emotionally handle it ten more times! Do you feel it is still limiting God for you to say you’ll continue having children in other ways, fostering or adopting?

  • Sara

    Hi wendy! I am a fitness instructor so you would think I would have the whole weight thing down! LOL. I just had our third child and am at my biggest yet. The even more challenging part is that within the last 2 year my knees have become bad due to all the excess exercise I was going at one point, as well as changes in the body due to pregnancies. I have a slower metabolism, PLUS now take a medication that makes it harder for me to lose weight (antidepressant.) SO! I could really use some advice and encouragement! How can I lose the weight without doing all the exercise I used to do like running, interval training, lots of leg strength like squats, lunges, etc….things like yoga, walking, pilates are all very comfortable for me, yet don’t seem to do the job in terms of burning the calories. I feel like I am active!!! I just want to be at a healthy weight before I conceive Lord willing again. I would also like to look nice for my husband. He is very nice about it and doesn’t make me feel bad, butI can’t help but feel he wishes I was smaller again. I could use some help, ,knowing you have been there! Thanks and God bless!

  • Nichole

    Wendy, thanks for sharing these tips! Nothing earth-shattering, but somehow it carries a bit more weight from someone who has had so many children. You look fabulous! Thanks for the encouragement and motivation. I need to lose at least 30 lb. after my second child (who is 10 months old), and am mad at myself for not doing it yet (I lost 20-30 in the first few months after he was born, then lost motivation). I will be so disappointed if I go into my next pregnancy with all this extra weight already. Thanks again. :)

  • Jane Buss

    Hi Wendy! Just a quick note to say hi and hope your feeling well after the birth. The pictures are gorgeous he is a real boy baby! I was so excited to see your diet book is out soon. I am really struggling with my weight, it has slowly crept up with each baby, I am really feeling the effects of being over weight with this pregnancy. Nothing serious just extra tired and breathless and swelling etc. It’s not as if I eat lots I think its when I eat and what I eat,eg snacky things! I make sure we all eat together and buy fresh but just never seem to manage a whole dinner. So I look forward to your book and what tips you have. Do you have advice for nursing mothers? Well I hope your all well and have a great easter? Is it your Easter weekend the same as ours? Sorry is that a silly question? I’m actually unsure! Take Care Love to you all Jane x

  • Becky J.

    It was so nice to see you at the Birthday Bash last Saturday. As it turns out, I read through your book this past week. I started out just reading Chapter 4, Eight Little Things that Add Up. Then, I continued forward to the end of the book, then went back and read the first 3 chapters.
    It was an easy read, interesting and helpful. (Thought you might get a chuckle at how I came to read the whole book.) And now, I have a question.

    On page 73, you refer to all chocolate not being created equal. Do you know, and could you share with me, the names of the companies which retain 95% of the flavonoids in their dark chocolate? And how did you find out this info? Was it in the article you read, or is there a way that you can tell when you read labels?

    Also, if you have a list of great tips that you’ve gathered regarding how to lose weight, I’d love to see it. I think some of my favorites in your book were the ones about walnuts and apples being appetite inhibitors.

    Great book! Thanks for writing it.

    Becky J.

  • Judy Jeub

    I am Wendy’s mother-in-law and she suggested I post this idea on her blog:
    I have always found exercise extremely difficult, not so much the doing of it, but committing to do it regularly. I had more starts and stops than you’d believe. A simple slogan helped me get over my block: “I always have ten minutes.” I am retired now, but I began my routine before I quit working. I decided on an exercise plan, that is, what I wanted to do. Then every morning I exercised. On most mornings I did not want to exercise and/or I really felt crunched for time. But the slogan got me to do the ten minutes.
    What I learned is this:
    1. Once I start, I have moved my lazy self off the lazy couch and often just keep going, doing the full half hour of my commitment.
    2. The commitment is half the battle. Doing just ten minutes of exercise may not do much for maintaining weight or for heart health, but it does wonders for maintaining the commitment.
    3. I really do have ten minutes. I found that when I took the ten minutes to exercise I tended to make up for it later in my morning routine. My shower was shorter, I ate an easier breakfast…you get the point. Sometimes I found myself ready for work early when I thought I would be late.
    4. Late is not a sin. I know people I love dearly who are regularly late. And ten minutes late is no big deal. People don’t lose jobs for being ten minutes late once, or once every other month. People who lose jobs over being late are most usually habitually late or are late more than ten minutes. (By the way, being on time for things is more an obsession for me than a sign of character. I have learned to get over that.)
    5. It feels good to succeed. I call ten minutes of exercise success. I kept to my commitment. The good feeling pours over into the next time when I have 20 or thirty minutes to give.
    6. Honesty is important and I don’t fool myself. Once in a while there is a day when I simply cannot do my planned exercise routine. I may get an early morning call to help my daughter with the children or I may be traveling. I do what I can and accept when I simply cannot. I don’t feel guilt when I know things were not in my control. When my routine gets interrupted, I step back into it as soon as possible. The routine comes back quickly.

    Another idea that works for me:
    I rotate types of exercise. I have noticed that gurus of one kind of exercise or another(aerobic work out, weight lifing for strenth, yoga, etc) usually suggest doing whatever they promote two or three times per week. For me they might as well say “never”. A daily commitment is what I need, otherwise I forget where I am at. So I exercise every day but I rotate types of exercise. One day I do a yoga routine for flexibility and balance. The next day I walk outside or use a walking video. The next day I do a routine with weights. Then I start all over. Variety helps me not get bored. I do have my favorites. Knowing tomorrow I can do what I enjoy gets me through the torture of having to do what I don’t want to do today.

    Hope this is helpful to someone.


  • Crissy

    Dear Wendy,
    I just wanted to tell you what an encouragement your diet book is. We just had our 6th child and again I’m battling my weight.

    Your book is just what I need to help me along.

    How long does it usually take you to lose your pregnancy weight? Your family is beautiful, thank you for all the encouragement.
    God Bless,

  • http://flat99belly.blog.com/ Manual Scigliano

    Thank you very much for the useful post!
    Many guys always wonder why they cannot burn fat or get a better shape. The point is people never stop searching for a secret method that gives them what they desire at once while all they have to do is reading good posts like this and implement the training.

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  • http://www.everydaychristian.com/ Amy Wingfield

    You do look beautiful, and I can’t wait for your book as I am working toward transformation myself. We stopped the fertility treatments last Friday. I was getting sick. : headaches, major hair loss, I was beginning not to function, and my kids and husband need me healthy. I also gained weight on the treatments. It’s only been a week, but the hair loss has stopped, the weight is coming down, my husband is helping me fix my hair today. I feel so much better and I’m looking forward to a Happy Thanksgiving and a Beautiful Christmas. Keep me in your prayers please. I’ll post pictures as things change. Amy

  • Robin Potter

    I just want to confirm how true Wendy’s advice on eating every 2 hours is. I found out that I was pre-diabetic and ended up doing a “medically monitored” weight loss program to change my medical issues quickly. The key to this program is the every 2 hour rule – eat a healthy protein or vegetable every 2 hours and you will lose weight! 2-4 oz of a healthy protein (boiled egg, chicken breast, cottage cheese, low fat deli turkey). Then add all the non-starcy veggies you want. It is true that your body goes into “starvation” mode when you don’t eat often enough, and therefore holds on to the bad things even more than normal, as it fears you won’t feed it again soon! So, every 2 hours actually helps your metabolism and the protein keeps you from feeling hungry. I lost 40 pounds in 5 months!! Of course, I cut way back on sweets and carbs as well, but if you do this, along with the 2 hour rule, it will change so much!!