If you’ve ever wondered how on earth celebrities seem to snap back into shape so quickly after having a baby, well the answer may not be as unattainable as you may think.
In fact, one of the best-kept secrets of Hollywood moms is the Belly Bandit compression garment, which helps to shrink the belly, waist and hips and has a whole host of other benefits for the post-pregnancy body.
We love these ideas to "Maximize Your Meals" from our sister site SHAPE.com. Learn healthy ways to stretch your dollar at the supermarket and make three dinner variations with one main ingredient—chicken.
It takes time to get back into your bikini-body shape after having a little one, but the key to settling into a happy weight may be more about making time for pleasure than going on a deprivation diet. “If you aren’t living a joyful life—despite getting enough rest, watching what you eat, and exercising regularly—you won’t be able to reach or sustain your happy weight,” says Erin Cox, author of the new book, One Hot Mama, who struggled with her weight after having three kids.
When I was expecting, I didn’t think too much about my weight. In the first trimester, I was so nauseous that I lost weight from not eating enough on most days. When I started feeling better, I was thrilled to be gaining weight—to me it was a sign that my baby and I were healthy, so I never paid too much attention to the number on the scale at the doctor’s office. If my OB-GYN said my weight gain was fine, I took her word for it.
My babysitter, Sonya, loves junk food just as much as I do. Which is why I was surprised to see her walk in my door this afternoon clutching a tub of fruit salad for her lunch. I was busy making myself a plate of cheese-laden nachos, and as I assessed her much-healthier dietary choice, I have to admit, I felt a little betrayed. My jaw must have dropped, because she started making excuses immediately.
"I'm trying to lose my belly," she explained. "LL Cool J says you should shop on the edges of the grocery store, because all the processed junk is in the middle."
Your body is recovering from childbirth and needs a steady supply of vitamins and minerals to heal. What’s more, with a new baby in the house, you’re undoubtedly fatigued, and you need healthful foods to refuel your body. And if you’re breastfeeding, your baby is relying on you for crucial nutrients.
The eating patterns you set in the first six months after having a baby can help you lay a foundation of healthful eating for the rest of your life, says Eileen Behan, R.D., a dietitian in Portsmouth, N.H., who specializes in weight management for individuals and families.
Name a movie star, model or neighbor who looks fantastic and who is also a new mom. Got someone in mind? Well, there you have it: proof-positive that getting back in shape after having a baby is possible. With a little healthy know-how, there’s no physical reason why you can’t have a great postpartum body — even a flat belly. In this special section, we’ll give you a progressive workout to get your body, especially your abdominal muscles, looking better than ever. We’ll also provide tips on changing your eating habits to meet your postpartum weight goals.
Weight loss can decrease your risk of gestational diabetes. If you were in your 20s, I would recommend that you try to lose weight before getting pregnant again. But since you are 35, my recommendation is to not delay conception by trying to lose weight first, as fertility decreases with age. You should consider consulting a registered dietitian about beginning a preconception nutritional program, as doing so may reduce your risk. Thirty minutes of daily exercise also should be incorporated into your routine, as research shows it can greatly reduce gestational diabetes risk.
Progress report at 10 months
Starting weight: 165 lbs.
current weight: 153 lbs.
Yesterday, Truman, now 18 months, had one of those days: He just wouldn't eat anything. Believe me, I tried. I started the day offering him a banana, raisins, a slab of whole-grain toast with almond butter and apricot preserves—no, no, no. Having failed that, then fresh sliced strawberries with yogurt and honey. Uh-uh. Multigrain toaster waffles? Forget it.