Follow new mom Hillari Dowdle as she attempts to regain her prepregnancy size.
Hillari's pounds-blasting workout
Designed by personal trainer LaReine Chabut, author of Lose That Baby Fat! (M. Evans and Co.; losethatbabyfat.com)
30 MINUTES OF CARDIO, 3 TIMES A WEEK
Take a quick-pace stroller walk incorporating hills when possible, or try the following routine on an elliptical trainer or treadmill:
5-minute warm-up: no ramp, easy stride.
5-minute mark: Set ramp level to 6 or medium level; maintain a stride in which you're breathing heavily but can carry on a conversation.
15-minute mark: Increase ramp level to 10 or highest level; aim to maintain previous stride.
25-minute mark: Decrease ramp to level 6 or medium level; maintain previous stride.
5-minute cool-down: Decrease ramp to 0 and gradually slow your stride.
20-MINUTE STRENGTH ROUTINE, 2 TIMES A WEEK
• Warm up your muscles for at least 5 to 10 minutes by dancing with your baby, performing jumping jacks with alternating knee lifts, or marching or jogging in place.
• Do the 6 moves in our slideshow--lunges, squats, triceps presses, biceps curls, push-ups, and abdominal crunches on the ball--12 times each, adding a second set as you feel stronger.
• For triceps and biceps moves, use 5- to 10-pound weights, or the heaviest weight you can lift 12 times. (It's OK to struggle on that last rep!)
• If you don't have a stability ball (available at spriproducts.com), sit on the edge of your couch or lie on the floor for crunches.
Hillari's nutrition pointers
Designed by: Eileen Behan, R.D., author of the newly revised Eat Well, Lose Weight, While Breastfeeding (Ballantine Books)
Eileen Behan, R.D., literally wrote the book on dieting while breastfeeding. She advocates choosing foods wisely, allowing for treats and making sure you're getting enough. "Don't get up from the dinner table hungry, or you'll be snacking all night," she says. "If you wait a bit and you're still not full, eat a little more." That's advice anyone can live with. Here are six more tips she suggested for me:
• Eat at least two servings of fruit per day. These provide loads of needed vitamins and minerals while working to curb your sweet tooth. Fresh is best, but prepackaged fruit, packed in water, works well too. A favorite among Behan's busy clients: Dole Frozen Pineapple Chunks--just thaw and eat.
• Plan on a special treat each day, especially if you have a sweet tooth. Breastfeeding can give rise to cravings, and denying them can set you up for diet failure. Instead, select a single 150-calorie dessert, and really try to enjoy it (preferably when your baby is asleep, so you're not distracted). Some of Behan's favorites include cup of ice cream, a frozen ice cream bar, cup of pudding, a granola bar, or two Lindt chocolate balls.
• Limit starches to the equivalent of two slices of bread per meal, plus a bonus slice (to eat at your discretion anytime during the day). Look for the words whole-wheat flour at the top of the ingredient list.
• Eat three meals a day that include lean protein to keep your energy high and appetite low. Choose a lean meat, reduced-fat dairy products, eggs or beans. (Beans, however, can be tricky, since they're also starchy--if you're eating them on the side, count them against your daily bread allowance.) Always eat at least 1 cup of vegetables--frozen or fresh--per meal.
• Pick snacks that you won't be tempted to overeat or that won't pack on the pounds if you do. Good choices include chicken, fruits, vegetables, yogurt and hard-boiled eggs.
• Limit fats to two servings per meal. As a breastfeeding mom, you need fats, but try to eat them sparingly.