One of the joys of pregnancy is showing off your bump—that growing tummy people can’t seem to get enough of. But revealing a post-baby belly is the last thing most moms want to do. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a healthy weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds is recommended during pregnancy. The Mayo Clinic estimates women lose approximately 10 pounds during birth. Shedding those remaining 15 to 20 pounds can be a challenge. By examining celebrity diets and workouts, you can see how it’s done.
Define your goals, and establish a realistic plan to achieve them. Losing 60 pounds requires a different strategy from exercising to tone muscles. During an interview with “People” magazine, Kate Hudson admitted to gaining 70 pounds while pregnant with her son, Ryder. She relied on a 1,500-calorie-a-day diet and daily 3-hour workouts to lose the weight. Denise Richards required a less drastic approach—four weekly hour-long cardio-weight workouts starting 6 weeks after daughter Sam was born. To lose weight at a safe pace, the American Council on Exercise suggests a 1- to 2-pound loss per week.
Exercise. Burning more calories than you consume is the key to weight loss. To get a lean body, you need to focus on aerobic activities. Tracy Anderson, trainer to fit moms Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, recommends doing 20 minutes of cardiovascular work followed by toning exercises six times per week. She suggests alternating between different activities (5 minutes jogging, 5 minutes jumping rope) during the aerobic portion. Most doctors recommend waiting 4 to 6 weeks after delivery before beginning vigorous exercise.
Eat more nutritious foods and avoid unhealthy foods. Rather than follow a specific diet, select foods that provide essential vitamins and nutrients. As part of his Best Life Diet, Bob Greene, trainer to Oprah, suggests three meals and one snack each day. He warns people to steer clear of soft drinks, foods with trans fats, fried foods, white bread, alcohol, and high-fat milk and yogurt. Make sure you consume enough calories to meet your daily needs.
Sleep 8 hours a night. A study conducted by Stanford and the University of Wisconsin indicates a link between body fat and sleep patterns. Participants who slept less than 8 hours had the highest percentage of body fat; those who slept the fewest hours weighed the most. In an interview with “Glamour” magazine, celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson stressed the need to get enough sleep. He recommended reading “Power Sleep” by James Maas to learn more about sleep and its relationship to fitness and longevity.
Breastfeed your baby. Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera, Salma Hayek and Halle Berry are among the list of celebrities who breastfed their children. According to ACOG, nursing burns an extra 500 calories per day. Plus, it’s cheaper than formula and a great way to bond with your baby.