Recapturing Your Body

Honey, This Ain't Hollywood

We all gaze at pictures of Hollywood actresses days after the birth of their babies and wonder how in the world they managed to keep their figure through the entire process. Jealousy gnaws at us as we feel fat and frumpy, asking ourselves if we will ever look good again.

Well, the fact of the matter is that most celebrities never gain the same amount of weight during their pregnancies as average women do, and they have an entire entourage of helpers to ensure they get back into shape asap. We usually don't have the same resources-like personal trainers, chefs, and nannies-all there to give the time needed to get back into shape fast. On top of it all, many of the celebrity moms go on diets that are just plain crazy and something nobody should be practicing.

Crash Dieting Won't Do The Trick

Those in the know remind us over and over again that when it comes to getting back into shape after having had a baby, crash diets and over training are not the best ways to accomplish the task; especially if the pregnancy was difficult, or the delivery was a C-section, or if you're breastfeeding. Fitness trainer Sue Fleming, creator of the Buff line of workout DVDs including Buff New Moms, says, "The worst thing a woman can do is try too hard to do too much too soon - if you do you're likely to find yourself exhausted and discouraged, and less likely to continue, and you'll wind up carrying that baby weight a lot longer."

So, with this advice in mind, how does a new mom move forward toward regaining her body?

How Do I Get My Body Back?

Most women seem to believe that the best way to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight is through dieting, even though the experts tell us that dieting is definitely not the way back. Nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy, tell us, "You should be eating at least 1,800 to 2,000 calories a day while breastfeeding, and if you eat less you will not only be shortchanging yourself, you'll be shortchanging your baby. You can't produce quality milk if you are not eating enough." Probably the best advice is not to even think about dieting until after your first six-week visit to the ob/gyn.

Go Easy On Yourself

If you are breastfeeding, then dieting obviously is not a good idea. The great news about breastfeeding is that it burns calories, which means that moms who breastfeed can lose extra weight that was gained during the pregnancy. If you're not breastfeeding, it is fine to monitor your caloric consumption. However, keep the weight loss to about a pound per week and don't be drastic. Remember that being pregnant is like running a nine month marathon. Your body has been through some extraordinary stress which has cost it in terms of nutrition. Take the time during postpartum to build energy and restore nutrition to your body.

Before you know it, you'll be looking like you did before you had the baby.

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