1. Start Slow! You might be eager to get back into your pre-pregnancy skinny jeans, but be patient. It can take up to a year to lose the weight and tone the belly, which is completely normal and even preferable. The amount of time it takes to see results also depends on your pregnancy, whether or not you had a caesarean section and your own body. Be sure to get the green light from your doctor or health visitor to start working out again.
2. Eat Right! A healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy will help you lose weight and give you enough energy to work out and keep up with your baby. Casseroles, stir-frys and hearty soups are a great in the winter months to keep you energised and feeling full.
3. Breastfeed! Breastfeeding is a great way to tighten the belly because it causes the uterus to contract and quickly shrink back to its pre-baby size. Women who breastfeed lose weight faster than those who don’t— up to 300 calories a day. And if you breastfeed for more than six months, you can burn up to 400 calories a day.
4. Exercise! Fitting in 30 to 60 minutes of cardio most days is a great way to burn calories and lose belly fat, and it doesn’t have to involve making time to go to the gym. Put the baby in the pushchair and go for a walk to the park. Get on the Wii fit or invest in a workout DVD – personally we love a bit of Davina McCall!
Don’t expect miracle results overnight, celebrate all achievements (like getting through a particularly hard-section of a work-out) take it a week at a time and do what you can.