(LONDON) — We all love Kate Middleton for putting her “mummy tummy” on full display.
But the truth is, she was sleek and fit before she got pregnant with baby George and, if she’s like most high-profile moms, she’ll be back in fighting shape in no time flat.
Celebrity trainer Sara Haley says it possible for any woman to bounce back after having a baby even if she doesn’t have the royal assistance from a stable of chefs and trainers. Haley offers these five tips for new moms who want to return to pre-baby form quickly, but safely and without breaking the bank.
9 Up = 9 Down
It took you nine months to fully expand and Haley says it usually takes about the same amount of time to completely restore your body to its former glory once you’ve had a baby. Keep in mind that having a baby is a major physical event. Even if you lose weight quickly, it may not be until your baby’s nine-month landmark that your body looks the way you want and your pre-pregnancy clothes fit properly again. That timeline will vary by a few months depending on a number of factors, including your age, genetics, how many kids you’ve had, whether or not you breastfeed and if you’ve had a C section.
When You Go, Go Hard
Middleton, no doubt, has the luxury of having a nanny to help out with child care if she wants one. Maybe you do, too. But even if that’s true, you still won’t have as much time as you did before to hit the gym once the baby is born. Haley advises doing 20-minute interval workouts that alternate bursts of high-energy cardio exercise with periods of slower “recovery” cardio. One recent Auburn University study found that this type of training workout burns a whopping 13.5 calories per minute and doubles the speed of your metabolism for at least 30 minutes afterwards so you continue to burn fat and calories at a high rate, even after you’ve hit the showers.
Hit the Weights
Cardio is great for weight loss, but strength training is what picks everything up and puts it back in place. Pump iron that’s heavy enough to make your muscles feel fatigued after 8 to 15 repetitions of an exercise, Haley says, and train every part of your body at least twice a week. That means doing exercises that focus on your chest, back, shoulders, arms, abs, butt and legs. If you have time, add in regular Pilates and yoga sessions to help tighten and tone the waistline, easily the No. 1 postpartum trouble zone for most women.
Watch What You Eat
You’re no longer eating for two — but that’s tempting to forget, especially when you’re groggy from lack of sleep. You don’t have to starve yourself but, Haley advises, don’t eat uncontrollably, either. Keep in mind that women who breastfeed need 450 to 500 additional calories per day according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. A turkey sandwich with cheese on whole wheat with a piece of fruit is a good example a high-quality, 500-calorie meal.
Match Expectations to Effort
What you put into your workouts is what you get out of them, Haley says. If you skip a couple weeks of workouts and double up on the ice cream, don’t expect any miracles. However, if you are patient and consistent, your hard work will pay off. It may not happen quite as soon as you’d like, but you will be rewarded for sweating it out on a regular basis.
Don’t beat yourself up if, unlike the A-list babymakers, your body doesn’t slim down instantly after popping one out. True, some celebs are blessed with a body type that snaps back quickly, but they’ve probably also got a good stylist to help camouflage any extra baby pudge. And they’ve got another trick up their sleeve you don’t: It’s called air brushing.
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