If you’ve ever wondered how celebrities like Jessica Alba seem to bounce right back into red-carpet shape after having a baby, there’s more to their transformation than just good genes.
Celebrity trainer, author of Body After Baby and certified wellness coach Jackie Keller has helped countless celebrities (including Alba) lose the baby weight quickly and we asked her to share her secrets.
When should you start?
You’re likely going to be tired, overwhelmed and short on time with a new baby, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about shedding weight slowly and when it works for you. “Listen to your body, but push yourself a little. Get started the right way,” says Keller. “New moms should start taking care of their nutrition needs immediately. There is no reason to hold onto excess weight, but every reason to eat healthfully,” she tells us. “For most women, the happy byproduct will be weight loss that is good for both mom and baby.”
Aside from Alba, Keller has worked with many star clients including, Uma Thurman, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron and Penelope Cruz, just to name a few.
What should you eat?
While there likely won’t be time to make three-course meals (or anything requiring more than three ingredients) to start with, do focus on making those ingredients healthy ones. “Stock up on high-fiber fruits and vegetables for antioxidants,” Keller advises. Getting back on track post-baby really is about upping your veggie intake, she insists. “Add more vegetables. You can't have too many.” Fruits and vegetables provide a whole host of vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay strong and boost your immune system. For a post-pregnancy kick-start, add apples, berries, citrus fruits, dark leafy greens (kale, spinach), cruciferous veggies (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli), asparagus and peppers to your grocery cart.
Keller also advises staying hydrated and adding healthy wild salmon for omega-3 fatty acids, heart-healthy oils and protein, low-fat or non-fat dairy for calcium, and whole grains for good digestive tract health, fullness and satiety.
Steer clear of anything refined, and butter, bacon and heavy meats if you want to drop the post-baby pounds.
If you’ve had trouble losing weight after having a baby, you’re not alone. “Everyone's different. For some, the body holds the weight. For others it’s the opposite and the body is predisposed to weight loss in the first six months, which is the favorable hormonal situation,” explains Keller. But she says no matter the situation the key is to put constant effort into your weight loss goals. “Most people don't try hard enough.”
So what should you do? Start slow but get moving. “Walking is always good,” she advises. Begin with walking short distances (even around the block or five minutes one way and five minutes back) and work up to longer and longer outings. Walking is easy and equipment-free, and you can do it with baby in tow.
In her book Body After Baby, Keller shares her ultimate post-baby body plan. “Every day has a movement/exercise and every 10 days there's a routine to follow,” she says.
Days one to 10: Keller knows the importance of having a very basic routine in the first several days with a newborn. Her book shares simple meals (as in make them in 10 minutes) and gentle stretches she says get the body warmed up for weight loss.
Days 11 to 20: This section of the plan is all about fueling your body with superfoods that are going to aid weight loss and strengthen your body. You’ll also learn several exercises you can do anywhere, any time.
Day 21 to 30: Now you’re ready to improve performance with high-energy foods, all the better to help boost your workout. Keller provides simple but effective movements that strengthen your body and tone in just 30 minutes a day.
When it comes to how celebrities seem to drop weight so quickly, it boils down to motivation. “They are simply more motivated that the rest of us as a whole. They get at it right away and work consistently toward it,” says Keller. Not everyone has the motivation of magazine covers and movie shoots to keep them on a post-baby fitness plan, but you can still find whatever helps you to keep moving. “Find what motivates you. As a coach, it's what I help people do. Maybe a picture of yourself at a weight you feel good about. Maybe an article of clothing you want to wear,” she suggests.
Working with moms
Keller loves working with moms to help them shed post-baby weight and finds it very inspiring. The fact she’s also a mom really helps. “Having been a mom myself, and having had two C-sections, and having lost my 25 pounds of baby weight twice in a matter of a month, I can totally relate to this population,” she says. When it comes to working with the Hollywood set, they make her job interesting. “Celebrity moms tend to be very motivated about getting back in shape, so they're a pleasure to work with.”
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