Pre-baby, you sit down a lot. After delivery, you never do -- chasing a crawler (watch out!), grabbing more diapers (arrgh, upstairs...), wiping down the high chair (and floor). But the extra activity might not pay off on the scale. What will? Our mom-tested diet and exercise program, proven to help moms painlessly shed those leftover pounds. The result: same great you; a more toned, trimmer bod.
Your love-every-bite healthy eating plan
Pick your plate. Our delicious recipes (each serves one), created by Stephanie Clark, R.D., and Willow Jarosh, R.D., of New York City, will energize you and help you take off up to 2 pounds a week. Any six days, combine a breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and treat that add up to 1,800 calories. (On Day 7, eat what you want, but stick to 1,800 calories.) Nursing? Eat an extra snack (300 calories) to maintain milk production.
Don't skip meals to try to speed progress. A grumbling tummy may trigger high-calorie cravings, causing you to down more than if you'd eaten at regular times.
Make your grocery list. New-mom truth: A stocked fridge is a stress-easer. We made shopping a snap by repeating the most nutrient-filled foods -- such as quinoa, spinach, and Greek yogurt -- in many recipes. To save more time, choose just three picks from each meal category every week and buy double. Cycle in a new option or two in the next week. It's okay to substitute foods within the same group if you'd prefer broccoli to spinach or chicken to tofu in a recipe.
Eat out when it works. We know that you haven't been ordering off a menu much since Baby came along, but we've listed smart options for when you do. Decide on your order before you go. And know this: Although most fast-food spots now sell healthier items, such as oatmeal and salads, new research shows that calories in desserts and condiments have actually risen.