To sort out fact from fiction in the realm of post-baby bodies, weight loss and dietary needs for new moms, we’ve enlisted the help of experts to give us the low-down dirty truth.
Fiction No. 1: Your post-baby body will never look the same as it did before you had a child.
You’ve heard the urban legend: Your body changes after you give birth—and it doesn’t exactly bounce right back. But is that true? “BS!” says New York-based trainer and fitness expert Larysa DiDio, who has trained Olympians like Beijing all-around champ Nastia Liukin. “Your body can look great or even better after. You just have to exercise, and do the right kind.” What is the right kind? DiDio says new moms need a balanced program that is “efficient and effective.” Strength training is essential for building back your fat-burning muscle, and to fill in areas with loose or sagging skin. She likes Pilates abs to tone and strengthen a mom's core; 20 to 30 minutes of interval cardio on a machine, or another type of your choice; and stretching or yoga to manage stress and loosen up those overtired muscles. (Hey, being a mom can be tough!)
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DiDio says that the biggest post-pregnancy pitfalls aren’t your basic dieting and exercise issues, though. It’s the added pressure of motherhood. “Lack of sleep, bad eating habits and stress can make you feel crappy and not motivated to work out,” DiDio explains. “It’s the main reason why women have trouble getting their bodies back.”