Losing weight after having a baby is no small feat. However, with some encouragement , support and the determination to snap-back to your pre-baby body -- it's not impossible.
You've probably heard the saying: summer bodies are made in the winter. But, if you're like us, you spent the winter wrapped in a blanket channeling your inner "Netflix and Chill" or "Netflix and pump" spirit if you just had a baby, instead of lifting iron and doing cardio circuits at the gym—no judgment, we get it.
So when celebrity moms like Halle Berry and Jessica Alba need to get back in shape for red carpet season or for a movie premier, they turn to celebrity fitness-guru, Ramona Braganza who whips them back into camera-ready shape in just 2 weeks. Wowzas!
We caught up with Ramona to get the inside scoop on getting summertime (and red carpet) fine in snap, all from the comfort of your own home. Here are her top 10 tips:
1. Begin the day mindfully. Begin everyday with intention and make up you mind to take control of how you feel. Braganza recommends beginning the day wtih meditation to "help keep you focused, positive, energized and grateful." She believes setting your intention in the morning is important because getting in shape begins with in the mind.
2. Embrace the outdoors, even if it's just to take your baby around the block on a walk. Fresh air and being outdoors will rejuvenate the senses, and Braganza suggests that it is a great way to get on track with a walking program.
3. Tools to keep you on track. Fitness trackers are increasingly more popular, and they're great for inspiring your to set and achieve daily fitness goals. Aim for 10,000 steps a day or more. Braganza recommends getting an activity tracker or a heart monitor to help keep you accountable. We love the FitBit Blaze ($199.95, at fitbit.com)
4. Tighten your core. Braganza advises her clients to engage in core exercises along with Kegels and walking programs because they are simple things you can do that will help you feel slimmer instantly. Table Top Taps (below) are also a great exercise sequence that tightens and targets the deeper muscles of the core.
At-Home Exercise: Table Top Tap
Begin lying on your back, knees bent. Raise your legs to form a 90-degree angle, pull belly button into spine. On an exhale, keeping belly pulled in, lower your right bent leg and tap heel to ground. On an inhale, lift leg back up to tabletop and repeat with left leg. Repeat 10 rounds.
5. Stand taller, you'll look leaner. Continued breast-feeding can lead to poor posture (that forward slump many new mom's experience.) Braganza advises her mom clients to train their postural muscles by pulling their shoulders back with exercises like wall flatteners (see below.)
At-Home Exercise: Wall Flatteners
Begin back facing a wall, lean against the wall. Knees slightly bent and raise arms to shoulder height as you bend elbows in a 45-degree “stick em up” position. Keep wrists and elbows flat against the wall as you slowly slide arms upwards 6 inches then lower back to shoulder height. Repeat 20 reps.
6. Stop eating for two. Exercising and maintaining healthy eating habits are a package deal. Braganza recommends counting calories on a daily basis, aiming for a daily intake of about 1800 calories to allow for sufficient lactation while still allowing you to lose the weight gradually.
7. Drink water. It's easy to forget to drink water. Braganza recommends drink a minimum of 9 cups of water a day to "ensure you have enough for breast milk production and for exercising and energy levels."
8. You don't need a gym membership to loose weight. Make use of household items like books, canned goods or bagged fruit in place of weights to start an at-home resistance program. This lateral raise exercise (below) will help tone you arms and all you need is a pair of water bottles!
At-Home Exercise: Lateral Raise
Stand tall, knees slightly bent holding a pair of water bottles. Slowly raise arms to the sides shoulder height pause then lower, Tip: imagine pouring the water out of the bottles as you raise them, this internal rotation will give you added definition. Repeat 20 times.
9. Select a support system. Having a buddy is crucial when you start your fitness journey; they help keep you accountable and they also make the experience more fun. Braganza advises that you join forces with other moms in the neighborhood and take turns watching each others babies for as little as 20 minutes to fit in activity.
10. Be patient, trust the process. Weight loss—like weight gain— takes time. Stay away from unhealthy crash diets that promise instant results. "Remember you did not gain this weight overnight, give yourself time to lose it, stressing over things will not speed up process it will only hinder it, " notes Braganza, "losing 2 pounds a week will be healthy and permanent."
For more fitness tips, visit Ramona's website.