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Use it or lose it: Getting back into shape after having a baby


Scarlett Johansson added the wow factor to a vintage frock with a confident slick of lipstick.

Scarlett Johansson added the wow factor to a vintage frock with a confident slick of lipstick.

Scarlett Johansson added the wow factor to a vintage frock with a confident slick of lipstick.

It seems every celebrity just snaps back into shape, don't they?

They say that the weight just falls off them from breastfeeding, or running around after a toddler.

Now, I don't know about you, but I was constantly hungry breastfeeding around the clock, and I certainly didn't burn enough calories just looking after a 2 year old.

For us mere mortals (who don't have personal chefs and trainers on hand), it can be quite hard to regain our pre baby body.

Your shape does in fact change - your hips and ribcage expand to allow for that growing baby in there, and they don't just snap back into place. For some, even their feet are bigger after having a baby.

But while your bones have become wider, all is not lost.

You can still burn any fat around that area - it's never impossible to burn fat. It does take some work, you need to eat the right foods and burn calories by exercising, but it can be done.

It's also hard to find the time to fit in a workout when you're minding a newborn baby.

The day just seems to run away with you, and before you know it, it's 7pm and you're exhausted. So, what you want is a workout that you can do in a short amount of time, that will burn a huge amount of calories.

For this, look into interval training and high intense cardio exercises paired with strength exercises that will help you increase your metabolism.

The type of training that will burn a high number of calories in a short amount of time is called HIIT, or High Intense Interval Training, and is designed to keep your metabolism heightened for up to 36 hours after you finish your workout.

Steady state cardio like running, walking and swimming, while no doubt is excellent for the cardiovascular system, will not produce such an effect on the metabolic system.


In my day-to-day job of teaching postnatal exercise classes, the one question I am asked more than any is, "how do I lose weight from my stomach?"

It's seems to be most women's main weight loss concern, especially new mothers. We've all read articles online, or seen those ads on the side of website, telling you how to get a flat, toned stomach.

They usually say something like, "this 1 weird tip" or "never eat this". And those tips are usually wrong, trying to sell us some sort of crash diet.

Losing weight from your stomach is not about doing 100 sit ups a day, cutting out carbs or eating cabbage soup!

Here are some tips to help you get rid of any unwanted fat around your stomach after having a baby.

• To lose weight and get a flat tummy you need to burn fat. Do this by burning 500 calories more per day, every day, than you take in for a week, and you will lose 1lb of fat.

• The average female body will burn between 1,400-1,900 calories per day. This is before you do any sort of exercise.

Add the 250 odd calories you burn in an average intermediate-advanced exercise session, and you are up to about 2,000 burned calories for that day.

So if you eat 1500 calories, you have burned 500 more calories than you have taken in.

Check out this website to work out your (estimated) Basal Metabolic Rate http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator

(Remember to factor in breastfeeding)

• This is an estimated number, as it doesn't take into account your muscle mass and activity level. A good way to increase your metabolism is by building muscle and being more active on a daily basis.

• Keep doing your sit ups and ab exercises, but be aware that the toned ab muscles underneath will only be seen once the fat covering them is burned.

• There are some foods to stay away from. As a general rule, sugar is the DEVIL!!! So cut out all sugar from tea, coffee, cereal etc.

Sugar is also found in white breads, rice, and pasta. Don't be fooled by 0% fat yoghurts either, they will be loaded with sugar to make them taste ok.

• Learn to read the ingredients list on food labels. They are listed in order of quantity. So a 0% fat strawberry yoghurt may list the ingredients as milk, sugar(dextrose/lactose), strawberries…

This means the sugar content is quite high as it's listed second. Look at the sugar per 100g too - more than 12g of sugar is too high!

You should only take in 24g of added sugar per day, which is found in a lot of cereals, cereal bars, chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks, fruit juices etc

So basically, it's as simple as, eat less and move more.

Do metabolic training exercises, cut out sugar and eat less, and you should see a difference in your weight in just a couple of weeks!

For more information contact Steph from Baby Body Fit at 087 925 4378 or www.babybodyfit.ie