I'm writing this as my toddler is bouncing in his crib refusing to nap; while my 6 month old is playing with a teething toy; and as I snack on chocolate chip cookies my darling husband brought home yesterday. All in all, it's kinda hyprocritical of me, but hey--it's great information to consider.
I had the chance to interview Jillian Michaels, the famed TV trainer and exercise mastermind. The topic: getting back your bikini bod post baby. Truth is, even if we "lose" our baby weight, our body has a tendency to never be the same, morphing into flabby and sagging areas we never thought possible.
Jillian was kind enough to provide the following insight.
Question #1: On average, how long should it take for new moms to shed their baby weight?
According to Jillian, this depends on the pregnancy and delivery. She's seen women bounce back within 6 weeks...while others struggled a full year. Her advice: eat well and safely exercise during pregnancy to keep your body and metabolism rocking.
Question #2: It's hard to find the time and energy to work out post-pregnancy. What are simple ways moms can target post-baby problem spots?
Jillian recommends mommy workout groups, such as a stroller stride. It allows you to be with your baby, while having productive adult time as well.
Another option: involve your baby in exercise. Hike with your baby...bike with your baby. Utilize ergonomic baby carriers and walk around the block. You can also consider a workout DVD like Jillian's Kickbox Fast Fix--an effective 20-minute workout for new moms.
Question #3: Dieting can be dangerous for breastfeeding moms and new moms on the go. What specific super foods do you suggest implementing post pregnancy?
Jillian says that as long as you don’t drastically cut your calories (1,200 a day or lower), you should not have issues making enough milk. She has trained women eating 1,600 calories a day and they still breastfed successfully. In fact, only 4% of women have trouble making enough milk; and ironically, dieting is usually not the cause. That said, great foods to stimulate milk production include coconut oil, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and oats. You can also try fenugreek with approval from your doctor. Most of all, drink plenty of water!
As for snacks, Jillian suggests eating every 3-4 hours to stabilize blood sugar levels. This is a simple schedule of breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner, while avoiding processed grains and sugars.
Jillian tells pregnant mommies to experiment with different smoothies and muffins that are filled with super nutrients to help them heal, combat fatigue, and provide nourishment. Here is an easy (and tasty) recipe from Jillian's doula.
Lori And Jamie’s “Oh my pregnant brain / postpartum /feel good muffin”
1 &1/3 cup ground flax mixed with goji berry
1 handful of cocao nips
15 tablets of crushed sun chlorella
½ a banana
1 tablespoon of almond butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coconut oil
1 &1/2 – tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of molasses
Mix everything together in large mug.
Microwave for 2 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the mug. Eat plain or top with butter, honey, or jam.
Here's why this muffin is fab:
Coconut oil– High in omegas and great for your skin.
Flax – High in omegas and fiber (helps with constipation).
Almond Butter– Rich in calcium and phoshorus.
Goji Berries (powder) – High in iron and Vitamin C. Goji berries are known as one of the most nutrient rich super foods on the planet. Helps with vitality, stamina, energy, and longevity
Molasses – Rich in iron and good for depression.
Honey – Helps reduce inflammation.
Banana – High in potassium.
Eggs– High in protein and helps regulate the brain and nervous system.
Cocao – High in magnesium, iron, and other minerals. (Mineral deficiency can contribute to depression)
Sun chlorella – Helps raise the levels of antibodies in breast milk.
Question #4: It's inevitable...babies can suck us dry and pregnancy can re-shape our body. Please advise!
According to Jillian, many changes we can’t reverse are truly minimal. Moms can absolutely get back in amazing shape--it just takes time and TLC. As for stretch marks…consider them a sign you're a mom. Perfect doesn’t exist.
Losing baby weight is no different than losing weight. You have to reduce your food intake. Eat clean. Exercise. You just need to comit.
Check out Jillian's 260+ streaming workouts on www.FitFusion.com.
Jillian is also releasing a new book called Hot Mom Healthy Baby in 2016.