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23 Ways to Lose the Baby Weight

Get active -- avoid overeating

7. Avoid double-dinner syndrome It's all too easy to polish off baby's uneaten food, and then sit down to eat a real meal with your spouse two hours later. "I lost 20 pounds pretty easily at first then stagnated when my daughter started solids, because I was eating twice," says Anita Weil Bell, the Grand View, New York-based author of Get Your Body Back. Her advice: Have sex, not a second dinner.

8. Walk with your baby It's the easiest way to become active and the exercise you're most likely to do regularly. Women who walk with their infants lose more weight more quickly than women who try to exercise when their babies are asleep or when they have childcare, says Waterhouse. That's probably because both enjoy the activity, so Mom is more likely to keep it up -- not to mention that no sitter is required. Cram suggests starting with a 15- to 20-minute walk at an easy pace, three or four times a week. As you feel comfortable, add five minutes to your walk or increase your pace each week.

9. Eat the way your baby eats "Babies eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full -- a good lesson for lifelong weight control," says Susan L. Burke, R.D., director of nutrition services for eDiets.com, in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Signs of hunger: a nervous stomach, irritability, or headache, says Evelyn Tribole, R.D., an Irvine, California-based nutritionist. To recognize fullness, pause during a meal to see how you feel. And eat slowly: Your brain registers satiety minutes after your stomach does.

10. Work out with weights Aerobic exercise -- brisk walking, swimming, or running -- helps burn fat and calories. Weight training, however, builds muscle, which is more metabolically active than other tissue so it burns calories all day long. Doing both types of activity will get you slimmer faster. Waterhouse recommends at least three hours of aerobic exercise and one hour of weight training each week.

11. Do mini-workouts... Even if you don't have forty-five minutes to exercise, you can still benefit. "Study after study has shown that several short bouts of activity are as effective as one long session," says Neporent. They may even be more so. When researchers from the University of New Hampshire, in Durham, compared people who walked 15 minutes twice a day with those who walked a half-hour, they found that the twice-a-day group increased their fitness level faster. Short sessions may provide added benefits because you work harder in less time.

12. ...and longer ones According to Waterhouse, every minute beyond 30 releases fat from your body's fat cells, and they actually shrink. But don't overdo it. After about 60 minutes, your fat cells go into defense mode and stop releasing the fat. They're programmed to provide an insurance plan for your body in the face of extremes like overexercising and may prevent fat loss.

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