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23 Ways to Lose the Baby Weight

Sneak in extra nursing sessions as well as exercise

13. Sneak in exercise at home Gently dance with your infant. "If you're holding a 10-pound baby, that's the equivalent of two five-pound weights," Bell says. And when he's older, put on a children's exercise video (such as Elmocize or Sesame Street Get Up and Dance) and follow along with your child. To make it more challenging for you, use small hand weights or jog in place.

14. Nurse whenever necessary Researchers used to think that exercise altered the taste of breast milk, making it unappealing for nursing infants. Not so: A new study from the University of New Hampshire, in Durham, found that babies accept the milk of exercising mothers -- and it doesn't matter if you nurse the baby before or after working out.

15. Eat in moderation "Don't cut food groups; instead, cut the size of food portions," says Waterhouse. While you can eat your fill of fruits and vegetables, you'll only lose weight if you're eating realistic serving sizes of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates: A serving of meat should approximate a deck of cards, while a serving of rice or pasta (choose whole-grain when you can) is about the size of a closed fist. But even chocolate has a place in a healthy diet, says Waterhouse -- just don't go hog-wild.

16. Don't skip meals Eating irregularly may cause you to become overly hungry, which is more likely to make you overeat at the next meal, according to McCrory. Going a long time without food can also cause your fat cells to protect their stored pregnancy fat, hindering weight loss, adds Waterhouse.

17. Fidget, fidget, fidget That's right, a Mayo Clinic study found that a daylong stream of tiny movements -- pacing with your baby, tapping your feet to music, even shifting in your chair -- burns as many as 700 extra calories in a day.

18. Get your abs back Although your stomach may never appear as flat as it was before pregnancy, exercises -- gentle pelvic tilts at first, crunches later -- can tone your abs, making them look trimmer, and provide support to your back, which helps prevent strain. But pregnancy can cause diastasis recti, a separation in the abdominal muscles which run from your rib cage to your pelvis, and, Cram says, it's important to check the width of the separation of these muscles before you start any ab work. To do so, lie down with your knees bent and feet resting on the floor. Press the fingers of your hand horizontally just above or below your navel and feel for the gap between the two harder bands of muscles on either side. Breathe in and exhale as you raise your head and shoulders from the floor, then feel again for the gap. This time, press down and see how many fingers fit into this soft spot. Ideally, the distance should be less than the width of two and a half fingers. If it's wider, check with your doctor before beginning abdominal exercises.

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