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Lose That Baby Weight!

Pregnancy weight has many benefits, but after the baby is born, most moms are desperate to lose it. Kate Kelly, Managing Editor of American Baby Magazine, has some tips for getting your body back.

While it may seem like celebrities get their bodies back only days after giving birth, keep in mind that it took nine months to put that weight on, and it may take another nine to drop it. One of the worst things you can do, however, is fall into the "new mom trap". Just because you're home with your new infant doesn't mean you can eat whatever you want, whenever you feel like it. "Make real food for yourself," says Kelly. While you may be pressed for time, make a habit of eating good, balanced meals.

To help form the habit, try keeping a food journal. Everything you eat must be written down, including the few spoonfuls of ice cream you may sneak from the carton now and then. "When you have to write everything down, you can't deny reality," says Kelly. "And, if you have to write everything down, you're less likely to eat it." Once you see how much junk food you're actually consuming, you're more likely to change bad habits.

Just because you're eating healthy, though, doesn't mean you should stop eating! You cannot survive on celery and water alone. New moms need their energy, so you keep your blood sugar at a steady level. Do your best to eat something small every 2-3 hours. This prevents your blood sugar levels from soaring or plummeting, depending on how long it's been since you last ate.

You also risk overeating by not eating often enough. "You overeat because you're so hungry, and then you don't make good choices because... all you want to do is stuff yourself," says Kelly.

To keep temptations at bay, don't buy them when you're at the grocery store! Instead, stockpile healthy snacks like baby carrots or individual cartons of yogurt. An easy way to cut down on calories is to stop drinking soda. Instead, try water or low fat milk. By not keeping junk food in your home, you'll be able to reach for something healthy when you're starving instead of less filling, calorie rich choices.

Finally, get moving! Exercise not only burns calories, but studies have shown that it can improve your mood and sleeping habits. Just be sure to talk with your doctor before starting an exercise routine; you may need to wait a few weeks if you had a C-section or other pregnancy-related complications.

For more information on this and other parenting topics, click here to visit AmericanBaby.com.

By Erin Petrun