Finally, a celeb that's not in a rush to get back in her skinny jeans! It's been three months and counting since son Luca Cruz was born, but new mom Hilary Duff says she's determined to take her time when it comes to losing the baby weight. Slow and steady wins the race!
For starters, the 24-year-old says crash diets and exhausting workouts are out. Hilary admits it was fun eating whatever she wanted and not worrying about the added weight during pregnancy. Now that she's trying to go in reverse, she wants to keep the relaxed attitude. "I am working out and I am trying not to obsess. Everyone wants their body back, but all in time. It took nine months to get there and so hopefully, it won't take that long to get it off, but I'm doing it slowly," Hilary tells talk show host Bethenny Frankel.
The star's favorite exercises include hiking, Pilates, and circuit training. And from the looks of things, her shape-up plans are working out just fine.
If you want to give Hilary's gradual approach a go, here's some tips from Tara Marie Segundo, a New York City-based personal trainer and certified fitness expert:
Exercise in short bursts throughout the day.
Most moms of newborns just don't have extended periods of time during the day to exercise, so take advantage of 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there to squeeze in some movement. It adds up. "I had a client who put a treadmill in her home and whenever she had a short block of time, she would jump on and kick out a brisk walk. She ended up clocking about an hour a day. This allowed her to care for her new baby and make use of the brief breaks that she had," says Segundo.
Use resistance training to strengthen muscles.
If dumbbells are not your cup of tea, there are other forms of resistance training that are very effective, including resistant bands and tubing and using your own body weight. "If you have no equipment, you can use canned foods, full water bottles, and other household items that will create resistance for biceps curls, triceps extensions, and other muscle strengtheners," Segundo advises. Alternate resistance exercises with treadmill time for easy circuit training.
If you don't have the space for a treadmill, or the time for an exercise class, don't sweat it. Take Hilary's lead and hike with your baby tucked safely in a carrier—or invest in a durable jogger for some off-road adventure. If you can't make it to Pilates class, you can still engage your core by consciously drawing your belly button to your spine when standing. Turn on your favorite music and dance, buy a jump rope and use it throughout the day, walk up and down your stairs... Bottom line? "You want to get moving and keep moving as much as possible," says Segundo.
Make every calorie count.
If you're breastfeeding, it is recommended that you do not eat less than 1,800 calories a day. If you're not breastfeeding, your doctor may OK a low-calorie weight loss diet. Regardless, every calorie a new mom eats needs to be nutritious. Your body is in recovery mode right now, so eat foods that offer the nutrients your body needs to thrive. According to Segundo, "If man made it, don't eat it. Stick to fresh whole foods that come from nature."
Give Yourself a Post-Delivery Break.
Yes, it can seem like some stars hit the gym within hours of giving birth, but don't feel pressured to follow suit. With your doctor's approval, gently ease back into your old fitness routine and add new exercises as you feel comfortable. For beginners, Segundo advises, "simply walking—alone or while pushing a stroller—is a great form of exercise."
And who knows? Maybe you will meet other new moms taking a sane approach to fitness when you head out for a stroll.