IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Get your body back after birth

Jackie Keller, a nutrition and health coach, tells new mothers how to lose weight and feel confident in “Body After Baby.” Read an excerpt.
/ Source: TODAY

“Body After Baby” is a 30-day nutrition guide and workout program customized for mothers of newborns. Author Jackie Keller gives simple eating and exercise advice to help women lose pregnancy weight, like movements mom and baby can do together and weekly grocery lists. Read the excerpt:

Chapter 1: You’re Ready for Body After Baby
It’s all about desire:Your desire for a child.Your desire for energy, for health, for renewed strength.Your desire to look your best, to feel positive about your body again.Your desire to recapture your prepregnancy self.It’s what brought you to this book.You’re ready for Body After Baby.

You’ve spent the last forty weeks creating perfection, and every time you look into your baby’s eyes or hold those little hands you are reminded that every extra pound you gained was worth it. Now, though your hormones are raging, you’re exhausted, and you’re overwhelmed — you’re the happiest you’ve ever been. When you look in the mirror, you know you’re ready to fulfill your other desires. You want your body back.

The good news is that in the same way nature helped you add weight to nurture the new life that was growing inside of you, nature is going to help you shed the pounds that you don’t need anymore. Everything in your body is ready to support your effort to get back into shape. That’s why the Body After Baby plan works so well — it is structured to meet to your body’s needs right now. If you follow the plan, you’ll see up to twenty pounds of the weight you gained during pregnancy disappear in thirty days and you won’t feel that overwhelming hunger or fatigue that’s associated with “diets.” The meals I’ve designed for you are filled with Super Fuel foods, nutrient-rich foods that give your body the energy it needs exactly when you need it. Plus, Super Fuel foods will help you sleep more soundly, help you to maintain your even temperament and your clear head, and provide the energy you need to take care of your newly expanded family. And a big plus, eating a healthy and balanced menu of Super Fuel foods every day will help your body drop its extra weight. You’ll see the positive results — you’ll be amazed at how dramatically your body can change in thirty days.

It Really Works
When I founded NutriFit — L.A.’s premier gourmet meal service that prepares and delivers nutritious gourmet meals, individualized to the client’s specific needs — I recognized an immediate need: Most moms have careers that demand they’re back to the office, back to the courtroom, back to the operating room, back to the classroom, back to the boardroom, or back on the set of the next film in just a few short months. And all new moms, whether they are working outside the home or at home, are anxious to get their energy back so they can tend to their new baby’s needs, sleep better, and get back to their prepregnancy weight. Like you, the women I meet through NutriFit are determined to lose the baby weight and feel good about themselves again. And they want to do it as soon as possible. So I created the Body

After Baby plan: three meals a day, three snacks, all nutrient-rich and delicious.

The plan is designed to help you and every postpartum mom shed the weight and gain energy — fast.

Time and again, I’ve seen the Body After Baby plan provide amazing results. Uma Thurman followed my plan and went from gaining nearly fifty-eight pounds during her pregnancy to achieving the svelte, killer body she showed off in the films Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. When she first came to me, her second baby was three months old and Uma had already lost about thirty-five pounds. But those last twenty pounds weren’t coming off. She was exhausted and discouraged. Her director Quentin Tarantino was a client at NutriFit, the company I cofounded with my husband, Phil, in 1987. NutritFit provided food for the entire Kill Bill cast — Uma, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, and, of course, Quentin himself. When he realized Uma needed some help, Quentin sent her to me for a special postpregnancy weight-loss program. The plan I designed for Uma helped her lose the remaining postpartum weight plus a few extra pounds. Uma was happy, Quentin was happy, and I think I may have been the happiest of all. But the best part is that the food plan Uma and many of my other clients were following will work for you, too, and you can follow it at home.

Body After Baby has helped plenty of other Hollywood moms slim down, too; my client list includes Uma, Angelina Jolie, Josie Bissett, Marcia Gaye Harden, Susan Sarandon, Tia Carrera, Lisa Rinna, Shamicka Lawrence (Mrs. Martin Lawrence), Marie Osmond (who has eight children, five of them adopted), and Ryan Haddon. Some came to me immediately after their babies were born, others waited years. And they all came to me because they wanted the same thing you do: improved stamina, increased energy, and weight loss. But they each had their own challenges, which points out one very important fact: no matter what your body type, how much weight you have gained during your pregnancy, how old you are, or how long it has been since your child was born, you can get back to a healthy weight. You can achieve exactly what you desire on the Body After Baby plan, while eating delicious meals that are packed with high-powered nutrition and following its safe, simple movement program.

Body After Baby is for all new moms, moms just like you, moms who all have individual needs, moms like my client Sammie who came to me after she had gained twenty-nine pounds during her pregnancy. I loved watching Sammie stand on the scale the day her baby turned four weeks old and seeing the joy she felt when she realized she’d lost thirty-one pounds. She started the plan the day she got home from the hospital and followed it faithfully. Here’s what she told me: “It was so easy because I knew exactly what to eat, how to work exercise into my day, and how to shop for healthy food. I always had things to eat available, so I didn’t reach for junk food — and when I wanted a snack, I knew what to have that was delicious and good for me.”

It was a similar story for Anne, who came to me a few weeks after she had her baby. She had put on forty-five pounds during her pregnancy and had already lost about eleven pounds just in baby weight (baby was 7.2 pounds, placenta two pounds and amniotic fluid two pounds) when she started the plan. By carefully following the plan, in four weeks she had lost another eighteen pounds, twenty-nine pounds in all. She told me afterward: “The weight loss was terrific. But the best part was that my energy level was awesome, almost immediately. Before I started Body After Baby I felt so drained all the time. After a few days on the program I realized that I was buzzing around doing everything I wanted to do, plus I was sleeping better — whenever my baby let me sleep, that is.”

The basis of the eating plan is well-chosen calories from foods rich in nutrients and phytochemicals, which will help you feel better and drop excess weight after your baby is born. There’s absolutely no need to give up delicious-tasting foods. And there’s no reason to go hungry. When you are eating nutrient-rich food, you’ll feel full on fewer calories. The best part is that you’ll enjoy delicious meals on my plan. So good that you won’t believe they actually help you lose weight. You’ll feel satisfied because the foods are rich in flavor. Plus, many of the foods you’ve thought were “bad” for you when you’re trying to cut carbs, control fat, or count calories on various “diets” are actually good for you. For instance, both avocados and nuts —two foods that have been taboo on most weight-loss diets — are actually very rich in nutrients and provide essential energy on the Body After Baby plan. And for all you chocolate fans out there, a little dark chocolate before bed may help you sleep and provides beneficial plant chemicals — so you can look forward to having a little chocolate if you want it. Not what you expect to hear when the subject is healthy eating, right? But it’s proven to be true, and you’ll see that it works.

The secret to losing weight while gaining energy is Super Fuel foods — foods that have nutritious calories, which provide the energy you need to get the most out of your day. My meal plans and recipes are full of these healthful foods. Another secret is being sure to eat enough food — on my plan you’ll enjoy three mouthwatering meals a day and three snacks. You need to eat enough food to be sure you get a healthy mix of vitamins and minerals, and help your body get back into balance. The plan is designed for nursing moms, but if you’re bottle-feeding your little one, I provide alternatives that will keep your weight loss steady and your energy level high.

The Body After Baby plan isn’t an extreme crash diet; it is based on proven principles of sound nutrition — principles that I want you to understand. When you understand the nutrition concepts behind the plan, it will be easier for you to make wise choices as you plan what you and your family are going to eat — now and in the future.

Excerpted from “Body After Baby” by Jackie Keller. Copyright © 2006 by Jackie Keller. Reprinted with permission from Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.