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Everyday Ways to Lose Weight: Fifteen Real Women Say How

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Whether it’s the last ten pounds of baby weight or those skinny jeans that almost fit, mocking you in your closet, we’re always looking for easy ways to burn a few more calories. If you’re looking to get rid of those won’t-budge pounds, here are eighteen surprising strategies that helped these moms get slim again.


Fend Off Temptation


Kerri; Queens, New York
Lost: Twelve pounds in eight months


I’m a chronic snacker, so I’ve made a real point to keep my favorites out of the house so I’m not tempted as much. When I’m really craving something (like chips), I buy only a single portion size so I can eat the whole thing guilt-free.


Cutting Coffee and Cocktails


Emily; Brookline, Massachusetts
Lost: Forty pounds in ten months


I made a couple of small but significant changes. I stopped my daily Starbucks runs (I’d always eat some kind of pastry whenever I’d go there) and limited alcohol to no more than two cocktails a week. After a couple of months, my clothes became looser and I started getting those wonderful “You look awesome!” comments. Now, my smaller size keeps me motivated to stay that way.


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Step It Up


Megan; Highland Mills, New York
Lost: Twenty-five pounds in four months


I moved my daughter’s diaper changing station to the second floor. This forces me to go up and down stairs to the nursery every time I need to change my daughter’s diaper.


Walk It Off


Nicole; Chicopee, Massachusetts
Lost: Thirty-five pounds in nineteen months


I walked a little bit every single day, whether it was down the street, around the backyard, at the grocery store, or at the mall. I’d stroll for anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour a day. 


Bust a Move with Baby


Elizabeth; Skokie, Illinois
Lost: Thirty pounds in five to six months


I was stuck inside all winter with my newborn, so I started a dance party tradition. I played my favorite cheesy ’80s songs and bopped around the living room with my son. Or I’d put him in his bouncy seat and let him laugh at my ridiculous moves. Not only did I get some exercise, but this really boosted my mood during those long, cold (and sometimes pretty dull) days.


My Number One Eat-Less Trick

Ivy; Temecula, California
Lost: Forty pounds in five months


Use your freezer! I started keeping yogurts there and would have those for dessert instead of ice cream. (Because they come in pre-portioned containers and take longer to eat frozen, you tend to have less.) I’d also freeze Twinkies or some other splurgy dessert for when I was craving something just plain bad—you’re much less likely to pound down four at once this way.


Lifting with Baby


Deanna; Atlanta, Georgia
Lost: Thirty pounds in two months


I’d use my son, Carter, during squats, sit-ups, and arm lifts. For the first few months, I’d add just a couple of sets a day as we were playing. Now that he’s almost a year old (and a lot heavier), it’s still a great way to get in an extra workout without hitting the gym.


Drink More Water


Danielle; New York, New York
Lost: Eighty pounds in six months


When I was down to the last ten pounds, I increased the amount of water I drank, sipping a glass before, during, and after feeding the baby. This helped to keep me full—and away from the snacks!


Cut Back, Just a Little


Ilana; Princeton, New Jersey
Lost: Forty pounds in two years


I decided to slim down for an upcoming wedding. Since I love eating, I knew I couldn’t handle a restrictive diet. I kept things simple with a few rules:


  • No more cheese on the turkey sandwich for lunch, no more potato chips on the side.
  • Instead of snacking on M&Ms and cookies, I stuck to pretzels, carrot sticks, or apples.
  • Because I’d never survive without sweets, I also enjoyed those 100-calorie snack packs (love that chocolate pudding!).


These subtle changes made a huge difference. It probably took longer than a stricter diet might, but this fit my lifestyle much better!


Set a Major Goal


Betty; Forest Hills, New York
Lost: Twenty-three pounds in nine months


I needed a target—and a deadline—to motivate me to lose the weight. So I decided to run a half-marathon (my first!) nine months after having a baby. I figured since it took me that long to put the weight on, I should have at least that long to take it off. I started exercising slowly at first—just walks around the neighborhood, pushing the stroller. Then once I was back at work, I’d run at the gym during lunch. And slowly, I built up my speed and distance.


Fuel Up Before Work


Christine; Providence, Rhode Island
Lost: twenty-four pounds in four months (with eight pounds to go)


I make a point to eat a light breakfast (usually an English muffin with margarine and jam) at home every day instead of at the office, where it easily morphs into something enormous and sweet.


Stave Off the Snack Attacks


Maureen; Cheverly, Maryland
Lost: Fifty pounds (twins) in six to seven months


Having nutritious snacks on hand helped prevent the weight I lost while breastfeeding from creeping back after I stopped. You always remember to bring food for the baby, so include something healthy for you, like a mozzarella cheese stick or half a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread. It keeps your energy up and stops you from succumbing to fast-food drive-thru when you realize you haven’t eaten all day.

Work for Your Wardrobe

Becky; New York, New York
Lost: Fifty-four pounds in eight months


I wouldn’t let myself buy any new clothing, so my choices were maternity wear or pre-pregnancy wear. With almost nothing that fit, I knew I had to lose the weight before the end of my maternity leave so I’d have something to wear to the office. So I hired a personal trainer who really kicked my butt twice a week.


Play with the Pooch


Tiffany; Ridgefield, Connecticut
Lost: Thirty pounds in three months (with five pounds to go)


I attribute it all to my dog. He has to go out for one-hour walks/hikes every day and I simply get dragged along! Plus, every night I aim to do one hundred crunches and twenty-five push-ups before I hit the sack. So even if can’t make it to the gym during the day, at least know I did a little something to help.


Toss the Take-Out Menus


Leanne; San Antonio, Texas
Lost: Twenty-five pounds in six months


To shed my pounds, I decided to only order from restaurants once every two weeks or so, since it’s much harder to eat healthy when you’re bringing in dinner (and those huge portions) all the time. Instead, I started eating four to five small meals a day and cooking low-fat, easy dishes like broiled fish and chicken with steamed veggies and swapping pasta for whole grains like quinoa and brown rice. I made a ton and froze the leftovers so I wasn’t cooking all week long.


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