It’s been a few months since you had your baby, and you finally have the energy to start exercising again. Of course, the very first spot you want to work on is your tummy. It can seem difficult to lose that baby-belly fat, but it’s not! Here are the exercises I did, and the diet changes I made, to help me tighten my tummy after my last baby was born. Not all of the exercises are crunches! You don’t have to do them all — just find three or four that you know you can do, and go from there!
1. Exercise: Single-Leg Squat
This one is fun, but difficult the first few times. Stand with your hands on your hips, your legs about hip-width apart, and your knees a little bent. Not too hard! Now raise your right foot off of the ground, and put it in front of the toes of your left foot a few inches off the ground. Stand up, then squat back down. This will also tighten your bootie and tone your legs. Do as many of these as you can, then switch legs. Wow!
2. Exercise: Single-Leg Balance/Reach
This one’s easier, I promise! Stand with your legs apart again, and your hands on your hips. Now raise your right leg about a foot off the ground in front of you, then rotate it of the your right side. Twist at the waist a little bit and stretch your right leg behind you, too. Repeat with your left leg.
3. Exercise: Curl up
Start by laying on flat on your back with your knees bent. Cross your arms over your chest, then curl up until the top half of your body is off the floor, and you can feel your abs tighten. Return slowly to the floor, and try again.
4. Exercise: Crunch
This is almost the same as the curl, only it works different set of your abs. Lay flat on your back, with your knees bent. Keep your arms flat at your side, and slide them down as you raise your back off the floor. Keep your hands on the floor! You won’t be able to sit up very far, but you’ll see… it will work!
5. Exercise: Sit up
Lay flat on your back, and bend your knees. Have someone hold your feel flat on the floor, and cross your arms over your chest. Sit up, all the way up, then slowly lower yourself back down.
6. Exercise: Leg Lift
Again, lay flat on your back. Put your hands together under your bottom, but make sure you’re comfortable. Keep your legs straight and together, then raise them off the floor about 6 inches. Leave them up as long as you can, then slowly back down. Repeat. Ooh! This one was always hard for me.
7. Exercise: Cross-Toe Touch (or Windmill)
Hey, you don’t have to lay down for this one! Stand up with your legs apart and your arms straight out. Bend over at the waist, and touch your left toe with your right fingertips. Straighten up again, and repeat, touching your right toes with your left fingertips.
8. Diet Change: Pretzels Instead of Chips
I LOVE chips. Cool Ranch Doritos are my favorite. But they’re so fattening! So when I craved Doritos, I would switch to pretzels instead. Not exactly the same, but the crunch and salt were still satisfying.
9. Diet Change: 1% Instead of Whole Milk
I nursed my daughters, so I needed to drink milk. But my doctor recommended 1% or skim instead of whole milk. Making this switch will also help lower your cholesterol, and you’ll still be getting the important calcium and vitamin D you need.
10. Diet Change: Fruits/Veggies Instead of Candy
I am totally hooked on Almond Joy, or basically any other candy. I have such a sweet tooth! But when I’m craving sweets, I’ll try an apple or grapes instead. Sometimes even carrot sticks will do the trick. Yum!
11. Diet Change: Water Instead of Soda
My favorite soda is Dr. Pepper. I would drink two or three bottles a day. That’s a LOT of empty calories, and a LOT of caffeine! So I switched from soda to water at least twice a day. It made a big difference in my tummy fat, and in clearing up my skin!
12. Diet Change: Ground Turkey Instead of Ground Beef
Americans eat a lot of ground beef, which is fattening and may contain E. Coli. Try ground turkey in your spaghetti sauce, sloppy joes, and chili. It tastes great and isn’t nearly as bad for you.
These twelve things made a big difference in how quickly I was able to lose weight, especially around my stomach area. Another big plus was nursing my baby, rather than bottle-feeding.
How did you lose your after-baby belly fat? What works best for you? What did you crave, and how did you replace it? Please let me know… I’m always on the look-out for a new tummy-tightening exercise or diet tip!
Top Photo Credit: michael spear hawkins