Hi Hayley,

I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy three months ago, and everyone is doing well :). The only issue is I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy. I've already lost 23 pounds since I came back from the hospital, but I still have 15 to go to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight. It's been relatively easy so far (cooking myself healthy meals and going back to exercising have been enough) but now it is getting tougher. Since I can't cut anymore on food (I am breastfeeding, and need some fuel anyway to handle the job) I am trying to exercise more. I am already swimming 2 times a week for 45 min, and also walking on my treadmill 2 times a week for 1 hour. I also started some butt and abs workouts with the help of YouTube videos. How could my training be more efficient, and help me lose the weight?
Thank you so much in advance.


I think you just made a lot of new moms confused, and jealous, as they are all wondering how you are managing to not only cook healthy meals for yourself with a newborn but how you are managing to find the time, and energy, to exercise 4 days a week! You are definitely ahead of the game.

You need to be kind to yourself now and take the pressure of losing those last 15 pounds off of yourself, as accomplishing a 23 pound weight loss already is no easy feat. And I hate to break it to you, but the last 15 pounds will not disappear as easily, or as quickly, as the first 23.

Since you are breastfeeding, you are correct that you cannot cut out any more calories from your diet, as your body needs roughly 500 calories a day to produce enough milk to nurture your baby. It will get what it needs from you, whether you are giving the nutrients to your body or not, so eating a nutrient-rich diet is a must. Also, it is common to hold onto a few extra pounds until you are completely finished breastfeeding, so keep that in mind as you try and get back to your pre-pregnancy weight.

I am going to assume that you are using every bit of spare time you have already, which means finding more time to fit in more exercise is out of the question. Good news is that with some modifications to what you are currently doing, you can up the intensities of your workouts, which will provide you with new challenges to overload your body, resulting in continued improvements. 

Continue with your 45 minute swimming workouts, but rather than a continuous, steady swim, add in some high intensity intervals. For example, do 100m repeats one a set time, let’s say for 2 minutes. If it takes you 1 minute and 50 seconds to complete 100m then you have 10 seconds of rest. Do 10 sets of these, staying on 2 minutes. As you fatigue it will become harder to keep that pace, therefore you will have to work harder to achieve it. This will not only intensify your workout, but will also help you become a faster swimmer!

With your at-home workouts, play around with your hour long cardio sessions. Switch it up to 15 minute intense bricks (such as walking on a high incline) then throw in a 15 minute circuit workout. You can either make one up of your own of squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks or follow an already designed workout on a fitness app, such as the Nike Training Club. Do this twice, and you should notice your average heart rate will be higher, you will burn more calories, and you will benefit from the strength training bursts. 

I congratulate you on your new addition to your family and commend you on your efforts to rebuild your fitness post baby.