Help! Summer’s almost here and I’m still carrying the baby weight. Well, it’s not really “baby weight” if I gave birth three years ago, is it? Luckily, the team at Today’s Parent sent me straight to the celebrities’ favourite pro: Toronto-born Harley Pasternak.
Harley has worked with dozens of A-list celebs since they gave birth, like Jennifer Hudson and Milla Jovovich (both reportedly gained 90 pounds while pregnant!), and others like Halle Berry, Natalie Portman, Alicia Keys and — swoon! — Robert Downey Jr. and Orlando Bloom. Here’s what Harley had to say about how we mere mortals can shape up our post-pregnancy bods.
Hide the cookies and get moving
Diet and exercise are important. “You can’t do one without the other,” says Harley. For optimal, long-lasting results, he recommends combining his celeb-tested 5 Factor Workout and 5 Factor Diet programs. In a nutshell? Eat five times a day and work out five days a week for 25 minutes, in these five-minute phases: cardio warm-up; upper body strength; lower body strength; abdominal strength; cardio cool-down.
Where to find 25 minutes?
For new moms, Harley suggests baby’s nap time as “time to take care of yourself.” Hey, I thought taking care of yourself meant napping when the baby naps or eating a box of organic cookies. Sadly, no. But if Jennifer Hudson can do it, so can we. “I would get Jennifer to put her baby in the stroller and go for long walks,” Harley said. “It was a nice way to put her baby to sleep and get exercise at the same time.” Of course, many of us end up waiting awhile to start full-on exercising for valid non-medical reasons, and we definitely should not beat ourselves up about it.
What’s with the frequent meals?
“Because you’re grazing versus gorging, your metabolism is revving higher,” Harley explains. “You’re eating because it’s time to eat, not because you’re hungry.” Why? The hungrier we are, the more likely we’re going to reach for the wrong stuff — and too much of it. So true.
So it seems celebrities are fitting workouts into tight schedules just like we are, and they are grazing. With two kids and a heavy workload, even I am now managing to eat smaller, more frequent meals and squeezing 25 minutes of exercise into my day. Wanna join me? Let’s do this!
Harley took me through the same exercises he does with his celeb moms — I felt very glam! And I’m excited to share.
For a buff belly
The seated trunk twist works those abs!
• Sit with your legs up and bent in front of you. Lean backward so your back is at a 45o angle to the floor.
• Holding a weighted bar, paddle from side to side as if you were kayaking, while holding your abs in and looking straight ahead.
• One side-to-side is one rep. Aim for 15 to 20.
For tank-top arms
This tricep extension gets you tank-top-ready!
• Lie down, holding 5- or 10-pound weights straight up.
• Bend your arms to make a right angle with your elbow, then straighten again. That’s one rep. Aim for 15 to 20.
For a bikini-ready butt
Try the skater’s lunge.
• Stand, legs shoulder-660 apart. Step back with your left leg at a 45o angle and lower down onto the knee.
• Push back up, and do the