Fitness Secrets of Celebrity Moms

One day they're pregnant and the next, they're movie star slim again. How do celebrities get fit so fast after becoming new moms?

Most of their secrets are simply common sense fitness facts: eating smart, working out, and drinking lots of water. Celebrity moms who drop the weight fast usually don't have too much to lose. It's their job to keep their bodies in good shape and they're careful to stay as fit as possible before and during pregnancy. 

But are exercise and a careful diet enough? Most doctors, fitness experts, and Julia Roberts don't think so. Celebrity moms are lucky to have great physiques going into pregnancy. They have fitness trainers, personal chefs, and nannies to help them stay in top form. Many celebrity moms admit to indulging in sweets and treats during their pregnancy, just like the rest of us but Roberts set the record straight in a 2007 interview for Vanity Fair.  When asked about getting back into shape after having children, she answered, "I have been working out, but listen, it is 97 percent genetics. Don't let anybody tell you any cr** about anything else, because that's what it is: 97 percent genetics and 3 percent just getting your [butt] moving. Because I've never met a cookie I didn't like."

What do they do for that 3 percent?  Intense combinations of cardio exercise, circuit training, yoga, Pilates, strength training, spinning, and core exercises. 

Heidi Klum advised in an interview that you can't do too much too soon and doctors agree. Your body needs to heal from the rigors of childbirth, be able to support breastfeeding, and adjust to sleep deprivation. If you push too hard with intense exercise or stringent calorie-restriction, you'll risk fatigue, poor healing, and decreased milk production. You'll also be exhausted, frustrated, and more likely to ditch your fitness program.

  • Stick to gentle exercise like walking in the immediate post partum period.
  • After the six-week mark (or once your doctor gives you the green light), start slow and proceed with a plan to gradually add more exercise.

Ramona Braganza, fitness guru to star-moms like Halle Barry, Jessica Alba, and Ashlee Simpson Wentz has a 12-week program (available on DVD for those who can't afford to hire her as their personal trainer) called 3-2-1 Baby Bulge Be Gone.  Her specialized fitness plan targets core and back muscles with traditional sit-ups, crunches, ball exercises, plank, side-plank, and "superman" exercises.  She pushes her clients to burn their baby fat by alternating three repitions of 10-minute cardio segments with 10-minute strength sessions.

Marcia Cross got her body back after the birth of her twins with intense interval training classes at Los Angeles's Burn 60 gym. Classes include interval training with treadmills, elliptical trainers, spinning, weights and resistance exercises on the floor.

What can you do to drop weight like celebrity moms?  First, be realistic.  Set your goal to lose weight safely, not just quickly. 

  • Follow a sensible diet with enough calories to support milk production if you're breastfeeding-at least 1800 to 2000 calories per day. 
  • Eat plenty of protein, fresh fruits and veggies and watch those simple carbs like breads, pasta and rice. 
  • Drink water. 
  • Invest in a few exercise DVDs especially designed for post partum moms. 
  • Sign up for yoga, Pilates and mother-baby exercise classes. 
  • Look for stroller boot-camp programs in your area. 
  • Put your baby in the stroller and run.