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How I Lost My Baby Weight: Real Moms Dish

If we could only be so lucky to have personal trainers and nutritionists at our beck and call. But you don't need either to lose the baby weight. Real moms dish on how they slimmed down post-pregnancy.

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"Incorporate your baby into your exercise routine."

Erin W., 30, of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, got help from her daughter during her workouts. "Strap your baby into a baby carrier for added resistance when doing squats," she says. "And they make an adorable distraction when you're doing crunches or push-ups!"

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"Take it 10 minutes at a time."

"When I got the okay from my doctor six weeks after giving birth, I got on the recumbent bike for 10 minutes every day," says mom of two (soon to be three!) Valerie V., 37, of Houston. "I put the baby right next to the bike so I could hop on and off if she needed me. In about four months, I worked up to hour-long sessions, four or five times a week. I was in better shape than before I got pregnant!"

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"Get a jogging stroller."

"I got a Jeep Liberty running stroller," says mom of one Carmen B., 28, of Summersville, West Virginia. "It's great because its tires can handle rough terrain just as smoothly as it goes on a track. I started running and worked up to do four miles, three to four times a week after four months. I lost 70 pounds in 11 months after my daughter was born."

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"Use bonding time to get fit."

"Two weeks after my C-section, I strapped my baby in my BabyBjorn and started walking," says mom of two, Ashley R., 31, of Atlanta. "I'd go for about 30 minutes, just around the neighborhood. It let us enjoy the outdoors and spend time together!"

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"Exercise anywhere."

Mom of three and trainer Celeste G., 32, of Irvine, California, did ab exercises that you could do anywhere. "Sit in a chair with good posture, exhale while squeezing your abs into your spine and hold for three seconds. Do 15 reps. This helps strengthen ab muscles."

Find more do-anywhere ab moves here

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"I made over my diet."

"Before I got pregnant, my typical meal included large portions of white rice with a greasy fried entree or a Big Mac meal," says Venessa M., 33, of Jersey City, New Jersey. "After giving birth, I stopped eating fast food and cut my portions by about half and added more fresh fruits and vegetables."

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"I stayed fit throughout my pregnancy."

Mom of two Melanie was starting to take on a running routine when she found out she was pregnant. Instead of completely pushing back her fitness goals, Melanie, 27, of Manteno, Illinois, adjusted her workouts. "Every week I did two 30-minute cardio sessions on a stationary bike or walking on the treadmill and two 30-minute strength workouts with dumbbells," says Melanie. "A week after I had my daughter, I started walking 20 minutes a day about three times a week."

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"I learned how to make the most of the gym."

Margaret D., 48, of Toledo, Ohio, got frustrated with how difficult losing the baby weight was after having her second child, so the former cardio queen took a weight training class. "Our instructor taught us how to use machines and exercises with weights," says Margaret. "I saw results in six weeks, but more importantly, I became confident in working my way through the entire gym."

Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, September 2011.

Our guide to the best weight machines and how to use them

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