As a new mom still shedding those postpartum pounds, Jessica H. of Wheaton, Illinois, is particularly conscious of the rapidly approaching swimsuit season as the weather begins to warm up. Her newborn, now just three months old, is a bundle of joy, but Jessica’s ready to shed the last of the baby weight and feel good about the way she looks when it’s time to don the bathing suit. Her plan: relying on hot yoga to burn calories and eating light but satisfying meals, like quinoa corn salad.
“I was really eager to get back to my old figure after giving birth,” Jessica says. “I started out slow, with walks, but then soon got back in my old routine of doing hot yoga most mornings. I’ve managed to lose a lot of the baby weight, mostly through the combination of yoga and really watching what I eat.”
While Jessica warns that hot yoga is not for everyone (the studio is kept at 105 degrees Fahrenheit), she thinks that gentler forms of yoga are great workouts for anyone looking to slim down for swimsuit season. “Yoga is awesome because it builds nice long, lean muscles while restoring flexibility and improving circulation. For me it’s been a fun yet challenging weight-loss activity.”
She’s able to work out in the early-morning hours when her little one is still sleeping and her husband has yet to go to the office, squeezing in 60- to 90-minute sessions three or four times a week. In the afternoons, when she’s at her hungriest, she’s been relying on quick and simple meals packed with vegetables.
Her favorite thing she’s been eating recently? Quinoa corn salad with black beans, a hearty whole-grain dish. “It’s super easy to make,” Jessica says. She simply follows the instructions on the quinoa package (typically 10 to 15 minutes of boiling time)—sometimes adding a cube of low-sodium bouillon for extra flavor. When the quinoa is finished cooking and is light and fluffy, she drains a can of black beans and adds them to the pot with the quinoa, throws in a cup of still-frozen corn kernels (the steam from the corn thaws them) and then chops up whatever veggies she has on hand in her fridge. “My favorite mix is tomatoes, green onions and avocado, with cilantro on top,” she says. “Squeeze some lime juice on top and a dash of salt and pepper, and you’re set.” Light, delicious and ready in minutes. “I’m confident that by sticking to my current workout and diet plan,” Jessica says, “I’ll look as good as I did before I got pregnant, if not better!”
Tell us: What makes you look and feel your best for swimsuit season?