Five months after giving birth to son Roan, Thurman, 32, "needed to get down to camera weight" for the martial-arts movie Kill Bill, says nutritionist Jackie Keller. "But we also needed to keep her fueled so she could breast-feed and train." The solution: at least five small meals a day—such as soy lasagna or tofu and light peanut butter on whole-grain bread—and healthy desserts "to keep her satisfied," Keller says. "She has a sweet tooth."
"I feel awesome!" the singer-actress, 23, announced at the Aug. 29 MTV Video Music Awards. While pregnant with daughter Sy'rai, she hired a vegan chef. "It's not about weight," she told reporters. "It's about health."
SARAH JESSICA PARKER
When it came time to find a pro to help her shed pounds, Parker, 37, didn't have to look far: Her brother Timothy is a personal trainer. "We started walking, with her carrying the baby for added weight," Timothy says. "Then we focused on her abdominal area, doing crunches and lower-leg lifts for at least 40 minutes twice a week. As for eating, "she's sensible," says her brother, adding that Sarah has cut back on chocolate. And thanks to postnatal yoga classes, "she's getting really strong," says her instructor Leslie Harris. " We're starting to work on headstands."
HOLLY ROBINS PEETE
At December's Billboard Music Awards, the actress joked, "I haven't been out of the house in four months!" But being stuck at home with third child Robinson not only forced Robinson Peete, 38, to do Baron Baptiste yoga tapes three times a week, it also kept her away from culinary temptation. "I've been eating gerbil food," Robinson Peete says, "so I better look good!"
"The last 5 lbs. are the hardest," says Crawford.
The mom of 11-month-old Homer ran nine miles a week on a treadmill (and quit eating bread for a month) to shed 27 lbs. "Jogging strollers are really cool," says Heche, 33, who now runs and hikes with her tyke. "We've been to the Hollywood sign. He loves it." She also practices yoga at home next to him. The result? "Homer," she says, "is a very calm baby."
Need another reason to envy Cindy Crawford? She peeled off 28 lbs. twice—after giving birth to Presley, 3, and Kaia, 17 months. But you don't have to be a model to rebound in style. Trainer Kathy Kaehler (with whom Crawford made A New Dimension, a workout video for new moms) encourages women to get in shape before becoming pregnant ("you really need to have your body ready"), then ease back in after giving birth. Crawford, 36, walked and lifted light weights just a week postpartum. "I started slowly, even if it was just 10 minutes," she says. Adds Kaehler: "You'll get back to full speed. It takes a while to regain strength."
As for diet, lots of fruits and veggies "make you feel fuller," says Kaehler. Crawford, meanwhile, had Zone Diet meals delivered for two weeks after each birth. Ah, celebrity perks! "You can't use someone else's body as a guideline," cautions Kaehler. "When I had twins, it took me two years to get my body back."
About to embark on a press tour for her films The Hours and Far from Heaven, Moore, 42, wanted to get back in shape—fast—after the April birth of her second child, daughter Liv. So the yoga enthusiast signed up for thrice-weekly sessions with New York City personal trainer Kacy Duke. "We had to let her body know there was a new sheriff in town," says Duke, who put the actress through a 75-minute mix of cardio work (jumping rope, the elliptical machine) and strength exercises. Within three months, Moore was sporting "a lean, sinewy body," Duke says. "She really worked hard."
Hurly, 37, dined on steamed fish and brown rice and hit the treadmill for the first time in years to lose the 53 lbs. she gained before the birth of son Damien last April. "I have killed myself to shed the pounds," she told Britain's Pop magazine.
Does breast-feeding help new moms shrink as their babies grow? It burns about 500 calories a day, says Dr. Sheryl Ross, an L.A. obstetrician, "so you can lose weight faster"—unless, of course, mom starts eating more. "For every woman who claims she lost weight nursing," says Dr. Steven R. Goldstein of New York University Medical Center, "nine claim they didn't until they stopped." Count Sarah Jessica Parker
among the believers. In her battle of the bulge, she told People, "breast-feeding definitely helps."
Losing weight by exercising for 20 minutes two times a week? It works for the 36-year-old Sex and the City star, whose sessions with fitness guru Fred Hahn involve very slow muscle movements on eight different machines. "She gets strength training," he says, "and an aerobic workout in one."
- Rachel Biermann,
- Amy Baumgartner,
- Sharon Cotliar,
- Rachel Felder,
- Hope Hamashige,
- Liza Hamm,
- Sara Hammel,
- Julie Jordan.
"Being able to squeeze myself into tiny clothes," Elizabeth Hurley declared last year, "is how I earn my living." For Hollywood's new moms, snapping back into red-carpet shape is a business imperative—one that doesn't come cheap. Hurley dropped 53 lbs. with the help of a nutritionist and private Pilates instructor; other stars turn to custom weight-training workouts or yoga. And a pro to do the cooking can't hurt (anything to keep Uma Thurman away from M & Ms). Read on for the weight-loss secrets of nine red-hot mamas--and some real-world tips.