After welcoming her third son, Tucker, last September, actress Melissa Joan Hart was daunted by the stress of shedding the baby weight for the new season of her ABC Family show Melissa & Joey
. "With Mason [now 7] I gained 55 lbs. With Brady [now 5] I gained 35 lbs. But with Tucker I gained 60 lbs.!" admits the 5'2" actress, 37. "I ate a lot of breads, pasta and salty foods, and I started to gain weight rapidly." Luckily the pregnancy pounds have fallen off steadily: Since January Hart has dropped 29 lbs. and three jeans sizes thanks to Nutrisystem, for which she's a spokeswoman. "I learned that not every meal has to be Thanksgiving. You don't have to feel stuffed and full," she says. Still, "I feel like I have to watch my discipline. When everyone else is reaching for an ice-cream bar, I have a cup of chamomile tea with sweetener. It takes that craving away." Her husband, musician Mark Wilkerson, 35, watches the kids so that she can fit in twice-weekly workouts with a trainer, and spinning and yoga classes with pals. Hart says, "I'm starting to like my legs again!" While she hopes to lose another 5 to 8 lbs., Hart keeps her figure in perspective. "Being a mom made me stop being so hard on myself," she says. "My priorities are my children."—MONICA RIZZO
- with Elizabeth Leonard,
- Mary Margaret.