The bye-bye baby-bump diet


Flabby skin and stretch marks - pregnancy takes its toll on your body, as new mum Amanda Hamilton knows all too well. The nutritionist of 10 years and presenter of BBC2's Sunday morning show Something For The Weekend gave birth to her second child, son Ruaridh, recently.

Already mum to Jana, five, it was after Ruaridh's birth that Amanda felt she really had to whip herself into shape.

"Being a new mum is difficult and while we shouldn't pressure ourselves to lose weight post-pregnancy, it's hard struggling to shift the pounds. And it's not made any easier with all the pictures of celebrity mums who just seem to ping back into shape the minute they've given birth!" explains Amanda, 35, who recently set up BabyToo BootCamp, where experts help mums regain their pre-baby figures.

"After giving birth to both my kids I was amazed by how little help there was for normal mums like me, so I decided to do something about it."

And indeed she has. Despite putting on 2½st while pregnant, Amanda, who's 5ft 7in, managed to get her fantastic figure back in just eight weeks.

"I used my local gym and devised my own diet to help me try and get back to my best," she says.

"It's taken motivation and dedication, but I feel absolutely brilliant!"

Here, Amanda reveals the exclusive eating plan that's got her looking hot today. First, make sure you've had your six-week post-natal check-up, then combine this with gentle exercise and say bye-bye to your baby weight too.

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The BootCamp diet is low in fat but rich in complex carbs, protein, dairy, fruit and veg.

1 Ban sugar Say goodbye to sugary cereals, white bread and sweets. They provide a quick rush, then an energy-slumping low.

2 Be prepared Get friends and family to bring you healthy snacks like fruit rather than chocolates, so you don't binge on bad stuff.

Amanda with co-star Tim Lovejoy
Amanda with co-star Tim Lovejoy

3 Treat yourself The early weeks of motherhood aren't easy, so be nice to yourself. My treats are a few squares of darkchocolate, a decaf cappuccino or a small glass of wine.

4 Don't scrimp! Fill up on fruit and vegetables. Unless stated, dairy products can all be full-fat.

5 Stop stressing over calories There's no need to count calories on my plan. Each day contains 1,600 (plus take 400 more in snacks if you're breastfeeding) which is the perfect amount for new mums to lose weight sensibly.


Have a breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks every day for eight weeks. You should also drink 2 litres of water every day.

AFTER Weight: 9st 13lb Size:10
AFTER Weight: 9st 13lb Size:10


* Porridge made with oats and skimmed milk or water, ½ chopped banana, plus honey to sweeten.

* 2 scrambled or boiled eggs with 2 slices of wholemeal toast thinly spread with butter and 1tsp tomato sauce.

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* Fresh, chopped fruit topped with natural yoghurt.

* A grilled mackerel fillet with 2 grilled tomatoes, a handful of grilled mushrooms, and a slice of wholemeal toast thinly spread with butter.


* Baked sweet potato with a tin of tuna, chopped cucumber and natural yoghurt to taste.

* 4 oatcakes with low-fat soft cheese or Cheddar, a boiled egg and natural yoghurt.

* Greek salad in pitta pockets. Salad made from chopped fresh tomatoes, ¼ red onion, ½ cucumber, ½ green or red pepper, 4oz cubed feta cheese and 8 olives. Add lemon juice and black pepper to taste and stuff into 2 toasted wholemeal pittas.

* Spicy chicken ratatouille. Heat a little olive oil and stir-fry 1 diced chicken breast with ½ onion, 1 sliced garlic clove and 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped. Add lots of fresh veg, a tin of chopped tomatoes and a splash of Worcester sauce.


* Baked sesame chicken with vegetables. Slice 1 chicken breast (or fish or tofu) into strips and marinade in low-salt soy sauce and honey. Roll in sesame seeds and bake in a 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, stir-fry vegetables in low-salt soy sauce and ginger. Serve together.

* Warm butternut and goats' cheese salad. Cut ½ small butternut squash into cubes and roast in olive oil. Add a large plate of salad leaves, one grated carrot and ½ chopped red onion. Top with 3oz of goats' cheese, ¼ pack alfalfa sprouts and tomatoes.

* Thai green chicken curry (serves 2). Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a hot wok. Add 1tsp of Thai green curry paste, 2 cubed chicken breasts, a lemongrass stalk and a lime leaf and cook for 4 minutes. Add 150ml reduced-fat coconut milk and 1 large chopped aubergine. Simmer until tender. Stir in 1tsp of Thai fish sauce (optional) and serve.

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* Baked fish with rosemary roasted vegetables. Place a selection of chopped veg on a baking tray, drizzle with 1tsp olive oil and add a sprig of fresh rosemary. Bake for 10 minutes at 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Place the fish (salmon, sardines or mackerel) on top with a lemon slice and cook for a further 10-15 minutes.


* One boiled egg.

* 2 pieces of seasonal fruit.

* 2 oatcakes and sugar-free jam.

* 2oz reduced-fat cheese with ½ chopped apple.

* Small handful of cashew nuts and ½ banana.


* Don't do any strenuous exercise for the first six weeks. Once you've been given the all-clear by your midwife or GP, start a gentle exercise routine. Aim for a 15-30-minute brisk walk a day.

* Start pelvic floor exercises as soon as you feel ready. Do them wherever and whenever.

* Strap 2kg leg weights on your ankles while walking round the house to tone thighs.

* Remember, breastfeeding mothers must not consume less than 2,000 calories a day*.

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