Wednesday, January 21, 2009

BLOG TOUR: The Baby Fat Diet by Monica Bearden and Shara Aaron **Plus Review**

The Baby Fat Diet by Monica Bearden, RD, and Shara Aaron, MS, RD

Any woman that's pregnant or who has ever been pregnant knows the worries you feel when it comes to considering post pregnancy weight. All moms or moms-to-be have been there and done that. But I ask you, how wonderful would it have been to have had a book written just for you all about what you, as a new and incredibly busy mom, could do to lose the weight and look fabulous? I'm not talking your average weight loss book that lays out a plan for your average person. I'm talking a book specifically geared towards women looking to shed those unwanted pregnancy pounds. Pounds that, despite your best attempt to eat appropriately during the 9months of pregnancy, crept up on you and don't want to go away. Preggo pounds you simply don't seem to have the time or energy to lose now that you're constantly busy taking care of baby as well as trying to keep up with everything else you do on a daily basis to keep your family going. Would that be a book you'd find interesting?

If you answered "yes" then you must keep reading. Because today I bring to you both an interview with the authors and a review of the book The Baby Fat Diet.

Losing the "baby fat" is one of the toughest things for moms to deal with- even years after baby is born. "Eating for two" often results in "weight for three." The more you gain, the harder it is to lose... plus, you're too busy being a new mom to focus on eating healthfully. What's a "tummy mummy" to do?

The Baby Fat Diet offers a simple, easy-to-live-by plan that will help you loose weight and feel fabulous.

-from the back book cover

Tell me a little bit about your background and your family.
Monica: I am a dietitian with a unique background – I started at a hospital counseling patients. Soon after, I began working for a major food company as a nutrition research scientist and then went on to work in public relations and lastly, marketing where I helped the company launch their first scientifically-supported heart healthy chocolate product. I also maintained a private counseling practice during this time. As for my family, I am a mother of three and just recently, on Dec. 15th of 2008, had my third child (so, I am in the midst of losing my baby weight).

Shara: I grew up in Yardley PA, a Philadelphia suburb and went to the University of Pennsylvania for my bachelors degree and to Tufts University for a masters in nutrition communication. I received my registered dietitian certificate from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. My work experience includes serving as nutrition editor at Family Circle, nutrition communications manager at a major food manufacturer and a professor of nutrition at a community college. I am currently co-owner of a nutrition communications company and a freelance writer for several magazines and websites. I also serve as editor of the New Jersey Dietetic Association’s newsletter and I’m on the advisory board for American Baby magazine. I have two children. Eli is 5 and Oliver is 2. My husband is Harris.

Where did you get the idea for the book? What compelled you to write it?
Monica: I have always maintained a private practice and teach a prenatal nutrition class at the Y – throughout my career, most of the women that I help to lose weight, started having weight problems post-pregnancy. It was the same for my friends and family. Throughout the years, we have learned what works and what does not work in terms of moms losing weight. So, we wanted to make the information that we had learned more available. And, since most post-pregnancy weight loss books are exercise-based, Shara and I felt that a nutrition and lifestyle book to help mom’s lose weight was missing from the shelves.

Shara: Monica and I both are moms of young children and recognize the challenges moms face in finding time to focus on themselves, including eating well and exercising. We wanted to write a book that took our experiences and those of women we know and have worked with as dietitians over the years to make a simple, realistic book to help them take off the baby weight. Most importantly it had to be fun to read in short chapters so moms could pick it up, read a few pages and put it down - not to be another chore on her to do list.

What kind of research did you have to do for the book?
Monica: The book is based on over 12 years of experience and research with a countless number of women (not to mention our own baby weight loss experiences) – every successful weight loss client as well as our own experiences went into this book. Additionally, all recommendations have a scientific foundation and are validated by scientific research.

Shara: In addition to talking to many women about the challenges they face and the solutions they find realistic, we did much research on the latest studies on each topic to provide scientifically based information that works.

Why do you think “baby fat” is so difficult for moms to lose?
Monica: With each child comes a new set of demands and less time, plus the body itself is different and needs attention. By focusing on easy to incorporate healthful strategies that really do make a difference versus trying different diets or following bad advice, moms can actually lose the weight without trying too hard or having to take too much time away from other activities and responsibilities.

Shara: They have little time and energy to focus on themselves. Eating well and exercising go by the wayside.

Lastly, what do you hope readers will take away from your book?
Monica: That to lose weight, one must eat and make good decisions. This book will help them learn how to do both.
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Shara: That it’s worth focusing on yourself and your health – to be the best mom you can be you need to take care of yourself by eating well and being active. Small changes make a world of difference so it’s not a huge overhaul but tweaks that can really lead to taking off the baby fat.

I'm a mom of two little girls (5 and 3), so I understand the time constraints being a full time mom can require. As a mom, from the time that you find out you are pregnant, you strive to do everything you can for your child. And if that means that you make a sacrafice on your own behalf, like not taking the time out for exercise or a proper meal, you'll do it. Should we make these sacrafices? No way. We should be able to find balance in everything we do, so that no aspect of our lives goes without the proper attention it deserves. Our kids need us, and for us to be the best moms we can be we need to be happy with ourselves and we need to be healthy. If you're reading this, and you're saying "this book is for me" then make the decision now and order yourself a copy. (Click here to buy your copy of The Baby Fat Diet on Amazon.)

If you're concerned that getting this book won't get you any closer to being free of the flub because you simply won't have time to read it, then think again. The authors have done an excellent job of getting you the necessary information in perfect to read, short little bursts. Each chapter is concise and to the point, but still manages to be jam packed with loads of information. You'll find fabulous helpful tips, little charts on each chapter where you can keep track of your goals (relating to the topic covered in that chapter), recipe suggestions, and more. Another wonderful feature about this book is the overall way it's put together. As the authors state in the Introduction, there's no sequential order to the way the chapters fall. In other words, if you see a chapter that maybe doesn't pertain to you or just doesn't pique your interest when you get to it, then you can skip over it and come back later. Bearden and Aaron want their book to be a place you come to find useful information presented in an easy to understand and apply manner. Again, we're all moms, and none of us likely has the time to waste reading a book that we can neither make heads nor tails or or follow.

Despite it's name, The Baby Fat Diet, isn't just about some fad diet sure to come and go. On the contrary, it's designed to come together as a lifestyle overhaul. Learn what foods are best for new moms to include in their diet, what to stay away from, and where you can indulge. Worried that you don't have time to cook every night and tend to enjoy eating out occassionally so someone else can wait on you for a change? Or perhaps you simply don't have the time to cook at home and you need to grab food on the go? Worry no more. You'll find chapters dedicated solely to these situations and more. Learn that eating out isn't the deathtrap many other fitness/diet books would have you believe. As long as you use good judgement in making your meal selections and keep moderation in mind, you'll find that you don't have to be the perfect Suzie Homemaker and have a made from scratch breakfast/lunch/dinner on your dining room table every day.

I really enjoyed having the opportunity to review this book. Like with most diet/fitness books there was some information that was kind of a no brainer, but more so than not everything featured was very useful, interesting, and encouraging. The recipes and meal plans sound totally doable and tasty. The exercise tips served as great reminders that just because you can't get to the gym with your little on in tow doesn't mean you can't incorporate exercise into your already full and baby/child related schedule. Shoot, exercising with the Wiggles (as suggested in Chapter 31) is a great workout opportunity that you can do with your child, and one that this mama has done many of times infact.

Yes, if you're looking for a book that will be an easy read yet one that is sure to not be a waste of your time when it comes to content, then this is a book for you. Check out The Baby Fat Diet and see if you don't find yourself thoroughly delighted.

To read more about the book for yourself, be sure to visit the authors' website. You can also find a link to their awesome blog there too.

Curious to see what others thought about this book? See where else The Baby Fat Diet blog tour was stopping.

-Bookish Mom, aka RebekahC


Anonymous said...

Wow, Rebekah - Thanks for such a thorough and great review!

Lenore Appelhans said...

I can think of a couple of friends who might like this...but I don't know. Would it seem rude to give someone a book like this? Like, "Hey I think you're fat?"