How Melissa Joan Hart Got Her Post Baby Body Back

Former Sabrina, The Teenage Witch star, Melissa Joan Hart has dropped an impressive 40 pounds since giving birth to her third child, Tucker. She’s done it the smart way, giving herself a full year to retain her pre-baby weight. In doing so, she’s managed to establish sound nutritional and training habits that have allowed her to keep the weight off.

Melissa Joan Hart before/after pregnancy

Melissa’s weight challenges began way back in 2005. While pregnant with her first child, she was shaving her legs and noticed, for the first time that cellulite was padding her knees . . .

“I knew I was huge,” she recalls. “But that was crazy.”

The petite star had gained 55 pounds, to pack 170 onto her 5′ 2″ frame. She knew she had to do something about it. Yet that shock was nothing compared to the cruel internet comments that Melissa received following her second pregnancy. At a post pregnancy weight of 155 pounds she was told by one anonymous blogger that she was ‘giving pregnancy a bad name’.

Comments like that simply fired Melissa’s ambition. Following her third pregnancy, she got serious about getting in shape. Despite the amazing results, she still gets negative online comments – largely due to sites reusing old, unflattering pictures of her.

I still read blogs about me discussing how fat I’ve become,” she recently commented. “Everyone thinks I’m still huge. But I’m not anymore!

The Nutrisystem Advantage

Melissa at Frozen Premiere

The key to Melissa’s amazing 40 pound weight drop is her nutritional make-over. And the key to her nutritional make-over was stumbling across a nutritional company called Nutrisystem. Embracing the Nutrisystem lifestyle a few months after giving birth to Tucker has allowed the star to totally transform the way she thinks about food. She is now an advocate for the Nutrisystem lifestyle. On the site’s homepage, she explains why she fell in love with the system . . .

I’ve tried tons of other diets in the past. I’m a pretty picky eater and it was just too difficult counting things and trying to do math with kids running everywhere, a busy career and an active husband. I needed something that simplified my life. Nutrisystem was it.

So, how does Nutrisystem work?

It is a 28 day program that offers pre-packaged food. You simply pick your plan off their website, place your order and your food will be shipped to your door. All of the calories are counted for you. The macronutrient levels are precisely calculated to enhance energy, boost fat loss and maintain muscle tissue. And the program ensures that all of the essential vitamins and minerals you need for optimum health are provided in your meal plans.

Melissa selected a meal plan that had her eating six times per day. This was designed to speed up her metabolism, provide a constant flow of nutrients to her system and ward off the hunger pangs that could lead to binge eating. Her plan had her eating 50% of her calories from carbohydrate sources, 25% from protein and 25% from healthy fats.

The types of carbs that the petite actress was able to consume were low glycemic index foods that would not spike her insulin levels. She stopped eating white bread and white rice. The calorie count was designed to encourage a weight loss of a pound of fat per week. For Melissa, this had her on 1,750 calories per day.

Melissa’s first month on the Nutrisystem program was so successful that she has been a return client of the company many times over.

The Training

Melissa and Trainer at the GymDespite the challenges of being a busy mom with three kids to look out for, Melissa manages to make it to the gym three times per week. She works with a personal trainer to achieve workouts that pack the maximum amount of work into the minimum amount of time. This involves both strength training and cardio workouts.

Melissa’s cardio workouts feature a combination of circuit training, treadmill, elliptical trainer and the stationery bike. Here is one of several combinations of exercise that she does each week in order to keep her body guessing.

Treadmill Warm-up – 5 minutes at a fast walking pace

Tire Circuit: 

  • Cycle sprints (20 seconds – max effort)
  • Sledgehammer swings – 25 reps
  • Cycle sprints (20 seconds – max effort)
  • Tire toe touches – 20 reps each side
  • Cycle sprints (20 seconds – max effort)
  • Plyo Jumps (in and out of tire) – 25 reps
  • Cycle sprints (20 seconds – max effort)
  • Tire Deadlifts – 25 reps
  • Cycle sprints (20 seconds – max effort)
  • Tire Flip – 10 reps

Working out with the tire was a real challenge for Melissa. But is was also a fantastic calorie burner. It also allowed her body to develop functional fitness, so that daily tasks like carrying a baby around were easier to perform.

The weight training program that the star followed was a full body program that focused on medium weights in the 12 to 20 rep range. Here is a sample of her program:

  • Squats – 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Walking Lunges – 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Bench Step Ups – 45 seconds
  • Glute Ham Developer extensions – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Dumbbell Bench Press – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Inverted Rowing – 3 sets to failure
  • Cable Barbell Curls – 2 sets of 12 reps
  • Overhead Triceps Extension – 2 sets of 15 reps

The combination of cardio circuit training and weights worked wonders to, not only allow Melissa to drop the excess pounds she accumulated during her third pregnancy, but also to sculpt and her shape her body. She now has the curves back in all the right places.

In addition to her gym workouts, the busy mother of three also tried to take in at least on pilates or dance class each week. This provided a different type of challenge to her body that forced it to burn even more calories.

Melissa Transformed

Melissa in bikini

The combination of her Nutrisystem nutritional program and her hard work in and out of the gym allowed Melissa to achieve her goal of getting down to 113 pounds. By not trying to lose it all at once, she has managed to maintain her muscle mass while losing the body fat. And she has managed to keep it off. In fact, she has followed the ideal game plan for long term weight loss success. Her example is a worthy one to follow!

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