More babies are typically born in August than any other month — and that means lots of moms may be focusing on losing added baby weight in the coming weeks.

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What’s the best way to achieve that goal? Leah Holbrook, a registered dietitian and associate director of the graduate nutrition program at Stony Brook University, offered her top five tips to shake up the myth of “nine months on, nine months off”:

  • Consider breast-feeding. “Breast-feeding burns so many calories. It’ll help tremendously in losing weight post-pregnancy if you’re open to it,” Holbrook says.
  • Don’t drink your calories. “Liquid calories should be avoided,” Holbrook says. “Drink mainly water, seltzer, unsweetened ice tea.”
  • Prepare snacks ahead of time. “You’re so busy with the newborn. As much as possible, prepare snacks ahead of time so you aren’t reaching for carbohydrates like pita chips, crackers, dry cereal and baked goods,” Holbrook says. Instead have on hand plain nuts, plain yogurt topped with fruit or cinnamon, or raw carrots. “This way, when you’re grabbing something quick to eat, you have satiating snacks,” she says.
  • Be sure to eat meals. “You don’t want to rely solely on snacks,” Holbrook says. “Have a reasonable meal a couple of times a day.” Load your plate with protein and produce — as many vegetables as you can get on the plate, she says. Keep carbs to one serving.
  • Exercise any way you can manage. “One of the best things about having a baby this time of year is you have weeks and months of really nice weather so you can get outside,” Holbrook says. Even just taking walks with the baby is great, she says. “A lot of people don’t have the stamina for more than that,” she says.