Much of a woman’s pregnancy weight melts off in the months after she gives birth, thanks to hormonal changes that lead the body to release excess fluid and cause the midsection to shrink down. However, excess body fat can linger for years after you have a baby if you don’t take extra steps to burn if off. Pregnancy-related changes such as broader hips may be permanent changes that you will need to embrace as a souvenir, but you should still be able to burn off belly fat four years down the line.
Exercise at least 30 minutes daily. Most adults should get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, but you may need to get up to an hour per day to slim down your midsection. If you can’t find 30 minutes in one chunk, start with a 10-minute power walk three times throughout your day.
Eliminate "empty" calorie foods from your diet. For example, thanks to added sugars, a single can of regular soda offers you 150 calories but not much else. By cutting out two sodas and a bag of chips per day, you could cut about 500 calories from your daily diet, which equates to about 1 lb. per week.
Train with weights two or more times per week. Building lean body muscle will help speed up your metabolism, which helps you burn off the belly fat at a faster pace. Try other strength building exercise options, such as push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups; or buy a set of resistance bands or sign up for a Pilates class.
Do ab exercises such as pelvic lifts. Lie face-up on an exercise mat with your knees bent, your feet flat on your mat and your arms by your sides. Tighten your abdomen and lift your buttocks to create a diagonal bridge with your body, but keep your shoulders, hips and knees in alignment. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 20 times.
Work your side muscles with bicycle crunches, which target the muscle down the center of your abdomen as well as your obliques, which are on the sides of your torso. Lie face-up on your mat with your hands relaxed behind your ears, lift your legs about 6 inches off the floor, and raise your head and shoulder blades off the floor. Tighten your abs and drive your left elbow toward your right knee, return to your shoulder-raised position, and repeat with your right elbow and left knee. Alternate for about 15 repetitions, and repeat for up to three sets.
Other ways to cut calories from your diet: emphasize plant foods such vegetables and whole grains; drink low-fat milk; cut the fat and skin off your meat; keep junk foods out of the house; and preoccupy yourself with a favorite hobby when you feel like eating because of boredom or for comfort.