Here's Exactly What It Took for This Mom of Twins to Lose 65 Pounds of Baby Weight

36 In...36 Out! . The girls are exactly 36 weeks old today! Picture left: me at 36 weeks. Picture [...]

When Monique Soltani was pregnant with twins, she wanted to do everything in her power to ensure they would be born at a healthy weight. She picked up Barbara Luke's book When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads: and followed it to a T.

"I read that if you gain the weight early and gain it the 'right' way, losing is much easier — and it was," Soltani said.

In fact, by increasing her calorie intake with healthy fats during her pregnancy, Soltani gained 40 pounds by 20 weeks. In the weeks leading up to her daughters' births, she gained 25 more pounds — 65 total. By six months postpartum, she was back down to her pre-pregnancy weight!

In order to gain weight the "right way," Soltani added foods lots of healthy fats to her diet (like avocados, almonds, full-fat yogurt, eggs, sandwiches and oils).

"I made a shake every day with full-fat yogurt, peanut butter and berries," she said. "I also made sure to eat lots of protein. I'm a vegetarian, so in order to get extra iron I added blackstrap molasses to my shakes and cooked with a cast iron skillet."

She also made sure not to deprive herself, indulging in "naughty" foods occasionally. "I did have soft service ice cream, French fries and that sort of thing," Soltani said. "I just didn't really eat a ton of junk food or cakes or anything like that."

And although the goal was to gain weight during her pregnancy, it was still important to be active. Soltani exercised up until the day before she gave birth, doing things like prenatal yoga, running on the elliptical and free weights.

"I went to yoga [the day before I gave birth] and could barely do cat cow," Soltani said. "I was so huge I could barely walk. The girls were born the next day."

When Soltani was cleared by her doctor to exercise following her pregnancy, she saw a physical therapist who specialized in ab separation. In addition to ab exercises from her therapist, Soltani got back into the swing of her old fitness routine: 20 minutes on the elliptical, plus light weight training.

>> Read more: Are Your Postpartum Abs Ready for Exercise?

A few of her favorite exercises? Bicep curls with five-pound dumbbells, one-legged squats and leg extensions.

All the hard work paid off — six months after having her girls, Soltani was back to her pre-pregnancy weight (that's 65 pounds lost!). Here she is looking svelte exactly six months postpartum:

monique soltani
(Photo: Photo Courtesy Monique Soltani)

Soltani says her attitude about body image has changed completely since having her twins.

"I was sad at first, [with the] big belly and saggy skin; you know, the post-mom body isn't what it once was. But after a while, I felt really empowered. I couldn't believe that it was actually working. That I was losing weight! I told my husband this and I mean it: Even though my body doesn't look as 'good' as it did before I was pregnant, I feel better about it. I feel like wow, I stretched it to its limits and here it is looking relatively 'normal' again. It felt like such a big win for me and it was something I could really feel proud of."

"Working out made me feel better about myself, and I think that makes me a better mom."

>> Read more: 3 Major Tips You Have to Try From a 51-Year-Old Mom Who Lost 92 Pounds

What kind of postpartum weight loss tips do you have? Share in the comments below!

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