One of Hollywood’s hottest mums, Mariska Hargitay shed 40 pounds and regained her pre-pregnancy shape in just four months. This amazed everybody how she managed to do that.
Our favorite Olivia Benson from NBC’s Law & Order is already renowned as a talented actress and philanthropist. Moreover, her speedy transformation has also turned her into a fitness icon. Thankfully, in her exclusive interview with Self, we’ve got to know a lot about her journey to a healthy body. Here’s a concise version of her detailed interview.
Mariska Hargitay’s weight gain during pregnancy
Just some time ago, Mariska couldn’t think of slipping into her old jeans. It was during and after her pregnancy days. However, according to her, no one would have been happier than her about it. Mariska says she was the happiest when she was pregnant.
However, pregnancy made her overwhelmed by the lack of energy. That time, all she could think to overcome the exhaustion was to eat. Even her cravings went extreme at some points. For example, Mariska recalls, she once desperately wanted to eat a hamburger with Russian dressing.
Thus, we can only assume how difficult the days would have been for her. The only thing she could think at that time was that she wasn’t going to deprive herself for the sake of her health.
The effect of pregnancy on her health and weight
Hargitay’s 28-inch waist grew swiftly, and by the third trimester, she had gained 54 pounds. It was more than double the amount usually doctors recommend. As a result, she developed gestational diabetes, which required her to make dietary changes.
She thinks she would have tweaked her unlimited eating if she could go back in time. However, when someone is pregnant for the first time, it’s natural for the person to think of eating a lot. Similarly, Mariska just wanted to make sure that her baby gets everything from each of the food groups. That’s how she eventually fell into the rabbit hole of overeating.
She was growing strangely but to her, it only meant that she was going to be a mother. The gain was a badge of treasure for her. Also, according to Mariska, her husband, actor Peter Hermann, was too supportive.
Little August was born by cesarean section, weighing a whopping 10 pounds, 9 ounces. On the other hand, Hargitay’s limited mobility caused her to pause. That was one of the things that made her realize she needed to get back into fighting shape.
The beginning of Mariska Hargitay’s fitness journey
Very soon after her delivery, Mariska realized that she needed to lose weight. So, she walked into New York City’s Peak Performance gym to begin a three-workout-a-week regimen with trainer Jay Wright.
She hadn’t worked out in a year. We know that the longer you don’t work out, the harder it is to get back into it. Thus, it was a bit difficult for her in the initial days. Mariska was a little wobbly during her first session lifting weights. She became almost frightened. She used to excel in these things. Therefore, she used to think that not being able to achieve something was going to discourage her.
Mariska Hargitay’s workout routine
Hargitay was entirely dedicated and eager to put in the effort to slim down. She worked out three times a week for roughly an hour with trainer Jay Wright.
The 55-minute plan Wright improvised consisted of stretching and a core warm-up of push-ups and lunges for the beginning. This helped her to get flexible over time.
She then used to lift, swing, and squat with Russian kettlebells before pushing or pulling a weighted sled across the gym floor for five minutes. It’s a punishing schedule, but Hargitay’s determination to succeed kept her coming back.
Mariska used to do a combination of toning routines. She also exercised aerobics on her own two to three days a week, including jogging and jumping rope.
When faced with a task, the athlete in her rises to the occasion. So, when Jay used to say things like, “You get out of it what you put into it,” it just added up to her determination. And she couldn’t wait to achieve her fitness goals.
Mariska Hargitay’s diet
Since she was breastfeeding, Hargitay decided to tend up her diet. That eventually gave her more stamina and assisted her in slimming down. She generally adheres to two principles.
First, there will be no deprivation. She is not a good negotiator when it comes to food. Thus, Mariska can’t take it if she’s not allowed to eat her favorite food. Second, whenever possible, eat unprocessed, entire foods.
Her breakfast consists of fruit and egg whites. Meanwhile, lunch consists of large salads with intriguing vegetables, such as zucchini, fennel, and roasted garlic. For dinner, she would eat lean protein, such as fish, with vegetables.
For diet, Hargitay ate a lot of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables and avoided sugar and bread. Since sugar content can cause sudden spikes while triggering cravings, it was important for her to not intake high sugar.
Due to her new exercise routine and diet habit, Hargitay’s body and attitude have altered substantially. She lost roughly 40 pounds in four months after delivering the baby and was still losing.
Now, her arms are really strong. Her legs have changed and she always jokes that she has no ass muscles. She says she’s no Flo Jo, but now she can see definition in her butt.