After putting on a massive 4st during her first pregnancy, actress Angela Griffin was determined not to pile on the pounds second time around. But when she fell pregnant again, she found herself reaching for carb-heavy and sugary foods – and tipped the scales at 13st 7lbs after giving birth in June 2007.
But in January 2008, just seven months after having her second daughter, Mellissa, Angela went down to a trim size 10 – and she credits a 12-week Closer diet plan for her amazing transformation.
"When I found out I was expecting, I thought to myself: ‘I’m not going to balloon again,’" she recalls. "But something kicked in and I started to crave all these sugary, stodgy foods – I just ate all the time. By the time I actually gave birth, I was enormous."
She adds: "After the Closer diet and a regular exercise plan, I’ve really toned up. I’m so chuffed to have lost 3st 1lb. "My body looks better than ever and I’ve grown to love running – I may even do the London Marathon in 2009!"
Angela’s weight gain was gradual. "When I started filming Waterloo Road in 2006, I put on weight," she says. "I’d eat lots of cooked breakfasts, pies, mash and puddings while I was on set. Soon I was up to 11st – a good half a stone heavier than I wanted to be."
And by the time she found out she was pregnant with Mellissa at the end of 2006, 5ft 8 Angela reveals she was "a full and curvy size 12."
"I was thrilled to be having another baby, but having binged on cakes during my first pregnancy, I tried to be more careful second time around," she says.
"I’d start each day with a healthy breakfast of muesli or porridge. But then I’d end up having a ham sandwich mid-morning, pizza for lunch, scones with jam and cream in the afternoon, followed by a big dinner!"
Unsurprisingly, the pounds soon piled on and Angela, 31, who lives in Bicester, Oxfordshire, with her actor husband Jason Milligan, 37, was 14st 7lbs by the time she gave birth.
When Angela had 8lb Mellissa, she lost a stone almost immediately, but at 13st 7lbs, she was still 3st over her ideal weight. "I wasn’t really that bothered about getting my figure back at first – I was happy to get a bit more wear out of my expensive designer maternity jeans!" she laughs.
Angela eventually managed to get her weight down to 11st 10lbs but then she reached a plateau – and turned to Closerdiets.com for help. We devised a healthy eating plan for her, which took into account the fact that she was still breastfeeding.
"It was great – I was allowed snacks like a chocolate bar or carton of soup if I was still hungry between meals," she says.
Angela also enlisted the help of personal trainer Nigel Tapping at her local gym, the Bicester Golf And Country Club. Her exercise regime consisted of one spinning or boxercise class a week, plus three hour-long circuit training sessions.
These included short bursts of skipping, lunges, squats and sit-ups to tone up her stomach in particular. "After having two babies, I thought I’d just have to accept my tummy would always be flabby," she says.
But she lost a steady 1-2lbs a week and after just a month, Angela could wear a size 12.
She says: "I was cheating a little bit by wearing support knickers, but I was really pleased and it encouraged me to keep going with the diet."
And it’s not just Angela who’s thrilled with her new figure – her husband is, too. "Jason’s a real bum man, and now that my bottom is properly toned, he’s even happier," she grins.