Actress Jennifer Metcalfe says she never felt pressure to snap back into shape after the birth of her first baby, son Daye, last June.

Instead, she listened to her body until it was ready.

[Read more: Jennifer Metcalfe praised for sharing inspiring post-pregnancy body message]

"I listened to my body and when I was ready, I decided to start the LighterLife Fast diet to get me back on track,” Jennifer explains.

“It’s a diet I’ve been following for two years now so I know it works for me and it’ll fit in with my lifestyle.”

 

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Jennifer credits the LighterLife Fast plan, a meal replacement diet, with allowing her to eat what she wants five days a week and fast for two.

“Since having Daye, exercise happens as and when, so I need a plan which fits in with my lifestyle and which suits me. The great thing about these products is I can use them on my dedicated fasting days, but if I want something nutritious to grab and go on my non-fasting days I can still use these products.”

And when it comes to exercise, Jennifer says she sees it as a chance to have a bit of ‘me’ time or a chance to spend time with Daye.

“I go to the gym with Greg (Lake, her partner) when I can, but on my own I like going to barre, yoga and mummyfit classes. It’s not always easy taking Daye with me, but I love the time I spend with him and it gives me some me time too, which is a lovely thing!

 

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“I’ve loved exercise for the past five years or so, before that I’ll admit that I was more of a seasonal exerciser. I actually have a degree in health-related exercise and fitness – anatomy, physiology and the science behind it – so it’s always been an interest.”

Jennifer’s attitude to health and dieting hasn’t always been so saintly though, as she recalls: “I did an incredibly high protein diet once and lasted a total of two days. I ate so much protein I felt sick and didn’t want to eat anymore, and that was when I knew it wasn’t healthy.”

[Read more: 5 barre moves you can do at home]

With over 470,000 followers on Instagram, the 34-year-old says she gets the odd negative comment about the way she looks but she just finds it “funny”.

“I’m sure I’m very lucky in this instance, but I honestly don’t get a lot of negative comments. If I do, I tend to laugh about it because I find it funny. I’m very comfortable and content with my life to the point that I don’t let these types of comments get to me. If I do get something, it’s normally followed by 100 nice comments, so I’d rather focus on them.

 

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“I do think I have a healthy outlook on body image, I’m so proud of my body since having Daye and you don’t realise what your body can achieve until something amazing like this happens. I think women need to stop comparing themselves to others. It’s so easy to see a model or another woman on the TV or on social media and compare yourself but we’re all unique, so don’t worry about others and be you.”

Jennifer Metcalfe is a LighterLife Fast ambassador. LighterLife Fast is available from Superdrug, Superdrug Online and LighterLifeFast.com.