October 14, 2009 12:55 PM

After Trista Sutter and her husband Ryan welcomed son Max in 2007, the reality TV star found it relatively easy to lose her pregnancy weight. But when daughter Blakesley arrived in April, Sutter was faced with a weight-loss challenge: an extra 43 pounds on her 5’2″ frame.

“As I think any woman who has been through multiple pregnancies can attest,” Sutter, 36, tells PEOPLE, “your body just knows where the fat goes!” But after six months of hard work, she is back to 107 lbs. How did she do it? Sutter shares 5 tips for moms to lose that weight.

Push that pram!
“Because I had Blakesley via C-section,” Sutter says, “I waited for the doctor to give me the go ahead before I got into the groove.” But when the doctor gave the go-ahead to begin exercising, Sutter found a good way to start. “My double-stroller plus the two kids is about 70 pounds, so pushing that uphill is pretty hard,” she says of her regular 45-minute walks in her Vail, Colo., neighborhood.

Turn your house into your gym
Sutter’s trainer Brock Fetch showed her how to do dead-lift exercises with paint cans, and she used crates and other objects to simulate a gym workout. “I would put a ski pole above my head and do lunges across my driveway,” she says. “Max would be napping and I would bring Blakesley out and put her in the back of the minivan. It was great for me to not have the stress of packing up the kids and getting to the gym.” [See video of Trista’s garage workouts on her Twitter page.]

Keep track of calories you consume and burn off
“That’s all it comes down to,” she says. Sutter uses the Web site mycalorienumber.com. “It gives you menus and you can print out what you need to buy at the grocery store,” she says. “It’s really helped me because knowing your number and then knowing how much it is to walk, how much you need to strength-train, the number of the calories your burning … It’s so easy.”

Get your protein in
Lower your carbs but don’t sacrifice taste, Sutter suggests. “My favorite meal of all time, if I had a last-meal request, would be a cheeseburger and fries. But you’ve got to take out the fries and have the cheeseburgers without the bun. Get rid of the carbs but have a protein in there.”

Remember that supplements are just supplements
Although Sutter takes a natural supplement to help her lose weight, she says, “I’ve always believed there is no quick fix. A lot of people ask about it and say, ‘Oh, I’ve been taking them for a month and it hasn’t been doing anything,’ and I say, ‘Have you been working out?’ Because it has to be used in conjunction with working out if you are expending energy.”

For more information on Sutter’s post-baby weight loss, and a beautiful photo of her family, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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