Pop Tarts

Adriana Lima Reveals Struggle to Lose Pregnancy Pounds

Victoria's Secret Models Alessandra Ambrosio, Candice Swanepoel and Adriana Lima.

Victoria's Secret Models Alessandra Ambrosio, Candice Swanepoel and Adriana Lima.  (WireImage.com)

Adriana Lima looks as picture perfect in a sexy swimsuit.

But it wasn't always that way.

The 29-year-old said gaining pregnancy pounds was an uncomfortable experience, and the stress involved with getting back her pre-baby body after giving birth to daughter Valentina in 2009 was even worse.

“I was really worried, I did gain a lot of weight – let’s say more than 25 pounds,” Lima told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column while showing off the 2011 Victoria’s Secret’s SWIM Collection alongside fellow “Bombshells” Alessandra Ambrosio and Candace Swanepoel in Los Angeles last week. “I ate whatever I wanted – my daughter was my first priority. I tried to keep her healthy, eat healthily, and exercise but not too much. I did light walks and things like that."

Lima said it took her a year to get back hre bikini body,and has tips on how new moms can slim back down. 

“My first advice is not to eat sugar and oil – that will help a lot,” she advised. “But if you get stressed about it, it is not good for you and you won’t lose weight. Even if you are working out and you’re on a diet, you are not going to lose weight.”

The Brazilian-born beauty said that despite her best efforts she simply couldn’t shift the pounds, and it was only when she started to relax and get some shut-eye that the scale started to budge.

“[It is so important] not to stress. I had a problem in the beginning because at one point I was so stressed,” she continued. “I wasn’t getting a proper night of sleep, so I wasn’t losing weight.”

Nonetheless, entering the realm of model mommyhood definitely does have an aesthetic upside too – as proven by Lima’s very evident extra glow.

“What can I say? It’s the hormones,” she laughed. “I’m so blessed to give birth, really blessed and lucky.”

Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay