Lose That Mummy Tummy:Top Tips To Get You Back To Fabulous
Nine months of growing and sustaining a tiny human inside of our bodies is a wonderful, life-changing event. As our baby develops and grows, our bodies experience the most amazing transformation – unfortunately, one that also wreaks havoc on our tummy.
The morning sickness, the back pain, the swollen feet, the heartburn (and never mind the popping to the loo every 10 minutes) are all part of this journey and generally, we accept them as a natural part of the process.
If we’re wildly lucky, our bodies will spring back into shape not too long after the first pregnancy, with minimal or no lasting effects to our physical appearance. However, the following births are often much different affair and our postpartum physique, perhaps after baby number two or three, can become a concern. Post pregnancy, women often feel uninformed about how to get rid of that mummy tummy, so we’re here to talk about every option from the tummy tuck to working those abs and everything in between.
Heading back to the gym
You should be eating a balanced diet all through the pregnancy and this shouldn’t change postpartum but you’ll have to wait until you get the all clear from your healthcare professional before you start those serious gym sessions. Expect some hard work and a bit of patience on the road back to your pre-pregnancy body and weight.
- Initially, it’s a good idea to incorporate short exercises into your daily routine, eventually building your way up to between 40 minutes to an hour per session. Varying your exercise and sticking to that healthy diet, you’ll be surprised how quickly you shed those extra kilos and inches.
- Make sure to incorporate a good amount of core work into your routines, such as plank variations, crunches and bicycles. A decent ab workout only needs to be about 10 minutes 3-5 days per week. Abdominal work is great because you can do it almost anywhere. And post-baby is really important to strengthen that abdominal area – those muscles definitely suffered the most.
Diastasis Recti; When to worry
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you work out, the stomach area just won’t seem to tone up and you may notice a pouch and even some muscles protruding in a strange manner – a frustrating consequence of trauma to the abdominals called Diastasis Recti.
Pregnancy and motherhood, there’s nothing like it; all the cooing and cuddles…and, oh yes, that mummy tummy. The extra belly skin that turns out to be diastasis recti can be much more than an annoyance and surgery may be required. Here’s a video to explain more about the tummy tuck procedure.
- The gap you can most likely see between your muscles may need to be fixed surgically. Diastasis Recti is abdominal separation and can be reversed either through a tummy tuck or specific exercises. This stretching of the linea alba (the connective tissue that holds together the left and right rectus abdominis muscles), is a condition often caused by pregnancy (especially following multiple pregnancies) and rapid weight gain.
- If you are diagnosed with Diastasis Recti, avoid any traditional core exercises that put additional strain on your abdominal wall, such as crunches, sit-ups and bicycles, these exercises could worsen your condition, making it more difficult to repair.
- If you think you may have this condition, consult a reputable surgeon or doctor so they can evaluate and advise you on what to do next. Your doctor may also refer you to see a physical therapist, who will likely give you strategies to help strengthen your core.
Fat Blasting Foods
We’ve already talked about the importance of a healthy, balanced diet throughout pregnancy and postpartum. But like us, you’ll probably want to know whether there are any foods in particular that target belly fat.
Now, we all know not to eat refined sugars or indulge in too much alcohol but here, we’ll also tell you what you can we consume to help get rid of the mummy tummy and get that flat stomach back.
Well, the bad news is that there isn’t heaps of evidence to back up the belly blasting claims of some foods but the good news is that these foods are all really healthy, delicious and nutritious. As an added bonus, anecdotal claims that they help slim down the waistline make it well worthwhile giving them a try.
- Adding protein to your diet is probably the most effective change you can make if you want to lose fat and there is actually some evidence to suggest that added protein will specifically help in reducing belly fat. Whole eggs, fish, nuts, lean meat and dairy products are some of the best ways to source your protein.
- Berries and nuts are the best snacking foods for helping you lose belly fat. Almonds, walnuts and all the rest are rich in monounsaturated fats, making them heart-healthy and satisfying. Berries are loaded with both fibre and protein keeping hunger at bay while being nutrient and antioxidant-rich and with less sugar than most other fruits. If you’re a snacker, both berries and nuts are a satisfying and healthy choice.
There are so many benefits to weight-loss. Not only will you look and feel as good as you did before kids but you’ll be investing in your future by preventing chronic illness later in life with the implementation of a healthy eating and exercise regimen, now.
Even if you don’t necessarily like going to the gym or even working out in general, it’s easy to make exercise part of your daily routine and, postpartum, it’s so important for both mother and child to spend time outdoors and stay active.
Having children and being a parent is such a wonderful experience. Following our tips to losing your mummy tummy means you have one less thing to worry about, at a time when our kids need (and likely, even demand) all of our love and attention.