Having a baby is the best thing you can do in life (well I think so anyway!) but our bodies do take a bit of a battering throughout the pregnancy and we have lots of internal changes happening as well as the external ones.
But externally, the hardest hit can be the stomach area which is absolutely understandable when you consider how much the tummy has to stretch and grow to make room for your little bundle of joy.
But to enable it to stretch there must be more stomach fat there to help your growing baby so as well as all over weight gain the tummy does gain quite a few inches and after we have our babies it is one of the hardest areas to shift.
But comfort yourself with every time you look down to your belly and see the excess fat that that belly brought your little bub into the world so don’t be down about it.
But let’s look a bit more at the stomach fat so we can understand how deal with it when we are trying to lose stomach fat and follow a weight loss campaign
Understanding Stomach Fat
There are two types of fat which are found around your midsection: subcutaneous and visceral. Subcutaneous fat (this means “under the skin”) is the fat you can see and grab, while visceral fat lies further inside your body and surrounds the vital organs in the stomach area. Too much visceral fat is what forces the stomach outwards and is what leads to a sticky outy tummy. To see more information about the two types of stomach fat click here.
Although most of us are very self-conscious about the (subcutaneous) fat they can see, research shows that the visceral fat – in people of any size – could pose the bigger threat to our health.
Why we gain weight around the tummy
There is no one answer but a combination of factors – including of course pregnancy
- Hormones: The female hormone oestrogen causes fat to be stored around the hips, bum and thighs. As oestrogen levels reduce during and after menopause, women also begin to store fat around their tummy – hence the ‘middle age spread” terminology. You can read more about the oestrogen which makes women gain more fat than men here
- Stress: when we undergo chronic stress, the body produces a huge amount of the stress hormone – cortisol. Too much cortisol increase the storage of fat around the stomach areaPregnancy – we have to gain weight around the tummy so the skin can stretch and the baby is cushioned
- Genetic makeup: each person is genetically programmed to store fat in different areas and amounts in the body.
- Eating habits: diets high in junk food are more likely to store as fat around the middle area. Also, consuming too much sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks, sugary drinks, energy drinks and alcohol, increases appetite, leading to over eating and weight gain.
- Physical activity: being active helps to bust away both types of fat. And the more exercise you do, the more overall body fat you’ll lose.
How to beat stomach fat
Don’t think that spending hours doing sit-ups, crunches and other abdominal exercises will melt away the fat. Doing lots of stomach exercises are excellent for strengthening the abdominal muscles and lower back, but they have won’t have any effect on the excess fat stored in the stomach area. If you are wanting to strengthen your core the see our top exercises here to follow.
The best exercise to do to lose stomach fat is cardio exercise and is the only way to break down fat, which includes the stomach fat area. Set yourself a target to do 30 to 60 minutes of ‘moderate-intensity’ aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, jogging, skipping, Wii fit, swimming or cycling on most days of the week.
To see how you can follow a diet & exercise regime that will help you to lose the fat and show you the best exercises to do then see our 28 Day Breastfeeding Friendly Diet & Exercise Plan here
Please always consult with your Doctor before beginning any new exercise regime
Get Our Exercise DVD
And for the ULTIMATE SAFE, EFFECTIVE & TRUSTED Post Pregnancy Workout – see our EXPERT Post Pregnancy Exercise DVD below – you can purchase and see more information on it here
The DVD can be followed by all mums (for example new mums or mums with older children) and can be followed by someone with a basic or a more advanced level of fitness.
Lisa Westlake is our incredible fitness instructor and postnatal exercise specialist throughout the DVD. With her extensive physiotherapy experience and qualifications (Lisa is one of the most awarded fitness professionals in Australia), Lisa is the perfect fitness instructor to bring The Healthy Mummy Post Pregnancy Exercise DVD to life – you will love working out with her. (You can see our Q&A with Lisa with commonly asked questions on the DVD here)
The exercises in The Healthy Mummy Post Pregnancy Exercise DVD are effective and safe and Lisa will guide you through each of the workouts. As well as assisting in the improvement of your overall fitness levels, the workouts in the DVD will also help in the burning of calories, the improvement of your core strength and the strengthening of your pelvic floor.
The six workouts are broken down into 10 and 15 minute sections that you can do when it suits you – or if you have the time and energy you can do the DVD as one 70 minute continuous workout. The Healthy Mummy Post Pregnancy Exercise DVD also covers special considerations post-birth, such as caesarean sections, back strains, muscle separation, incontinence and pelvic floor issues.
[pb_vidembed title=”The Post Pregnancy Exercise DVD” caption=”” url=”http://vimeo.com/73423922″ type=”vem” w=”600″ h=”450″]