I don’t know how many times I get asked by my mummies at Mummy Shape School, ” Lisa, how do I lose my mummy tummy?”
The Mummy Tummy is the extra fat, muffin top or the spare tyre that is often the hardest area to shift and often the focus of many frustrations. Whether you are a new mum, have many toddlers or teenagers, the flat tummy is the final frontier of all weight loss for women.
What is the cause and why is this so hard to shift?
Well, there are many contributing factors.
The first and most important thing to point out is that your body will never be the same after birth.
This is just the way it is.
Your body will bear the look of the wonder of being a mother. And we should all learn to love our marks, loose skin and increased girth because of the baby gift we got in return.
Acceptance is key.
However when you add to this age and time stresses then you have additional barriers in the form of metabolism, hormones and bad habits there are many challenges to work past.
This is not something to despair over, nor worry about, honestly!
I’m not saying you won’t get a flat tummy again or your body back to the way you want it. In fact, a lot of mummies find they get a better than pre-baby body with our programmes- I know that I did!
You just have to understand that your body will be different than how it was before and that is OK. And it changes as you age and mature.
Now, getting your body back into shape and losing that mummy tummy is possible. There is hope, do not fear.
However, this can be hampered by a few things, some of which are beyond your control
Apple shape women (those that carry weight around their middles) find it harder to lose the last of their weight and stubborn belly fat and also women who are sugar cravers- snackers who choose candy, chocolate, jellies, ice cream as their nibble of choice.
There are foods you need to avoid if you are an ‘apple sugar lover’. Avoiding sugary things is an obvious thing to say but I also recommend to my clients in this category to avoid wheat, fruit and some dairy products.
In fact, replacing these items with naturally lower sugar wholefood nutritional items will result in long-term health and maintaining that weight. Apples who are salt cravers (i.e. they prefer savoury things when they snack such as crisps, chips or takeaways) it is usually about replacing bad fats with good fats. Fat is not bad, it is essential to your diet and eating good fats and proteins will not only improve your health (as well as your skin, nails, hair and energy) but it will mean you lose fat in the right places and get the shape you want.
Now, what you can control is what goes into your mouth!
Did you know that belly fat loss is 70% diet and 30% exercise?
This was a shock to me. Firstly, I thought it was more exercise, namely crunches or running or both. I have worked out for 4 days a week, I have trained for and run a marathon and I have done hundreds of crunches. All the while, I still kept hold of my muffin top, my spare tyre, that stubborn belly fat. I have always been envious of those mummies who easily returned back into their pre-baby shape with taught, flat stomachs. How did they do it?
Now, in the past 3 years I have been studying health and nutrition and it was only in the last 6 months that I finally figured out why I was never able to obtain the elusive flat stomach. Firstly, our body shapes play an important part in where we store fat and also what types of eaters we are and lastly, what we eat is more important that how much we eat.
In fact, we can eat as much as we like of the right food so we need never follow a ‘diet’.
The type of exercise and quality is more important than quantity
The final element is about strengthening and conditioning. Although cardio exercises can be your friend in relation to burning fat. Shredding of the abdominal area comes from strength training and this is why I personally advocate using a kettlebell programme.
Prior to starring any new fitness regime, especially for new mums, it is important to carry out a quick test for another factor that can contribute to a ‘not so flat’ tummy. This is called diastasis recti. Sometimes the abdominal muscles in your belly just don’t come back together correctly after having a child. This may not only make getting a firm belly impossible, but also, in more serious cases, increase the possibility of a herniation (where internal structures push though the stomach muscles).
At Mummy Shape School, we realize that each person is different and needs a personalized plan and we can give you that individual attention so that you can lose that stubborn belly fat, the fast, safe and healthy way.