Not all tummies were made equally. Maybe you’ve tried different fad diets or crazy exercises to get rid of that extra fat hanging off your belly but nothing seemed to work. Perhaps you were targeting the wrong belly bulge. In order to effectively reduce belly fat, it’s helpful to identify what type of tummy that you have. Once you do that, you are one step ahead in your weight loss journey. This may even save you from trying another one of those restrictive diets!
The Mommy Tummy
This type of tummy usually occurs a few months to even a few years after childbirth. After pregnancy, the stomach often takes on a saggy appearance due to the weakening of the abdominal muscles and their inability to contain the contents of the stomach as well.
To combat this and strengthen your internal muscles, try low-intensity core poses like the plank and pelvic floor exercises such as kegels. In addition, try incorporating healthy fats like nuts, avocado, olive oils and vegetables into your diet to help burn any extra fat and give you more energy.
The Bloat Belly
A bloated tummy usually transgresses throughout the day and ultimately becomes a large prominent bulge that is hard to the touch. Bloat is most often caused by constipation, dehydration, diseases in the bowels and digestive issues resulting in extra gas in the intestines.
Try sticking to foods that are very easily digestible, avoiding fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. Keep a journal to track your food intake, which will hopefully help you identify any food intolerances you may have, and speak to a medical professional about them.
The Thyroid Swell
The thyroid tummy will be visible all over your body, with a puffy appearance from your shoulders to your legs that just won’t seem to subside. The thyroid is a gland that produces the hormone controlling the body’s processing of calories. Many women have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), which causes fatigue and weight gain.
To target the thyroid tummy, contact a doctor to address your estrogen levels, which usually will help with thyroid activity. For a natural supplement, eat probiotic-rich foods such as goat’s milk and yogurt to support a healthier gut. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, as their high concentration in antioxidants and minerals will help to combat inflammation.
The Working Girl Muffin Top
If you have a low, soft bulge on your stomach resulting in a constant roll over your waistband, chances are that it’s probably due to a combination of stress and inactivity. When we are stressed, the body produces a hormone that releases extra sugar into the bloodstream to provide the energy needed in the “flight or fight” response. However, since we are not active in those moments, that extra sugar goes straight to the belly.
To get rid of the working girl tummy, start with a diet rich in nutrients through foods like vegetables, whole grains and low-fat proteins. A consistent exercise schedule is also vital to redirect some of the energy, lose excess fat and boost hormones like serotonin and dopamine to counter stress levels. In addition, frequent warm baths may also help to decrease cortisol levels as well as to raise endorphins.
The Alcohol Pot Belly
This type of round stomach protrudes in the middle. Common alcohol consumption is usually the culprit of this type of stomach because it stalls all other metabolic processes to break down the sugars in alcohol.
Unfortunately, the only way to really reduce the alcohol tummy is to reduce your alcohol intake. Keep track of the calories contained within your alcohol; you may be surprised! Also, watch what you consume while under the influence, as alcohol stimulates the appetite and makes it difficult to metabolize food.