At Lose Baby Weight, we often get asked how to lose stomach fat post pregnancy. Stomach fat is a common problem of many women, but it is especially problematic for new mums due to the weight gained during pregnancy.
Stomach fat can be the most stubborn type of fat – and often, it can be the most frustrating type of fat.
The facts about stomach fat
What you might not realise is that there are two types of stomach fat. Both of them contribute to a larger tummy, but one of them is much more difficult to shift than the other. Subcutaneous fat is the fat that you can see – it sits just underneath the skin. Visceral fat lies underneath this fat, around your internal organs. The more visceral fat you have, the more it will push out the subcutaneous fat – making you look bigger. Visceral fat is dangerous because it is so close to your organs, so getting rid of it through diet and exercise will not only improve your weight but also your health.
Why do we gain stomach fat?
We gain stomach fat for a number of reasons – it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Unfortunately, stomach fat can sometimes not be avoided – here are a few reasons that women might gain stomach fat.
1. Pregnancy. Pregnancy causes weight gain around the tummy for two very good reasons. Fat helps the skin to stretch more easily to accommodate the baby, and it also helps to cushion the baby, protecting it.
2. Hormones. Some women have higher levels of oestrogen than others. During pregnancy, oestrogen levels decline – which can cause women to gain fat around their stomach area. Women need fat stores post pregnancy in order to have enough energy to breastfeed.
3. Stress. Stress can cause weight gain, as excess stress causes excess levels of cortisol, a stress-busting hormone which can cause stomach fat gain in large quantities. Cortisol can also cause you to gain fat as it can cause more calories to be converted to fat, meaning that you can eat the same foods, but gain fat due to stress levels.
4. Genetics. Does your mum carry lots of weight around her tummy? It’s likely you do to. Genetics have a big part to play in where and how you carry weight, and unfortunately, some women carry weight around the tummy.
5. Eating habits. A diet rich in junk food and processed food will inevitably cause fat gain around the stomach. Equally, if you drink lots of sugary drinks or beer, you are more likely to gain weight around the stomach. These drinks can also cause your appetite to be increased, which can cause you to eat more bad foods – leading to further weight gain.
How to lose stomach fat
1. Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can help you to lose stomach fat – breastfeeding causes your uterus to get smaller, which means that it won’t push your stomach out – which means that your tummy will look smaller.
2. Eat well. This one might be quite obvious, but to lose stomach fat, you need to eat well. If you eat fatty foods, you won’t lose stomach fat – it’s that simple. Eat good foods that will nourish your body, such as lots of fruits and vegetables, plenty of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, wholegrains, calcium and low fat dairy. These foods will provide you with plenty of nutrients and vitamins and they will also help to eliminate toxins from your body, helping to burn fat. The Lose Baby Weight plans are designed to give you the best diet possible and help with the tummy fat area.
3. Cut your alcohol intake. Alcohol can cause a larger, more rounded tummy, as it puts lots of pressure on your liver. This added pressure on your liver can make it more difficult for you to build lean muscle – and the more lean muscle you have, the easier you’ll find it to lose stomach fat.
4. Exercise everywhere. Some people think that you can exercise to lose weight off one specific part of your body. Unfortunately, you cannot decide where you want to lose weight from – it will come off where it comes off. To lose stomach fat, you need to exercise your whole body – you’ll eventually use up your fat stores to fuel that exercise.
5. Do strength training. Cardiovascular exercises are very good for you, but they will only get you so far when it comes to losing stomach fat. To lose stomach fat, you need to add strength training exercises into your regime in order to build lean muscle. The more you work your muscles out, the more the muscles seek out fat stores to fuel your training. Having more lean muscle mass also means that you burn off more calories, even at rest – so having muscle mass could mean that you’ll stay slim in the future, too.
6. Get motivated. Losing stomach fat is tough, and if you want to shift it, you have to be committed to it – meaning that you need to stay motivated. Losing weight can be so tough that it can make us want to give up, but to stay on track, you need to stay motivated. To get motivated and to stay motivated, track your weight loss and sign up other people to exercise or diet with you – if you have people to support you, you’ll find it much easier.
Here is a specific exercise for your core that you can do at home