Five Tips for Fighting Tummy Fat
Tummy fat becomes an issue for many new moms. Achieving a leaner abdomen can be challenging. If you’re a new mom, that muffin top may be the first thing you notice when you look in the mirror. Take charge! Try these five simple tips for fighting tummy fat and boosting your body image.
1. Finish what you start. Whether you prefer P90X, yoga or enjoy going to the gym, heed this advice from The Mayo Clinic Diet: Eat Well. Enjoy Life. Lose Weight. by the Mayo Clinic staff: Don’t start an activity you can’t maintain. If walking is your favorite exercise, set a goal to walk a certain amount of time or steps every day. If you don’t have the time or space, incorporate more movement into your daily activities. Make it a priority, or else you might push exercise aside for other concerns.
2. Drink plenty of water. Experts continue to tout the benefits of water. And if you feel fuller due to drinking more water, you may eat fewer calories. In The Small Change Diet, author and registered dietician Keri Gans says, “(Water) really does fill you up, and may help prevent you from filling out.”
3. Target problem areas. When exercising, it may be tempting to skip crunches or situps. Along with cardio exercise or muscle toning, work your stomach muscles. More strenuous exercises will yield bigger payoffs. The Ultimate Body Shaping Bible by Karon Karter provides detailed exercises for targeting problem areas. Karter writes, “You’ve got a hot body in there somewhere; you just need a comprehensive body plan to supertone and target your different muscle groups.”
4. Don’t feel like you have to spend a lot of money to lose weight. Try Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home videos. They’re inexpensive, simple and don’t require equipment. For a more demanding workout, try Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred. YouTube offers plenty of free workout options. If you don’t go to the gym, a membership is no good. Then again, if you have little ones, finding a gym with child care may be a nice getaway. Check out your local YMCA or other fitness centers for child care options.
5. Don’t starve yourself. Your body needs food to function. Most nutrition labels are based on 2,000 calories a day. This number may be higher or lower for you based on your age, weight and activity level. Look for calorie calculators online to estimate how many calories you should consume daily. Divide this number by three for a ballpark number of calories per meal. Don’t forget to include snacks and drinks since calories add up fast. The Mayo Clinic Diet authors advise, “If you’re hungry, eat! Starving yourself can be counterproductive and set you up for overeating later.” They recommend eating fruits and vegetables, which will “fill you up without giving you a lot of calories.”
Keep a positive outlook and let your confidence shine through. Once you make the commitment to starting and maintaining a healthier lifestyle, that tummy fat will quickly disappear.
Keri McManus is a freelance writer and mom interested in all things parenting.