Gaining and losing weight is a normal part of a human’s life. Various events in our lives lead us to increased or decreased weight. One such beautify moments is of having a baby. A woman’s body transforms to give birth to another individual. It is a very arduous task and so is losing all the baby fat especially the hanging belly which is a result of all the stretching to accommodate a growing baby inside a woman’s tummy.
Post-partum a new mother usually loses a few kilos of weight almost within the first 2-3 months. With a little extra push by way of exercise the desired weight can be reached pretty soon. But the problem area that remains the problem for a longer time is the hanging belly popularly known as the paunch or the mummy tummy. As easy it is to lose weight from other body parts like arms and legs, the midriff isn’t the easily forgiving ones. There’s a reason behind it, let’s find out.
What a hanging belly consists of?
Fats in the abdominal region are a little different than that in other body parts. Arms, left etc. have only one layer of fat, this makes it relatively easier to tone and firm up these areas. In the stomach, fats are stored in two different forms. The fats that are stored just under the skin is called subcutaneous fat, the soft spongy feeling you get when you touch your tummy is the subcutaneous fat. These kinds of fats are your energy reserve which will be used in case your body is starving. While the fats that surround all the vital organs are called visceral fats. These are the more dangerous ones as these can lead to many lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, even heart diseases. They can cause a lot of damage to the vital organs and wreck havoc in the management of insulin in the body.
How to lose the hanging belly?
Now that we have understood the anatomy of a potbelly, let’s find out what we can do to lose this. Firstly, let’s be clear, there isn’t any shortcut to losing belly fat quickly. You will have to make changes to your diet and activity levels, a complete lifestyle change is required to achieve this. But it is possible; the midriff you’ve always had or dreamt of is most definitely possible just that it comes out of hard work.
Research says that 80% of the times diet plays a major role in weight management and only 20% is the role of exercise. You can’t be binge eating all the time and exercising 2 hours daily. Don’t wonder if the weight scale won’t budge. A well balanced healthy diet that consists of all the important nutrients will lead to a healthy weight. This is even more important for a new mother. A diet should be rich in
- Proteins from pulses, legumes, meat, eggs, etc.
- Vitamins and minerals from fresh vegetables and fresh fruits
- Fats mainly in the forms monounsaturated and polyunsaturated from sources such as nuts, sea-foods, etc.
- Carbohydrates from varied sources like rice, wheat, finger millets, pearl millets, etc.
It’s best to avoid packaged foods and food make of refined flour.
A full body exercise is needed to get rid of belly fat. It is a common myth that target exercises, those that work on individual body parts, are required. Just doing 200 crunches a day is not going to give you that flat washboard like abs. The whole body needs to be involved to get the fats out.
New mothers should first consult their doctors before starting exercising. They can start with light strolls around the block slowly graduating to brisk walks and then to jogging or running if their body allows.
Another part of exercise that is very important is to include strength training in your exercise routine. While we know going to the gym is the best way to get a fit body it may not be feasible for many new moms. You could start with a few strength training exercises at home.
Yoga is another great form of exercise that works on body and mind both equally. It makes the body strong from within.
Finally, you need to understand that it is a time taking process, gradually you will reach the ideal body but consistency is the key here.