Just four weeks ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and now it is time to start thinking about turning my ‘Mummy Tummy’ into a ‘Yummy Tummy’.
Whether you have recently had a baby, or just simply have a little more fat around the middle than you might like, I invite you to join me in the quest for a flatter tum.
So first thing is first – reality check! Sadly there is no quick fix solution and we cannot spot reduce that area. What do I mean by that? Well if I simply said to you, do 100 sit ups a day and you will have perfectly sculpted abs, I would be deluded, unprofessional and promising you something that wasn’t true!
There is simply no point in focusing solely on your abdominal muscles if they are covered with a layer of fat – you will never see them if your body fat is too high.
This gives us a clue of where to start, so here are my top tips to a flatter tummy to start us on the road to success.
1) Get moving. If you are fairly sedentary, then ensure that you start exercising. This does not necessarily mean that you need to join a gym, if that is not your scene. Start walking, or cycling, or running, join a class or instruct the services of a Personal Trainer.
2) Avoid the scales! Even though I am looking to lose weight, I am not going to get on the scales….. Sure, I know how much weight I put on during pregnancy and I know my ideal weight.
However, weight is just a number and although it is one way of quantifying your success, it is not the only way. Feeling your clothes fitting better and seeing your health improve, are positive factors to consider when on a weight loss journey.
Getting on the scales can sometimes be more demotivating than motivating, as your weight can escalate from one day to the next. As you increase your exercise, you may not see the figure on the scales change as much as you may like. This is because you are increasing your muscle mass, which is more dense than body fat, so can hinder changes to the figure on the scales. It is more positive therefore to observe the changes in your body shape and size.
3) Set Realistic Goals – Important goals for me are to fit back in to my favourite jeans and to decrease my body fat. My blood pressure also increased during pregnancy, so I aim to reduce this through exercise and a healthy diet. Think long and hard about what you want to achieve and write the goals down somewhere accessible, so if you lose your motivation at any time you can remind yourself of where you want to get to.
4) Compliment your aerobic workouts with resistance training. Many people still concentrate more on aerobic fitness than weight training. Whilst this is good for your cardiovascular fitness, it alone will not increase your muscle mass and therefore help to change your body composition from body fat to lean body tissue. Muscle is a far more active ingredient in your body’s make up and muscle helps to burn calories, even at rest. The more muscle you have, the leaner you will be.
5) Watch what you eat. There is ABSolutely no point in working out for hours if you do not start to watch what you eat. Your success will depend not only on what exercise you do and how often you do it but also on what you eat, or more importantly what you don’t eat. The top five tips I have for you are;
Avoid sugary food and drinks
Drink at least 1.5ltrs of water per day
Reduce fats in your diet such as butter and oils.
Control your portion size
6) Log it to lose it. Keep a food log and literally write down everything you eat and drink. It is a fantastic way of helping you assess where improvements could be made in your diet. It can also be a big eye opener as to just how much you do eat. We are quite good at forgetting all that we have eaten and kid ourselves that we are eating healthily, when in fact the truth is plain to see when written in black and white.
So to start on your fat attack, take measurements of your abdominal area and focus on how good you are going to feel when you start to see your waist line taking shape.
These tips will get you started but log in to blog in the New Year as I will be adding workout tips and nutrition ideas to help to lose that fat around the middle.