How To Lose Belly Fat During Pregnancy – In this post, you will learn the top 5 things you need to do to get rid of your sagging apron belly and have a flatter stomach.
Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not replace the advice of your healthcare professional. All forms of exercise and dietary changes can be dangerous, and those who do not seek advice from an appropriate healthcare authority accept responsibility for any injury. Please read my full disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: which means I may receive a commission if you use them.
How To Lose Belly Fat During Pregnancy
A mummy belly protrusion refers to the subcutaneous fat located in your abdomen that covers your waist.
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A mummy belly is often seen after a period of weight loss or weight gain, which can occur in the postpartum period.
The first thing you need to do is distinguish whether you have a protruding mommy belly or a “cold” mommy belly.
Instead, a mom pouch is the result of a separation of your rectus abdominis muscles, known as adiastasis recti.
You can’t expect to tone your mom’s stomach by doing hundreds of sit-ups. You have to use a multi-channel approach to be successful.
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The only surefire way to lose excess fat anywhere on your body is to reduce your overall body fat percentage using a calorie deficit.
You can create a calorie deficit by burning extra calories (ie increasing your physical activity) or by eating fewer calories in your diet.
At the end of the day, a protruding belly is the result of excess body fat and weight gain, and it happens because these fat cells are concentrated in your abdomen.
Studies have confirmed that you cannot see fat loss in the abdominal area. In other words, doing hundreds of sit ups, crunches or other abdominal exercises will not help you get a flat stomach.
Diastasis Recti Splint
The only way to get rid of a mommy belly is to lose fat from your entire body in general.
Also, you may or may not lose belly fat first. For most people, the lower abdomen is one of the last places to lose fat.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on to specific strategies to get rid of a mommy belly.
The first thing you need to do is determine if you have diastasis recti (DR). Research shows that up to 60% of women experience separation of abdominal muscles after giving birth. You may also develop diastasis recti after a C-section.
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Finding out if you have DR is important because some abdominal exercises can further weaken the connective tissue in the abdomen and worsen your abdominal dissection.
It goes down to a simple test you can do to see if you have a gap in your rectal cavity. It also explains why you need to take care of it from a medical perspective.
If you decide you have DR, you should focus on closing your abdominal gap and strengthening your core muscles as soon as possible.
Remember when I mentioned that to lose belly fat you need to burn more calories than you currently burn?
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Well, you might think that exercise is the only way to burn extra calories. But what if I told you there is an easier way?
The absolute best way to burn extra calories is to decrease your sedentary time while increasing your daily activity.
If you think about it, most of us can only exercise for an hour a day (at best). Even if you exercise 1 hour a day, that would be 23 hours without exercise.
If you sit idle for the remaining 23 hours, you are missing a great opportunity. (Not counting the 6-8 hours of sleep you should be getting, of course.)
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Studies show that this type of movement can increase calories burned throughout the day.
This type of movement is called NEAT or non-exercise activity thermogenesis. NEAT is a fancy way of saying how many calories your body burns doing everyday activities.
So even if you don’t exercise regularly, the best thing you can do is take advantage of NEAT!
The third thing you need to do to lose body fat is to address your nutrition. While movement and exercise are important, they are just the icing on the cake.
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The good news is, there are two nutrients that can help improve your nutrition, control your appetite, and reduce the number of calories you eat.
Protein is one of the three main macronutrients you get from your diet. It contains amino acids that make up almost all the tissues in your body.
But that’s not all. Protein has many benefits that help you lose weight.
And if you want to know about protein powder supplements, check out my post on protein during pregnancy.
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Fiber is an insoluble carbohydrate. In other words, your body can’t digest fiber, so it passes through your digestive tract and helps regulate your bowel movements.
As such, eating foods rich in fiber can play a big role in helping you eat fewer calories and lose fat.
It is important to note where you are consuming any extra unnecessary calories each day.
If you can cut all of these in half, you’ll be well on your way to shedding body fat!
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Not just any kind of exercise – I’m referring to exercise to build strength and lean muscle.
Resistance training is the only way to build lean muscle tissue, which is extremely important for health, fat loss, and overall postpartum recovery!
All you have to do is learn basic compound exercises. Compound exercises are movements that train multiple muscle groups at the same time. This way, you will develop more muscle and strength while burning more calories.
If you want to start resistance training, check out my article on postpartum strength training for new moms.
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If you have very little belly fat, you may also have a lot of visible belly fat.
This is why having a panniculectomy (abdominoplasty or tummy tuck) or liposuction will not help reduce your risk.
Mummy’s stomach does not move on its own. You should actively work to get rid of any excess weight through a combination of diet and exercise.
This is not just for aesthetic reasons. Excess belly fat (especially visceral fat) is linked to major illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.
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That said, if you have a lot of weight loss it may never go away completely.
The mummy march is distinct from the abdominal overhang. Pores are caused by a separation of the abdominal wall, known as diastasis recti. But like mom’s belly, mom’s bum may not go away on its own.
It depends on how severe your separation is, but you may start to see significant improvements in your mom’s bum within 6 weeks.
Whether you had a vaginal delivery or a C-section, the approach you should take to lose belly fat is no different.
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It’s still important that you eat fewer calories than your body burns, and that you burn more calories than usual on a daily basis.
If you ultimately decide to undergo any surgical procedures, remember that this is no substitute for a healthy diet!
It takes a combination of healthy eating, reducing your calorie intake and regular physical activity.
Brittany Robles is a full-time OBGYN, NASM certified personal trainer, and health and fitness expert. She holds a Masters of Public Health in Maternal Health with special interest in exercise and nutrition. She is also the co-author of White Coat Trainer. Learn more here Many women want to know how to stay fit during pregnancy. I can tell you one thing: it’s not easy, but it’s worth it and it can be done! You can burn fat and build muscle during pregnancy as if you weren’t pregnant, but there are obviously things that need to be done differently.
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Let’s get one thing straight before we begin: pregnancy is not a time to cut calories. Doctors recommend that you eat anywhere between 100-300 extra calories per day for an average pregnancy (this varies from woman to woman and depends on the trimester). If you cut back on calories, you’re denying your baby the nutrition it needs to grow properly as well as denying yourself better energy to fuel yourself throughout the day so eat, but eat right.
Steady weight gain during pregnancy is a good sign that your baby is growing and has fluid around it to support its growth and development. Daily calories should include grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, nuts, and dairy products.
If you have a craving, there’s no need to avoid that food focus—just eat it in moderation. If you want to avoid excess weight, it is best to avoid saturated fat, empty calories, sugars and processed foods. Aim for 5-6 small meals a day, which leaves you eating every two to three
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