Putting on weight when you’re pregnant is unavoidable, but what most new mums struggle with is to lose the stomach fat after the baby has been born. Getting rid of the fat around the tummy area is the hardest.
The good news is that our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge has been created to help all mums achieve their health and weight loss goals post pregnancy, and all in a healthy and safe way.
There are an increasing number of scientific studies proving that the different sorts of fats which exist in the body develop for different reasons, and therefore require different strategies are needed to tackle them. This is especially the case with stomach fat.
There are two main types of stomach fat…
1. Subcutaneous fat
For new mums, subcutaneous fat is the most noticeable type of fat on the stomach. As the name suggests, subcutaneous fat is the sort of fat which lies just under the surface of the skin.
Women are most likely to accumulate this sort of fat around their abdomen, hips and buttocks. Subcutaneous fat is noticeable and can cause dimpling like cellulite.
This fat serves as the body’s energy storage system. If more calories are consumed than the body uses, extra calories are laid down as subcutaneous fat.
2. Visceral fat (the dangerous one)
The second type of fat on the stomach area is visceral fat, also known as abdominal fat. This sort of fat differs from subcutaneous fat as it is less visible within the body.
Visceral fat forms within the body and around the organs. It cannot be seen from the outside and is far more dangerous than subcutaneous fat. Research is continuing into why some people seem to have greater amounts of visceral fat than others, but it is believed to have a lot to do with a poor diet.
Visceral fat is of great concern as it literally wraps itself around the major organs in the abdomen such as liver, kidneys, heart and lungs, as well as contributing to the clogging of arteries.
People will high levels of visceral fat are more prone to developing serious health issues such as heart disease. Visceral fat often accumulates around the liver and this leads the liver to become resistant to the body’s insulin, which in turn greatly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Visceral fat is often referred to by the medical profession as a ticking time bomb as many people are unaware that they have visceral fat and it cannot be seen accumulating as subcutaneous fat can.
Risk factors for developing visceral fat
There are several factors which make it more likely that visceral fat will develop.
- Heavy drinking
- Living a non-active lifestyle
- Eating a diet which is high in fat
- High levels of stress
New mums, who are struggling to find time to get to the gym and are eating on the run may find themselves falling into more of these risk groups than they did before they gave birth.
How to deal with visceral fat
Unfortunately, visceral fat is harder to remove than subcutaneous fat. As it is hidden deep within your body, it is also almost impossible to keep track of progress as difference cannot be seen from the outside.
Improving the levels of visceral fat within the body should not be seen as a “quick fix”. Reducing the levels of visceral fat in the body and keeping them low is a long term project, and therefore the goal should be a lifestyle change rather than simply going on a diet for a few weeks or months until goals are achieved.
Healthy eating is one of the key elements to dealing with visceral fat, in particular cutting down on the amount of saturated fat eaten and trying to increase plenty of complex carbohydrates. The second key element is exercise. The gold standard is to aim for 45 – 60 minutes exercise per day, but for new mums this isn’t easily achievable.
The Healthy Mummy Core Workouts available on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge are 10 minute videos, designed to tighten the tummy, reduce belly fat and strengthen your core muscles.
To keep your body challenged, you should aim to complete a training routine that incorporates core exercises once to twice per week. Start with one session and as your strength increases, add in a second 10 minute session.
The Healthy Mummy Core Workout is best done at the end of any of your regular Healthy Mummy video workout – e.g Tabata, DanceFit, Butt & Thighs etc.
Any increase in activity levels will help burn calories, and this can be as simple as chasing the kids around in the park, or putting the baby in the pram and going for a brisk 30 minute walk.
The aim is to raise your heart rate and give you the feeling of being out of breath. In addition to diet and exercise, cut down on alcohol and stop smoking, and also try to deal with any issues causing persistent stress in order to minimise further your risk factors.
Join our next 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge
The Healthy Mummy exists to help tired, busy mums like you SHIFT THE BABY WEIGHT and REACH YOUR GOAL WEIGHT.
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The 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is an affordable, breastfeeding-friendly and realistic program that helps mums tackle their diet and improve their overall health through weekly (and customisable) meal plans, at-home exercises and 24/7 social support.
Our Challenge entails:
- 28 days of at home exercise routines (no gym needed) – with video instruction
- Customisable and breastfeeding friendly meal plans
- Time-efficient exercises for busy mums – under 30 mins
- Challenge combines Pilates exercises with interval and circuit training (HIIT)
- Suitable for basic to advanced fitness levels
- Home to thousands of EASY-TO-MAKE recipes!