Wondering how to lose belly fat after having a baby? Stomach fat is tricky. It can be stubborn to shift and because it is easily gained, it can be one of the most frustrating types of fat. The team at Lose Baby Weight often get asked how to lose belly fat — new mums in particular tend to be concerned about it, due to their increased stomach fat during pregnancy.
We tend to store lots of excess weight on our tummy for a number of reasons. During pregnancy, we gain weight around our tummy too, and it is particularly difficult to shift, especially post pregnancy. So, here are Lose Baby Weight's top belly fat facts and tips on how to lose it.
Belly Fat Facts
There are two different types of stomach fat, visceral and subcutaneous. Visceral fat is the fat that lies around your internal organs. You can't see visceral fat, but it is there and it is actually quite dangerous. Subcutaneous fat is the fat that lies just underneath the surface of the skin — and this is the fat that you can see. Visceral fat causes your stomach to look bigger. If you have more visceral fat, it will push out the subcutaneous fat further, making your tummy look bigger.
Although subcutaneous fat can make us feel self-concious about out figure, for weight loss to be successful, you need to work on getting rid of both visceral fat and subcutaneous fat.
Why Do We Gain Belly Fat?
Fat gain can be caused by a number of different reasons, many of them having nothing to do with your eating habits. Here are five explanations for why we gain fat around the tummy.
Hormones can cause you to gain stomach fat for a number of reasons. Oestrogen, the female hormone, can cause you to gain weight during pregnancy, as oestrogen levels are reduced, which causes fat to be stored around your tummy and thighs in preparation for breastfeeding.
Pregnancy causes fat gain around the tummy for two good reasons; one, so that our skin can stretch to accommodate the baby and two, so that the baby is cushioned and protected.
#3: Genetic Makeup
Every single person is different when it comes to fat storage and for one simple reason — genetics. Some people have a bigger tummy, and that could be down to their genetics.
Stress can cause weight gain, because when you are chronically stressed, your body produces a large amount of cortisol to combat that stress. High levels of cortisol can cause your body to direct fat stores to your stomach. So too much stress could cause you to have a bigger tummy.
#5: Eating The Wrong Foods
Eating the wrong foods can cause you to gain tummy fat — especially if you eat lots of processed foods or junk foods. Sweet and sugary drinks can also cause you to gain tummy fat. The more bad foods you eat, the more you crave them, which could cause you to gain weight in the future.
How To Lose Belly Fat
There are a number of ways that you can lose belly fat. Here are just a few:
Belly Fat Loss Tip #1 – Breastfeed
Many new mums say that breastfeeding helps them to lose weight after pregnancy. There's a simple reason for this — breastfeeding causes your uterus to go back to its normal size, which makes your tummy appear smaller.
Belly Fat Loss Tip #2 – Eat The Right Foods
Eating the right foods will definitely help you to lose weight, as well as stomach fat. Processed foods and junk foods will cause you to gain fat around your stomach, even if you eat under your daily recommended calorie intake — simply because those foods are bad for you. You can lose stomach fat by eating the right foods — a wide range of fruits, veggies, complex carbohydrates, wholegrains and lean protein. These foods provide you with lots of nutrients, which will make you healthier and happier.
Belly Fat Loss Tip #3 – Drink Less Alcohol
Drinking lots of alcohol, or sugary, fizzy carbonated drinks can cause you to gain stomach fat — they make it really difficult for you to shift stomach fat. Overly sugary beverages and alcoholic drinks such as beer can play havoc with your liver, making it difficult for you to build muscle mass — and muscle mass is key to fat loss. Ever heard of the term “beer belly”? Drinking beer can really cause a round tum. Don't be fooled into thinking drinking zero or low sugar drinks is a good solution – they contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which have horrible side effects (for example headaches and migranes) and can make you crave more sugar. You can't trick the body, it's very clever.
Belly Fat Loss Tip #4 – Exercise Your Whole Body
Some people believe that you can reduce fat on certain areas of your body alone, and so they only exercise certain areas of their body. This is dangerous, as it could cause you to become unbalanced. Exercise your whole body to lose fat all over the body — and you will eventually deplete your stomach fat stores.
Belly Fat Loss Tip #5 – Weight And Strength Training
Cardiovascular exercise has loads of benefits. But for prolonged weight loss, you need to build lean muscle mass. When you exercise your muscles, they take energy from your fat stores to complete the exercise. The more you exercise, the more your muscles take energy from these fat stores. And the more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you'll burn — even when you're not exercising.
Belly Fat Loss Tip #6 – Stay Motivated
Motivation is key to weight loss. If you want to shift that stubborn stomach fat, you need to stay motivated. It can be tough to carry on with your weight loss regime, especially if you are a new mum as it can be hard to find the energy to exercise. A great way to stay motivated is to track your weight loss and inch loss. As the numbers go down, your motivation to continue with the regime increases.
How Can I Burn Off Body Fat?
Belly Fat Burning Tip #1 – Strengthen Your Core
A strengthened core means that you'll be more able to perform intensive exercises. Your muscles will also be more balanced, making you less at risk of injury. Pilates and yoga are excellent exercises for strengthening your core (see our video below showing you an easy exercise to do).
Belly Fat Burning Tip #2 – Challenge Yourself
The more you challenge yourself during exercise, the more calories you burn off. Pushing yourself enough to break a sweat and to get out of breath will mean that you burn off more calories and fat. At the end of each workout, you should feel a little achy and you should feel that you've worked out. Don't push yourself too hard — just hard enough to feel the benefits.
Belly Fat Burning Tip #3 – Be Efficient And Work The Larger Muscle Groups
If you work out the larger muscle groups during exercise, you'll burn off more calories and therefore more fat. Because the larger muscle groups contain more muscles, you work more muscles at the same time, improving the efficiency of your workout. For example, exercises like push ups, sit ups and squats all work out major muscle groups. So you'll burn off lots of calories when you perform each exercise. However, exercises such as bicep curls are less efficient, burning off less calories. Although working out the larger muscle groups is a great way to lose weight fast, you must remember to work out individual muscles too so that you don't neglect any part of your body. This way, your muscles will be in balance, your core will be strong and you'll burn more calories even when you're just sitting on the couch.
Here is a specific exercise for your core that you can do at home.
Hopefully this has answered your questions about how to lose belly fat. What worked best for you? Be sure to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.
Article supplied by Lose Baby Weight.