You probably want a “how to lose weight quick” plan or “the best ab workouts” but please bear with me for the next five minutes as this could really change your perspective and give you the tools you need to really get the results you have been wanting for so long.
I do want to give you a little insight into my experience so you know I’m not just talking rubbish and that I really can give you what you want. And although I never have nor ever will experience actual pregnancy and the after effects I have trained many women before, during and after pregnancy.
Nearly 18-months ago my wife Claire gave birth to our second child, Kobi. He came out at nearly 10lbs. Now keep in mind Claire is around 5’ 2” and is very slight, you can imagine the size of her bump. It was nearly as big as she is tall, but to be fair she pulled it off very well and was radiant throughout her pregnancy, although extremely traumatised after pushing him out… And me? I still haven’t recovered.
But as any women who have given birth knows, as beautiful and joyous the occasion is, it puts your body through a hellish ordeal. I mean, there is a little human inside that grows bigger day to day to the point there really can’t be any more room, and surly it can’t grow any bigger… but there is, and it does.
With any sort of trauma, the body deals with it in its own time. It adapts, heals and becomes stronger. However, this is no overnight process and you will be left with certain side effects to deal with. Most notably and certainly most conscious is the excess belly fat. Your tummy will feel lose and and wobbly and you want it to feel tight and lean.
I’m not going to lie and looking back I was probably quite ignorant. If you were a fan of Friends, the sitcom, you will probably relate to this next part. When Rachel gave birth to Emma… It’s quite sad I still remember all of this… she went in with a huge bump and came out with the tiny waist she’s always had.
Now in my mind, when a baby was born it went from huge bump back to nothing. I say nothing, I’m not completely ignorant I knew there would be excess belly fat but what I didn’t realise was the bump pretty much remained around 3/4 the size it was for a good week or so after.
Much of this is simply water weight and it does reduce over the coming weeks. You are then left with excess body fat which has been accumulated over the past 9-months. Bear in mind this body fat has been protecting your little bundle of joy so don’t be too resentful of it. I know you want your body back but as long as you follow these next 5 steps it will come back off.
If you remember one thing, remember that this weight is relatively “fresh”. By this I mean it hasn’t been around for long, so it won’t take too long to lose. The longer fat sticks around the more comfortable and stubborn it becomes.
Anyhoo! Enough of my Friends chit chat, let’s get down to the meat and bones.
- Start managing your calorie intake: It seems obvious, but this part is nearly always overlooked. Many barriers such as time and convenience become an excuse to neglect what’s going in.
For new mammies, it’s important to keep quality above quantity especially if you’re breast feeding. The more nutritious the food the better. This is not a time to be counting calories. Your energy expenditure will be higher than normal anyway especially if your breast feeding so don’t stress about calories.
For the more experienced mammies, you really need to start being accountable for your intake. The only way you will lose the belly is to manage what you’re taking on board.
- Build your body strong: A strong body is a healthy body. From experience it is very common for new mothers to want to jump straight in to high intensity training such as exercise classes and boot camp style workouts.
If you can take anything away from this article, make it this next point. Through pregnancy and giving birth your body has weakened. Running up the stairs too fast requires a quick dash to the toilet, so you know how weakened certain areas have become.
Exercises classes and boot camps are NOT designed to get you stronger. They are designed to burn calories, therefore you will be jumping around and moving fast. As a mother, the chances are you burn enough calories running around and carrying the little one anyway.
Please, please, please don’t jump into anything like a boot camp or high intensity training UNLESS you have complete trust in the trainer. Even then I would strongly suggest you start building a strong body with a structured and controlled training plan.
I’m not talking super hero strength here, I’m talking super mother strength. This is so much stronger.
- Think about developing your physique: Your butt, your arms and any other areas you want to improve. But the best thing? When you work on developing these areas your belly fat will diminish without even trying.
I know this is most likely your most conscious area, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this, but focusing on developing your physique as a whole with bring unreal results! It’s also so much more fun. You can check Linda’s story out here. She has been my client for a number of years, before, during and after her pregnancies.
- Keep active: Moving around, going for walks, all of these low intensity activities are essential for burning body fat. When you move your mobilising body fat i.e. you are breaking down and releasing fat to use as energy. When you sit around all day you’re simply festering and storing fat.
But keep in mind this is LOW intensity activity. This is your NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). This is NOT high intensity training.
- Build core strength: I know this is the part you’ve been waiting for, what about ab exercises? I’m going to let you in to a little secret. You can do crunches until the cows come home but unless you adopt the above steps it will make no difference, not one iota!
However, it is important you build some good foundational strength and of course you can add “ab exercises” in for good measure.
At this point developing stability strength is by far the most important aspect. Your abdominals have been under a good amount of pressure and “stretch” tension. It’s logical to believe crunches and sit-ups will give the best results but from experience stabilising has far superior benefits.
My preference would be stability work combined with dynamic work. You can check out this video I made a while back for ideas. You can also message me directly and I will be more than happy to help out email@example.com
I will also point out that you MUST consult with your midwife or healthcare practitioner before you undertake any of the above.
So, there you have it. 5 steps to lose your mummy tummy. These steps will build a strong, lean and attractive physique. It will also develop super mother strength, the kind of strength you’re gonna need for the next 18 years.