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You can reduce your mum tum via diet, exercise, or a combination of both. Of course, as you might expect, it all depends on what exactly is causing your post-pregnancy pooch.
If your mum tum is primarily caused by pregnancy weight gain, diet or exercise could do the trick. However, if your mum tum is caused by the separation of your abdominal muscles, exercise is the best way to reduce this.
In this article, I will explain what exactly causes a mum tum, as well as provide some easy-to-follow tips on how to reduce your mum tum via diet or exercise.
Can You Ever Get Rid of a Mum Tum?
Good news: the short answer is ‘yes’. The longer answer is that you should be patient and gentle with your body and give it time to heal.
After all, you’ve just spent 9 months growing a new life! Don’t be too hard on yourself, and make sure you appreciate your body for all that it’s been through.
Abdominal muscle separation, or diastasis recti, is a common cause of a mum tum, with around 60% of new mums affected. Generally, with the right exercise, your muscles will heal themselves by 8 weeks post-partum.
Occasionally, persistent diastasis recti may require help from a physiotherapist, or even surgery, though don’t worry, as this is not required in most cases.
If your mum tum is caused by pregnancy weight gain, reducing your mum tum is similar to general weight loss. It’s possible, but the speed at which you lose weight will depend on your diet, activity levels, and whether you breastfeed, among other factors.
What About Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks tend to develop around your abdomen and breasts during pregnancy. They can be an unpleasant and tough-to-get-rid-of side effect, particularly as conventional medicine has no solution for them.
Thankfully, the same lasers we use here at Cambridge Laser Clinic have proven highly effective at treating pregnancy stretch marks. Combine our laser treatment with the rest of these tips and you’ll be back to like-new on all accounts in no time.
What Should I Eat to Get Rid of a Mum Tum?
For the part of your mum tum that’s made up of body fat, the classic method of losing that weight is to eat a diet with the right balance of calories and nutrition. This may seem to be a daunting challenge at first, so why don’t we demystify it by looking at some top tips!
Let’s get the difficult one out of the way. If you like a cheeky glass of wine (or four) with meals, it’s time to tone it down a bit for the sake of your waistline. Alcoholic drinks tend to be a lot more calorific than you would imagine and very heavy on carbs to boot.
It’s okay to have a drink now and then. As a treat. But it’s crucial to keep an eye on what you’re drinking if you want that mum tum gone.
An evening of downing pints of beer can fill up your calorie allowance for the entire day. And all in unhealthy carbs as well! Maybe that glass of wine doesn’t look so sinister anymore.
There’s nothing like a nice chocolate bar to boost your mood and make your tongue feel happy. Especially if you’ve not been able to indulge due to those weird pregnancy cravings. And hey, you just grew a human, you deserve sweet treats, right?
Well, unfortunately, nothing adds to your body fat faster either.
Because of the high sugar content in sweets, these tempting treats are incredibly calorie-dense. Even as ‘little’ as 300g of chocolate can use up your calorie allowance for the entire day!
The same is true for most sweets. If it has a high sugar content and is processed, it’s probably not going to be a good addition to your weight loss regimen.
Foods that fall into this best-avoided category include (but are not limited to):
- Non-diet soft drinks.
- Ice creams.
- Lots of classic breakfast cereals.
- The kinds of stealthy bonbons that look oh-so-tempting in those fancy boxes.
Protein is great for your weight loss diet for multiple reasons.
For starters, it will make you feel filled up after a meal. It will get rid of any cravings that may steer you into the dangerous territories of sweets and alcohol. Protein is also metabolised by your body in a way that makes use of the energy while adding less to your fat reserves; the opposite of carbs!
Foods to focus on in this niche can include:
- Beef, for its inclusion of valuable zinc and iron.
- Salmon, for those essential omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins.
- Nuts, which have more nutritional value than can be listed in a few paragraphs.
Dietary fibre is amazing because it cleanses out your digestive system. It’s even more amazing in that your body doesn’t absorb it, meaning that you will take in zero calories from it.
Fibre-rich foods often have great additional nutritional value and include:
What Exercises Should I Do to Get Rid of a Mum Tum?
Whether it’s to get your body’s musculature back to its ideal form or simply to increase your calorie output to lose body fat, exercise should be a core part of your journey.
Speaking of your core, planks are great exercises to strengthen it.
Position yourself on all fours with your arms bent at the elbows and your back straight and hold.
A variant you can do specifically for your mum tum is the stomach vacuum. This involves adopting the plan position, then extending and pulling your abdomen away from and towards your spine in repetitions.
While planks are a valuable exercise, if you have diastasis recti, they can potentially make the situation worse by separating the muscles further. For this reason, stick to planks only if you’re looking to get rid of fat and generally tone up, not to combat diastasis recti.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
If you can imagine the muscles you would tense to prevent yourself from peeing when you shouldn’t be, these are your pelvic floor muscles. You’re certainly used to doing plenty of pelvic floor exercises during your pregnancy, so just keep them going to keep your lower abdomen in good shape.