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Experts Corner

Fitness

Losing the "Mommy" Tummy
By Sara Holliday, MFT, CPT
www.fitbysara.com

Sara Holliday - Fit by SaraQ. My biggest problem area since having my daughter is my "mommy" tummy. I haven't tried dieting-just going for walks and trying to eat a healthy diet. What suggestions do you have to lose my "mommy" tummy?

A. It really sounds like you're on the right track. Permanent weight loss takes time . . . and consistency! The "mommy" tummy can be one of the last places you will see the results, but I assure you that the more you exercise regularly and eat healthy the more calories you'll burn, the more weight you'll lose, and the quicker you will see flattening on your tummy.

I highly recommend what I call "hill workouts." A hill workout is a quick paced walk up and down hills. If you add pushing your baby and the weight of the stroller, you will make it an even more challenging workout and you'll burn additional calories. As little as 20-30 minutes a day four times per week will get your heart rate up and reduce body fat, and will result in noticeable weight loss. Another added bonus of "hill workouts" is an increase in muscle tone and definition on your buttocks and thighs.

I never like to use the term "diet" because that co notates "deprive." When we deprive our bodies we lose weight, but then put the weight back on because we can not continue to deprive ourselves. One way to ensure that you lose weight is to modify your portions . . . meaning stop eating when you have had enough. Before you take a second helping, step away from the table, drink a glass of water and ask yourself, "Am I still hungry, or am I eating more because it tastes good?" By passing on that unnecessary second helping of food you’ll avoid consuming 300-500 calories which equals up to a pound of weight loss a week!

Small adjustments to what you drink can also result in big changes. Increasing your water intake can result in significant weight loss. For example, I had a client who had trouble losing the last five pounds. After looking at her food journal I noticed that she was drinking two diet sodas a day and only three cups of water per day. I explained that she was likely dehydrated and mistaking hunger for thirst. I had her cut back on the diet soda and replace it with an additional three cups of water. Within one and a half weeks she had lost the last 5 lbs.!

It can take a little time to lose the "mommy tummy," but if you're doing it right the results will last!

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