3 types of tummy flab and how to blast it away

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by Meghna Mukherjee

It takes more than a treadmill and a strict diet to shed off the most stubborn fat of all — tummy flab. But it’s not impossible.

There’s nothing like a sagging stomach to make any woman feel self-conscious about her body. Many are oblivious of the fact that different women have different tummy types — just like their hips, thighs, legs, breast size etc. Says fitness expert, Samir Purohit, “You might know the kind of tummy you have but may be unaware that all belly fat is not equal.” Here are some of the common tummy types — know the one that you have and follow the diet and exercise to flatten it.

Post-Baby tummy
“Due to pregnancy, the uterus tends to get heavier immediately after your delivery as compared to what it was before pregnancy. It takes about six to eight weeks before it comes back to its pre-pregnancy state,” says Purohit.

Diet
– Nutritionist, Namita Nanal says, “Since after the birth of a child, your body especially the area around your belly is vulnerable to put on weight, it is ideal to follow a diet with a good amount of protein.”
– Make sure you include the consumption of nuts once every day in your diet plan.
– To increase your metabolism, eat smaller and frequent meals to help burn fat.
– The best cure is fish oil as it helps in the fat burning process around the stomach.

Exercise
– Purohit says, “Try and first train your pelvic muscles and lower abs to increase the blood flow and strengthen the muscles.”
– Post natal sit-ups are known to be the best way to lose the extra flab around your tummy area. Lay flat on the back with your knees bent. Contract the abdominal muscles, squeezing them in towards the spine. Lift your head off the floor and exhale as you come up. Repeat around 20 times.
– Jivesh Shetty, fitness expert, says, “Bent-knee push up are the perfect way to lose the weight around your tummy. Kneel on all fours with your arms straight and hands slightly wider. Look downwards so that your neck, back and upper legs form a straight line. As you inhale, bend your arms to move your body towards the floor. Hold for a second. Exhale as you push yourself up to the starting position.”

Bloated tummy
A woman who has a bloated stomach could possibly attribute it to water retention, food allergy or gas. The bloating of the tummy is said to happen due to the inflammation of the small intestine or colon or sluggish bowel due to improper and bad eating habits. Says Purohit, “Bloated tummy is common amongst thin as well as overweight women.”

Diet
– Nutritionist Mansi Belani says, “Make sure that you eat small meals every two-three hours in a day. This will keep hunger pangs at bay and keep you full without making you binge on unhealthy snacks.”
– Water intake should be optimal — about six-eight litres of water every day.
– Avoid having cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. These lead to inflammation of the stomach which leads to a bloated belly.
– Avoid wheat and gluten in your diet.
– Do not go overboard with the consumption of alcohol.
– Says Belani, “Chew your food properly and eat slowly.”
– Increase your intake of soluble fibre.

Exercise
Says Purohit, “A good walk with a good breathing technique early in the morning can help get rid of the bloated tummy.”
– Lie flat on your back and slowly bring your left knee up to your chest. Make sure you keep your right leg as close to the floor as possible.
– Hold your left knee as tight as possible to your chest and count to 20.
– Release your left knee and repeat with your right knee and count to 20.
– Alternate the movement of your knees. Repeat five times or more as per your convenience.
– Yoga is the perfect way to cut down on stress. It helps tone the flab around your belly and also work wonders for the rest of the body.
– Do crunches to shed those extra kilos off your stomach. With your back on the mat and knees bent, and your hands kept crossed on the chest or at the back of your head, inhale and lift your head and shoulders by tightening your abdominal muscles. Stay in this position for a few seconds, exhale and return to the starting position. Repeat five times.

30-Something tummy
As you get older, your body goes through a lot of physical changes. Shetty says, “After the age of 25, your metabolism slows down and a balanced diet along with the right kind of exercises will help you stay toned and slim.”

Diet
– Nanal says, “One of the core reasons to have a flabby tummy at this age is the intake of sugar. Make sure to restrict the intake of sugar to help tone your belly faster.”
– Watch on the level of alcohol consumption.
– It is a must to have a low-fat balanced diet to increase your metabolism which helps in the process of burning fat.
– Follow a vegetable-based or a high-protein based diet consisting of lots of green leafy vegetables.
– The intake of protein is a must. Make sure to have chicken, fish eggs or meat once to twice in a week.
– Limit the consumption of carbohydrates which is usually the main reason for putting on weight around your mid-section.

Exercise
– Follow a combination of pilates and cardio.
– Step aerobics is also another great way of losing the fat stored around your stomach.
– If you are a gym enthusiast, make sure to use the rowing machine. A non-weight bearing exercise form, it helps you to get the perfect toned belly.
– Says Shetty, “Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Keeping your chest up, form a natural arch on your back and your core tight. Inhale as you squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Repeat 10 times.

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