'Mummy tummy' driving new mom nuts

All Woman

Dear Donovan,

I had a baby nine months ago and I am just a few pounds shy of my ideal weight, save and except for my tummy. I've managed in the last few months to go down from 149 to 135, with my ideal weight being 130. However, I can't seem to get my belly down. I was wondering if you would recommend flat-tummy teas or flat-tummy lotions or other such treatments. I do eat rice and drink sodas occasionally, but not enough, I think, for this stubborn belly to remain. I know this is a fact because I experimented and cut out white foods and sodas for two weeks and it still did not impact my belly size! I am 5 ft 4 and work in the hotel sector as a guest agent, so I do a lot of walking. At home I also use my stationary bike to get in some extra exercise. I like the way my butt looks now, and my thighs are no longer jiggly, so I really don't want to lose much more weight as I want to sustain these. It's just the belly and the little muffin top at my sides that drive me nuts!

Congratulations on the birth of your child and your weight loss journey so far. I know it took great effort and courage to reach this far. However, you are still five pounds away from your ultimate weight loss goal. This last five pounds is going to represent the hardest part of your weight loss journey, and already you are facing great opposition from your body to lose more weight. However, you have come too far to turn back now. Also, your goal is in clear sight.

I see where with the weight loss you are now comfortable with your butt and thighs, but not your 'mummy tummy'. However, take heart and don't panic yet; you can achieve your perfect body. You need to achieve your weight loss goals and at the same time get a flat stomach and reduce the muffin top.

I would suggest that you restart your weight loss programme, but this time you need to cut more calories than you did by just removing white foods from your diet. I would suggest that you start with three days on a liquid diet. This is where you might just be consuming coconut water, vegetable juices, small amounts of fruit juices, light soups, light shakes, water, etc. This will help to jump-start your weight loss if the calories you are now consuming are less than what you were taking before. This will force your body to use up some of its reserved fat.

Once you are losing weight, you will lose weight in all places, including your belly and sides. However, along with your diet, I would suggest that you do a four-to seven-day detox programme. This will serve to improve bowel motion and get out some unwanted faeces. In many cases the tummy is fat because there is backing up of faeces. For your detox programme you can choose from several options including aloe vera, senna pods, etc.

I must caution you that it might be better to do this detox programme under the supervision of a professional. I have not explored the benefits of flat tummy lotions, but flat tummy teas would be the same as detox teas.

Once you have completed your detox programme you should see a change in the size of your belly region. It will also likely be soft and squishy. At this stage you will need exercise to tighten up the core muscles. However, I must tell you that the stomach area is hard to tone. So you could start the exercises at the beginning of your programme and increase your regular exercise sessions by 15 minutes.

These suggestions will also help you to lose weight. However, I must tell you that over time your programme will need adjustments, both in terms of your diet and exercise, in order for you to get continuous changes in your weight and tummy size.

Good luck!

We will answer your weight-related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years' experience in the fitness industry and is the owner of DG's Nutrition and Wellness Centre, 39 Lady Musgrave Road. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to clarkep@jamaicaobserver.com.

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