Do You Know Your Belly Type? Use This Guide to Help You Lose Tummy Fat Quickly
Have the holidays done a number on your belly? If the answer is yes, you are far from alone. But, it is important to remember that bellies come in different shapes, sizes and types. If you want to trim down, check out this guide to determine your tummy type and the best way to target it moving forward.
What does it look like? It looks like a pot belly that mainly sticks out in the front. If it looks like you’ve tied a cauldron to the front of your body, you’ve got a pot belly.
What causes it? Binge-drinking alcohol and eating too many refined carbs. A recent study has found that women who drink 12 units of alcohol in a single sitting, at least once a month, gain 4 inches around their waist compared to women who don’t. This is due to the way alcohol is processed by the body. The apron of fat you’ve developed happens because those cells are very sensitive to insulin. When the sugars from alcohol get released into the body, it triggers hormones that tell your body to store fat. Alcohol also causes your body to break down fat more slowly. This is the job of the liver and since it is already processing the alcohol, the fat has to wait.
How to target it? Calories you drink count every bit as much as the ones you eat, don’t forget to keep track of them. You may be more likely to take a pass on those extra drinks when you realize that one glass of wine contains 228 calories. Anne Dancey, a consultant plastic surgeon at the Spire Little Aston Hospital, says, “If you have a few drinks that’s the equivalent of three or four Mars Bars, but it may not feel like you’ve been eating, so you’re still hungry. Alcohol also stimulates appetite so you eat more and that weight gain will be stored deep inside the body.”
What does it look like? Your tummy is prominent and sticks out, bulging like a muffin top. Your belly will feel hard to the touch like you’ve got a ball or inflated balloon in there.
What causes it? Your belly will begin the day flat and then expands as the day goes on. This will become particularly obvious after you have eaten. One of the reasons this happens is because gas builds up. As your body breaks down food and travels through your digestive tract, the bacteria that feeds on the food can produce up to 8 liters of gas as a by-product. A problem arises when your gut bacteria has a difficult time breaking down certain foods, which leads to fermentation. This creates more gas and starts to push your belly outward. Overeating and constipation can also contribute to this belly type.
How to target it? Adopt a diet that avoids the foods that trigger bloating. If you are someone who is prone to bloating, it is probably best to avoid artificial sweeteners, wheat, garlic and onions. It is better also to avoid eating certain fruits like cherries and plums, and veggies like artichokes, beetroot and mushrooms.
What does it look like? This belly sticks out in the front, but is softer and sags more than the wine tummy. It will start under the breast and form a soft roll out from there.
What causes it? Dr Marilyn Glenville says, “in stressful situations, the fight-or-flight hormone cortisol helps release sugar into the bloodstream so your body has the energy to escape or defend itself. But unless you do something physical, as your body is expecting you to, all that extra energy has nowhere to go. So it is simply re-deposited as fat.” If you are always stressed, the fat stores go to the lower abdomen so they can be close to the liver and quickly converted back into fat, according to Glenville.
How to target it? Adopt some relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation. It is also important to make sure you are getting enough sleep at night. It will help reduce cortisol levels and take your body out of fight mode. Grenville also recommends eating small quantities, frequently. Doing so will help keep your hormones in check. “Eat more slow-release carbohydrates like oats and pulses and stop eating in a hurry, as that sends a message to your body that you are in danger,” she says.
What does it look like? No matter how trim and tiny the waist is, there is a roll of fat around the bikini line. You may also find you are carrying extra weight in your hips and buttocks.
What causes it? This type of tummy is common in women who have an estrogen imbalance. Some genetic conditions associated with this body type include endometriosis. In this case, the tissue that normally grows inside the uterus, grows outside of it producing an excess amount of estrogen. Another reason women may experience an increase in estrogen is through consuming high levels of synthetic estrogen in meat, water or residues from plastic or other chemicals. It can also be a side effect of taking the birth control pill.
How to target it? Foods high in saturated fats are linked to an increase in estrogen, so it is best to avoid them. Fiber may also help. Hard to digest fibers like seeds and spinach can bind themselves into extra estrogen in the digestive tract and help remove them from the body.
What does it look like? This tummy sags. Months after your baby has been born, it still looks like you just gave birth.
What causes it? When you are pregnant, the abdominal muscles divide to make room for your uterus to grow. After the baby is born, the two sides of your muscles should naturally come back together but if that doesn’t happen, you are left with a sag. When this happens, it is because your muscles are so weak that they are not able to hold in your stomach and intestines. This is known as diastasis recti and it usually heals after several weeks, but some women have it permanently.
How to target it? Do a sit-up. If you can feel a space below your breastplate in which you can insert the width of three fingers, consult a physiotherapist. They can give you some exercises that will build the muscles and stitch the halves back together. Pelvic floor exercises are also great. They can help you build the muscles from the inside. Planking is another fabulous option.
What does it look like? The tummy isn’t the only big part of the body when the thyroid is involved. It will be the biggest, but overall, you will look puffy.
What causes it? The thyroid is a gland in your neck that produces the hormone thyroxine, which controls how quickly you process the calories in your food. Hypothyroidism exists in approximately 1 in 13 women. It means they don’t produce enough thyroxine. “The thyroid is responsible for your overall metabolism,” endocrinologist Professor Ashley Grossman, of London’s St Bartholomew’s Hospital says. ” If you have hypothyroidism, you’re not burning up all the calories consumed, so the extra is stored and gets deposited all over the body as fat.”
How to target it? The key here is getting the right diagnosis. Often times this type of weight gain is attributed to middle age. Treatments may include a prescription for synthetic hormones. A natural approach to correcting this condition may include eating foods high in iodine like shellfish, seafood and dark leafy green vegetables like spinach or kale.
Did you recognize your tummy in this guide? Do you have a better idea on what you need to do to target your trouble areas?