Did you know that there are more than 8 types of belly fat that can determine how you deal with it?
This was me when I had lost weight, but I still retained fat around my midsection, which I am pleased to tell you I don’t have anymore, and I probably weigh more on the scale than I did then.
I had ‘womb’ or mom belly fat which also includes a condition called diastasis recti. I have fibroids (benign lumps in your uterus) that push my abdomen out so it can look like you are pregnant.
Without having surgery, I have managed to do something about this.
What types of belly fat are there?
- Womb (mom)
- Diastasis recti (stomach muscle wall separation)
- Gut health/bloating
And you may have, like me, a combination of more than one of them. I have a womb (mom) belly because I have fibroids and diastasis recti and from time to time I suffer from bloating. I recently posted a video, and women were shocked to learn that I have diastasis recti and fibroids. They assumed that I’d had the fibroids removed, but I haven’t – the only surgery I was offered was a hysterectomy, and I wasn’t prepared to go through with something so invasive. In the UK, only extreme cases of diastasis recti qualify for surgery. So I just live with them and make the best of what I have got – which is not perfect.
Do you know which type of belly fat you have? Perhaps you are eating too much sugar, not getting enough sleep, or stress is causing so-called ‘stress fat’, which is very common during perimenopause.
Then there is visceral fat stored deep inside the belly, wrapped around the organs, which is the most problematic when it comes to your health. If you’re a woman and your waist measures 35 inches or larger, you’re at risk of health problems from visceral fat.
Carrying excess visceral fat increases your risk of developing several serious and life-threatening medical conditions. These include:
- Heart attack and heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Alzheimer’s disease
But there is something you can do to reduce your midsection and risk of visceral fat with some simple changes to your lifestyle. Here are the key areas for you to address:
- Reduce your stress levels
- Incorporate sleep strategies to improve your sleep
- Work on your gut health
- Cut out chemicals both from your diet but the other toxins in your household, beauty, hair & body care items
- Improve your diet with healthy whole foods
- Move more if you are sedentary
- Incorporate strength training
- Eat more lean protein
Feel free to check out my blog on how to beat menopause belly fat. I’ve also made a video for a complete guide on losing menopause belly which you may find helpful!
The first thing to understand about your belly is that you can give the ‘illusion’ of having a flat tummy or small waist by having a tapering shape upwards towards your back and shoulders and then downwards towards your hips.
What I would call an ‘hourglass’ figure.
So it’s really important to exercise your back, shoulders and glutes (which also includes legs), in addition to your waist.
So if you haven’t done already, take up a weight or resistance training program around three times a week. These workouts have the added benefit of working your core. The exercises I would recommend are as follows:
Back: Lateral pull-downs, Seated rows and pull-ups or chin-ups. If you can’t do unassisted do assisted pull-ups using a machine in the gym or resistance bands at home.
Shoulders: Overhead dumbbell shoulder press, lateral raises and front raises are great for shoulders. You can also use a resistance band for this.
Glutes: Squats using a barbell or dumbbells, Hip thrusts using a barbell or some gyms have a hip thruster machine, glute kickbacks and hip abductors.
You can do squats and hip thrusts without equipment at home with or without resistance bands. You can watch my video here to see how you can workout your glutes from home: