It is easy to fall into the trap of guilt and shame when it comes to our bodies. Instead, we are likely to benefit from changing our diets in small ways.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 24, 2020. It has since been updated.
Many of us try hard over and over to lose weight through diets and workouts. We focus on depriving our bodies of the things that we like, thinking that just like what the mainstream media says, we are fat because we are lazy. However, that's not the truth at all. There are many reasons for weight gain including stress, hormones, medicines, diseases, childbirth, and more.
We can stop ourselves from feeling agonizing mental pain over our bodies if we accept them as they are and eat more intuitively. We can focus on what works for our body best and which kinds of foods make us feel good about ourselves instead of the ones that make us feel guilty. Another thing to focus on is the cause behind our belly and the shape of our belly is a good telltale sign of that.
Here are five types of bellies, what causes them, and how to get rid of them:
In this belly type, the fat is mostly in the front portion and the navel area. It might be hard to touch and this is caused by a high level of stress. It's possible that you miss meals, drink lots of coffee, and even experience irritable bowel syndrome. You could be snacking on things with excess salt. To get rid of it, make sure you get enough sleep. When you're under stress, it can affect your appetite and metabolism. If falling asleep is hard, start by doing some breathing exercises, meditation, or journaling, to calm your mind. You should also avoid coffee as well as too much working out. Instead, go on walks, do yoga, and add magnesium to your diet.
If you have soft fat on the sides, you have this kind of belly. It's caused due to a sedentary lifestyle and because of excessive sweet and alcohol consumption. You could be eating a lot of sugar and refined carbs like cookies, cakes, and white bread or food items with too much starch like pasta and rice. If you want to get rid of it, drink less alcohol, even if it's wine, and instead indulge in smoothies, eggs, lean meat, and vegetables. You can also have good fats, such as avocado, nuts, and high-fat fish. Diets only work when you replace an existing food item with another instead of cutting something out completely. Make exercise like walking and some cardio at home part of your life.
For women who have given birth not too long ago, their tummy might look like they are still pregnant. It could be because it takes time for a woman's body to go back to its normal size after the birth of the child. You might be interested in losing the fat quickly but it's important to be patient with your body. It's good to rest for a few months afterward since you would be stressed out with taking care of your baby as well. Instead, you could add some healthy fats every day like nuts, vegetable oil, and olives into your diet. Also, try Kegel exercises if you can and sleep enough, including during the afternoon.
Some people have a pronounced lower belly while the top half of the abdomen looks slimmer and there could be many reasons for that, including motherhood. It can also be that you are working out harder than necessary and your diet is fixed. The way to get rid of that is through a healthy fiber-rich diet and drinking ample amount of water. Include green leafy vegetables and whole grains in your diet. If you do squats, you should stop and replace it with planks instead. It is important to work all your muscles instead of focussing on one.
If you experience bloating in your abdomen during the course of the day, there could a few reasons why that is happening like food allergies, sluggish bowel movement, and imbalance in bacteria in the intestines. You could feel better by observing which foods aggravate this problem for you. Many people have a gluten allergy and lactose intolerance, so that is something to look out for. You can instead opt for fresh vegetables, meat, chicken, and fish. You could minimize bread and pastries for a few days to see if that helps. You can also benefit from making breakfast your biggest meal and include some probiotics in your diet.