One of the most common reader questions that we get here at Fit Bottomed Mamas is “How do I get rid of my belly fat postpartum?” Today, Sara Dean is coming to the rescue! Sara is a fitness pro and runs Fit Healthy Moms, so she knows a thing or two about getting moms back into fighting shape. Read on for her tips—she takes the mystery out of how to get rid of excess belly fat! —Erin
One of my favorite stories about baby belly fat (oddly, I have many stories about baby belly fat…) comes from an encounter a few years ago. A 31-year-old mom came in to meet with me about joining my boot camp. She sheepishly said to me, “I really need to lose my baby weight. My stomach is so jiggly. I’m just sick of it.” I replied with, “Congratulations, how old is your baby?” She looked down, obviously uncomfortable. “9…years…old.”
That’s when it happened. My personal-training mission, which had been all about getting average people in awesome shape, took a turn. I had a new mission. Save mamas from their own bellies.
The reason this is such a passionate topic for me is because of all the misinformation out there. Every mom I work with says she’s tried multiple tricks and tactics to shed her baby belly. When I ask about said “tricks” and “tactics,” I’m shocked by the misinformation so many moms have picked up along their weight-loss journeys. Shockingly, some of it even comes from doctors.
I’m here to tell you to breathe a sigh of relief. I’m here to give you the answers. You can stop guessing when it comes to diets (low-fat vs. low-carb vs. low-sugar vs. low-glycemic vs. paleo, huh?!) and exercise (elliptical vs. running vs. yoga vs. free weights?).
5 Truths on Losing Belly Fat
1. The food you put in your mouth. I wish I could tell you to eat cheese and bread and sip wine all day. Really, I do, because I would love to join you in that! But here’s the truth: the size of your belly—large, small, flat, bloated—is 80 percent determined by the food you put in your mouth. Therefore, you have no choice but to choose wisely. I don’t recommend crazy diets. I don’t recommend meal plans where you have to eliminate a whole food group.
My moms get flat belly results by focusing on clean eating 80 percent of the time. That means a diet consisting primarily of lean proteins, fruits and veggies—REAL FOOD—not processed and packaged “food.” There may be a few whole grains in there, too (we’ll get to that in a minute). The other 20 percent of the time, you can indulge a bit. A bit. It’s important to note that 20 percent of the time equals two cheat meals a week, not two cheat days a week , a very important distinction.