Can You Spot Reduce Your Flabby Tummy? What The Science Says

Dreaming of a flat tummy? Wondering if you can just go on a short-term health kick with diet and exercise and get rid of the weight around your belly?
You’re not alone. I have mums just like you asking me all the time how to lose the mum tum once and for all.

Can I lose weight from my belly area?

Unfortunately, the truth is that you cannot spot-reduce fat from any specific trouble spot on your body! Your body will lose weight in the order that it sees fit. This often means that you’ll lose fat from your arms, legs and boobs before your tummy.
But if you want to work towards improving the appearance of your stomach, don’t panic. There are steps you can take depending on what has caused the issue in the first place.

What can cause a bigger tummy bulge?

There are many factors that can contribute to the weight around your belly. Because your abdomen contains organs, the digestive system, and muscles along with fat, we need to look at what your tummy bulge is made of.


One of the most common causes of a tummy bulge is bloating. This can be due to undiagnosed food intolerances, hormone levels, constipation, or simply eating too much!

Think you can’t be bloated because your tummy is round 24/7? Chronic bloating is more common that what you might realise. But the good news is that bloating is not body fat – it’s solid, liquid and/or gas in the digestive tract. So if you address the cause of your bloating, you could see relief within a matter of days.

High stress levels
When it comes to fat around the belly, one common cause is high-stress levels. The main stress hormone cortisol affects how your body distributes weight. As its job is to protect your body from the perceived threats, it increases the amount of fat that is stored around your vital organs.
Even if your body weight is normal, cortisol can lead to you storing fat around the tummy area. Unfortunately, this type of fat is more difficult to shift compared to fat stored elsewhere in the body.

Post-pregnancy belly
The post-pregnancy tummy is a combination of factors. Weight gain does play a role because it is normal and healthy to gain a little weight while pregnant! But you also stretched out your abdominal muscles and connective tissue to make room for your baby.
Then you have diastasis recti – the overstretching of the fascia that runs down the middle of your ‘six-pack’ muscles. About two thirds of women will experience this during pregnancy.
Many cases will ‘recover’ from the clinical diagnosis of diastasis recti within 8-12 weeks of giving birth. But that doesn’t mean that your stomach muscles have returned to their pre-baby strength.

High percentage of body fat
Finally, we have body fat itself as a cause. If you’re carrying excess fat, it needs to be stored somewhere – and one of those places is your abdomen.
Many women I work with are dealing with a combination of factors. For example, you might be carrying some extra body fat – but you’re also stressed out and your stomach muscles never bounced back from your pregnancies.

What can I do about my mummy tummy?
So now you know why you might be dealing with a flabby area around the belly – what can you do about it?
Well what you cannot do is spot-reduce fat in that area – or any area of your body for that matter. It is not how the body works! But if you feel uncomfortable with how your tummy looks, there are steps you can take to address it.

You can seek advice if bloating is an issue
Does it sound like some of your tummy concerns is actually bloating? Consider working with a health professional such as a nutritionist or naturopath who can help you identify why you bloat up.

You can manage your stress levels
Suspect that stress is contributing to the weight around your belly area? A simple step is to find a stress management technique that works for you.
This might be as simple as taking 10 minutes out for yourself each day, some regular deep breathing exercises, incorporating a hobby into your routine, or even seeking professional support.

You can focus on losing weight as an overall strategy
You might not be able to spot-reduce fat in your tummy. But you can still work on losing weight, specifically fat, as a general strategy.
There is no guarantee how much will come off the tummy area, so it’s best to use this in conjunction with other strategies.

You can tone and condition the muscles in the tummy area
This is my favourite approach – and for good reason! You can improve the strength and definition of the core muscles. This can help with overall weight loss by giving a little boost to your metabolism through more muscle mass. But it can also improve the visual aspect of how your tummy looks as the muscles keep the core strong and flatter.
This is also a must if you are dealing with post-natal tummy issues such as diastasis recti. Make sure you seek professional guidance to ensure that you’re including the right exercises for your needs.

Have you checked out my online training opportunities? If losing tummy fat is your goal (and you are ready to implement some of the things I’ve mentioned above), then send me a message




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