Battle of the Bulge

Updated on August 25, 2010
N.D. asks from Glenview, IL
7 answers

I've lost 20 pounds by the old fashioned way of cardio, weight training, and dieting.

My stomach, even though it did go down quite a bit, is still a sight for sore eyes! What excercises/videos/etc helped you slim down that troublesome area?

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answers from Chicago on

Since this is my specialty I thought I would chime in. I am an instructor for the "mommy tummy" class.

There are definitely some things you can do! Its called the Tupler Technique.
Postpartum women be aware that crunches where your shoulders come off the ground can make a diastisis worse (split in your rectus abdominus you get from being pregnant - also called "mommy tummy" - the vertical muscle on either side of your belly button that stretch from the top of the pelvis to the bottom six ribs)

"Crunches" were not designed for pp women - at all! Sidelying pilates exercises are great in terms in pilates.

Rule of thumb for pp women - if you CANT hold your transverse muscle in (the ab muscle that is like a corset around your midsection - covers everything - you feel it move in and out when you breathe) then you shouldn't be doing that exercise.

Having said that you can adapt many exercises to be suitable for pp and help tone the muscles, and close the diastisis.

Good posture is FANTASTIC for toning the muscles when sitting, driving, etc. This is actually called "The elevator" in the THE TUPLER TECHNIQUE - along with a few squeezes ALL the way back from time to time.

In terms of flabby loose skin, it depends on AGE and GENETICS. Althought two things we have found in our classes that work well for people is contouring cream and a supplement enzyme that helps your body digest protein faster, AND drinking lots of water.

One last thing we tell our clients - AVOID THE FIVE WHITES!!!
White Flour
White Sugar
White Potatoes
White Pasta
White Rice
Email me if you have questions - np.

PS With the Tupler Technique + good nutirtion, I went from waist size 32 to 25 in 6 months after baby #2. You can do the exercises within 24 hours of giving birth - not bad!

By the way, the founder of the technique Julie Tupler, author of "Lose Your Mummy Tummy" is coming to Chicago for the first time to do a seminar on Nov 10th from 1 to 4 at the Lakeshore Athletic Club in Chicago. I have sign up info since we work with her. Or if you are interested,our classes are taught in Homewood,IL and Orland Park IL.

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answers from Chicago on

Pilates. Great for core strength. I suggest the Windsor Pilates DVDs - they're really good. I finally felt like I had my old body back once I started donig this regularly.

That said, the amount of belly fat you have has more to do with your overall body fat than how toned your abdominals etc are. So keep up with the diet and exercise. I think consistancy is the real key here - just do some every day - or even 3x/week - and you'll see results after a few months.

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answers from Chicago on

Good for you ND! I love hearing from people who choose to make healthy lifestyle changes through exercise and nutrition as opposed to pills when it comes to weight loss. I'm sure there have been times it wasn't easy so CHEERS to you for sticking it out.

Continue to do what you're doing, as the combination of cardio, strength training, and proper nutrition should help.

That being said, take a good long look at your parents. What does their abdominal area look like? Heredity plays a big factor, so if you all have the same 'midsection' look, there might not be a whole lot that you can do about it.

Continue to do your crunches, making sure that you're working the abs (all of them) and obliques - regular crunches, bicycle, twisting crunches, planks, vertical leg crunches, captains chair, reverse crunches. While these exercises will likely not melt the fat off of that area, they will tone and strengthen the muscles underneath the midsection perhaps giving it a better appearance (sort of like how weight training of the pectorals/chest for women helps to develop better cleavage - yay!).

Also, you can pay close attention to your fat and carb intake. Carbs are NOT, I repeat, NOT evil but you do want to continue to limit them. Pick whole grains and avoid processed/refined products (rule out anything "enriched", which basically means that the good fiber has been stripped and replaced with less healthy ingredients).

Finally, if you want to increase your fat-burning, try adding interval training into your cardio routine. For example, if you're walking go like 4 minutes at a fast walking pace then 1 minute at a running pace. You can also adjust the incline in the same time ratio to force your body to work harder.

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answers from Chicago on

I have had this problem also. I came across a web sight (of course I can't remember it anymore). They said you need to tighten the muscles inside before the outside or you will have a belly that sticks out. There method was to take a deep breath & at the same time suck in your stomach & hold your stomach in for 10-20 seconds (keep breathing). I started doing this throughout the day and 1 week later, my stomach was flatter. I though it was a fluke but I still do it & my stomach is tighter & flatter. I have not started to do sit-ups but I have found a exercise program on Comcast on-demand called Ab Jam that I just started. I only do the first part & it is a standing up routine. Good luck. I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hi N
Congrats on the weight loss. The mid section is always a challenge. If you want to see great results with that region...try the South Beach diet. You will see your mid section melt before anything else. Eliminating carbs and sugars are what will help you get rid of the "bulge". You really have to stick to it. The first two weeks of the diet are the hardest. They do introduce carbs back into your diet little by little after the first two weeks. Not only will it help you with that area. But it is also a healthy way to eat...period. Good Luck and keep up the great work!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I second Pilates, it's great for strengthing your core as well as other areas. Windsor is great, it definitally requires you to build up to do all the moves correctly and for the desired length of time, but you quickly build the strengh and endurance to keep up. Also finding local classes is a great idea, keeps the routine changing and the trainer will make sure you are doing the moves correctly so you don't hurt yourself.
good luck



answers from Chicago on

I am a Licensed Physical Therapist and Pre/Post Natal Pilates Specialist in Naperville, IL. I am pregnant with my third child and credit pre/post natal Pilates with preparing my body for birthing my babies as well as helping my body recover from the birth of my babies. See if there is a Pilates instructor in your area who specializes in post partum exercises as you want a trained eye watching your form and checking for diastasis recti (separation of rectus abdominus muscles that can occur during pregnancy). Beware of doing Pilates videos without the feedback of a trained instructor as you can worsen a diastasis recti by doing abdominal exercises improperly. Goodluck!

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