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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown
Nutritionist

Janet Aylott
Nutritionist

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Q.

How can I change my post-pregnancy tummy?

Hi, My son was born 5 months ago and I put on 14 kg during pregnancy. Now I am only about 1.5 kg heavier than I used to be so I am not too worried about my weight, but more about my body shape. It seems like I have a lot more flab around my waist than ever before and my belly is still round. I know that some of it will probably go if I lose the last kg, but I also wonder how to exercise and if what I eat could affect it as well. I go to a Pilates class once a week and swim for 45mins once a week (breast stroke). If I manage, I also go to the gym once a week and sometimes do belly exercises at home. I walk every day with the pram - for at least an hour. Is it worth trying to do more belly exercises at home? And how much? I keep thinking I should do 10mins of belly exercises a day but find it hard to motivate myself. Or is it better to focus on cardio in the gym? And should I eat differently, e.g. more protein? Thanks a lot. Vendy

A.

Our expert says...

Hi,

You don’t have to and in fact should not train your abdominals everyday as these muscles, like all other muscles in the body, need time to recover from training. The most I would recommend doing core exercises is every other day so they get at least a full days rest in between.

 I would recommend that with exercise you focus on 2 areas to accelerate your return to pre-pregnancy body shape:

1. Burning calories through exercise - any you enjoy but ideally big muscle movers and exercise that creates intensity so perhaps a combination of cardiovascular machines in the gym together with body weight and core strength circuit exercises.

2. Specific re-activating abdominal exercises to support the repositioning and strengthening of your abdominal / core muscles - an example of appropriate exercises include the drawing in manoeuvre and the arm and leg crunches (both of these exercises can be found in the 'core exercises' article from the ‘Kellys Home Exercise Articles’ section on the resources page of our website. Do these two exercises and add 1-2 more in as you wish and try to do 3-4 sets of each in a circuit with approximately 30-40seconds rest in between each.

From a nutritional perspective, you don’t necessarily need more protein, all you need to do is stay consistent with achieving your daily calorie intake and staying within your set target and potentially eat marginally less fat. The calories burned from the exercise will do the rest! Stay consistent and you will achieve your changes.

Hope this helps,

Kelly

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