outline of woman showing mummy tummy part way through weight loss

How Can I get Rid of a Mummy Tummy?

by wlr Personal Trainer Carla van Traa REPS L4

For women who’ve had children the so-called mummy tummy can be a huge area of focus when they are trying to lose weight.

But this area can feel like it’s the last to respond to weight loss efforts, stubbornly holding on to what seems like more than its fair share of our body fat stores.

Whilst there’s no miracle cure for the mum tum, there are things you can do to minimise fat storage in your belly and the amount it sticks out.

The questioner's photos are shown as outlines for privacy reasons. 

Full Question

What is the best way to loose tummy fat, I was always a skinny kid up to when I went on my Honeymoon I was a size 8-10 and weighed no more than 8st 5lbs.

I put on a few pounds on Honeymoon, then when I was pregnant with my first I put on a fair amount of weight. I managed to get back down to 10st after giving birth- I did not breast feed.

I went up to about 16st with my second and am still losing that weight now almost 5 years on.

I have lost 3st 1lbs in the last 7 months and have another 1st 5lbs to go but I am still flabby and wondered what’s the best way to get rid of the mummy tummy?

outline of woman part way through weight loss, back view
'Before' and 'now' back view
outline of woman showing mummy tummy part way through weight loss
'Before' and 'now' tummy view

Carla’s Answer

Sadly, there are no quick fat loss tips for that area, or for helping the skin return.

You say you still have around 19lb to go, the elasticity in your skin is still working at making corrections for you, so please be patient.

All strength training will help and some core work can strengthen within but it's not a quick fix. I would say just continue to eat as best as you can, limit the rubbish carbs and sugars, but don't suffer - you are learning to eat for the rest for your life, not just for the weight loss part. If not it will all go back on.

Women who have had children need to be careful to exercise tummy muscles safely and check for diastasis recti prior to doing crunches. Diastasis recti is a gap between the two sides of the long muscle in your tummy - the rectus abdominis.

Another issue worth working on is stress.

Stress is a hormone response and will alter where the body stores fat – sending it to the mid-section mainly.

So a self-love program, a bath, a quiet night of pampering once a week etc. Something for you to get the stress down.

What you have achieved in a very short time is amazing, so please don’t get disheartened.

Get to target weight, and CELEBRATE, then we can work on "Happy in clothes" but unhappy naked etc. It’s about celebrating the wins and not so much to focus on the wants.

Be led by how your clothes fit and not just the scales.

Your pictures show a great transformation!

There is an enormous difference between the photos. An all over difference too, arms, legs, belly, back neck and face.

One thing I notice in the ‘now’ photo is your posture is different.

See how your arms hang and your knuckles face forward - following this up to your shoulders, can you see how they are more rounded forward, and your head and neck are a long way forward of your back/shoulders.

I would work on this. Your shoulders are slouching, meaning your chest is narrowing and your belly will become more paunchy.

Open the chest. Do some shoulder rolls, up back and down. Lengthen your spine without shrugging your shoulders up and bring the chin up and head further back.

If you get that I can guarantee your tummy will appear flatter instantly because you lose the slump/paunch.

Beware of too much salt in your diet, it increases blood pressure and causes water retention, if you love your salt switch to a ‘low Sodium’ brand.

Keep going with exercise, especially strengthening your core, bum and leg muscles which will help with posture and body shape.

Evidence shows that regular exercise reduces belly fat.

Once again, what a journey, well done you and good luck losing that final 19lbs.


Related Articles

middle aged woman baffled by belly fat

How Do I Lose My Stomach Fat?

Fat stored in and around the belly can be the most stubborn, especially when you get into middle age and beyond. Here’s our PT’s advice and exercise tips for 3 different situations ... view answers

Personal Trainer Carla Van Traa

Ask the Personal Trainer

Full answers to your exercise questions from our personal trainer Carla Van Traa REPS L4 Ask the PT

Exercise Your Way to Weight Loss

You can use the tools in WLR to track your exercise and balance your food and exercise calories for weight loss - Try it free for 24 hours

Take our FREE trial »

Lose a Stone for Christmas Challenge

If you enjoyed this article, try our newsletter. It's free.

Receive the latest on what works for weight loss straight to your inbox. We won't share your email address. Privacy policy