[By Evanne Lauren]
Did you know that according to a recent study, excessive belly fat is as deadly as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day?
Did you know that women gain weight in the tummy with age because the body’s production of sex hormones decline with age. If the body is not nutritionally supported during this transition, the belly will ramp up fat production to increase the production of these hormones.
Did you know that stress hormones (cortisol) can stimulate insulin (hormone that regulates carb and fat metabolism) resistance and exaggerate weight gain?
Women everywhere engage in the battle of the bulge daily, yet most are not aware of the proper treatments that can target their tummy troubles. Here’s the lowdown on what works and what bombs when it comes to fixing our body woes:
THE BLOATED TUMMY
What is it: Your tummy is distended— full of air and liquid. It can be short-lived (lucky you!) or it can be chronic (our deepest sympathies). Thankfully, while it may look bad to you, it is one of the easier tummy woes to correct. Read on.
What works: Pop an antacid to keep stomach acids at bay. Regulate your diet to avoid greasy or spicy foods that can be a source of your troubles. Opt for regular small meals, and avoid eating late at night. Finally, consider adding a digestive supplement such as Probiotics in your diet to ensure your intestinal flora is healthy. Exercises such s swimming, biking and jogging can also help reduce bloating when done on a regular basis.
What bombs: Tummy massages do nothing to solve the crux of the problem. Sure, you may feel better for a while but if you don’t change your dietary habits, you will find any relief short-lived.
Avoid: Foods such as beans, milk, cheese, wheat, gluten, carbonated waters and sodas.
THE FLABBY TUMMY
What is it: Paunchy rolls or muffin tops are clear indications of excess fat accumulation around your mid-section.
What works: Non-invasive fat fighters such as Coolsculpting (using cold to break down fat cells) or Ultrashape (ultrasound to lyse fat) have proven track records to reduce fatty areas without surgery.
“Patients notice a 20% reduction in the treated fatty layer after every session. I usually recommend about 3 sessions for each treated area for maximal impact.” says Dr Chua Han Boon from The Sloane Clinic. Read More..
Upside is that visible results (20-30% fat reduction per session) are attained quickly in most patients. What’s more? There is little downtime. Downside: a series of sessions is necessary. If you are the impatient kind, then more invasive solutions may be up your alley. Liposuction is a surgical method of fat removal that since its inception more than 30 years ago, has been considered the gold standard for treating stubborn fat. Upside: Visible results in one session. Downside: Some downtime is expected; this may range from bruising to moderate swelling that will take 1-2 weeks to subside.
What bombs: Abdominal crunches are part of any workout routine but truth be told, they won’t do much to get rid of extra abdominal fat. They target the muscles beneath the fat but not the fat itself. Cardiovascular exercise is needed to burn the fat away.
Avoid: fatty foods, sugary drinks, processed carbohydrates.
THE SAGGY TUMMY
What is it: You look good clothed, but when the top comes off, your tummy shows its crepey, saggy looking ‘colours’. Sudden fluctuations in weight, multiple pregnancies are the usual culprits.
What works: Thermage Body uses radiofrequency to tighten saggy skins. A moderate improvement is seen after one session. Thermage stimulates collagen contraction and new collagen formation so that the overlying skin looks and feel firmer and tighter. However, if you are looking at a major transformation, then the tummy tuck may be your only hope. In a tummy tuck, loose skin is excised; that is skin is pulled taut and stitched in position. “To further enhance the silhouette, internal stomach muscles are also tightened during the procedure”, says Dr Tan Ying Chien, from The Sloane Clinic Plastic Surgery Centre. Read More..
What bombs: Body wraps do nothing except cause discomfort. Sagging skins do not benefit from the wrapping and any inch loss comes from water loss which is temporary. Stretch marks creams, tummy creams fall into the same category.
Avoid: Sunbathing, weight fluctuations which are detrimental to your overall skin health and can lead to even more sagging.