3 Facts About Tummy Fat & How To Get Rid of It.

 In Wellness

“Why do I put on so much tummy fat during pregnancy and can tummy massage get rid of tummy fat?” is one question I face more often than others and I attempt to share my thoughts with you today.

Few women bid farewell to pregnancy with a perfectly flat stomach. As well as making room for your growing baby, tummy fat is a by-product of three main factors:

  • Pregnancy. Pregnancy causes fat gain around the midriff so that the skin is able to stretch more easily as the baby increases in size, and so that your little one is adequately protected from the outside world.
  • Hormones. Pregnancy hormones including oestrogen cause an expectant mum to store fat around her tummy and thighs in preparation for breastfeeding.
  • Genetics. If your mum put on a lot of weight during her pregnancy with you, chances are you will too. Some women are automatically prone to storing more fat than others – unfortunately it’s just the luck of the draw.

Other factors that may contribute to a new mum’s waistline include diet, exercise and stress (the cortisol hormone released during stress causes excess fat to be stored around the stomach area).

When we think of tummy fat, we generally think of subcutaneous fat, which is visible just below the skin’s surface. In fact the appearance of a larger waist is often due to visceral fat, which is deposited much deeper within the body, and lies around your internal organs. Often visceral fat pushes your skin layer out further, making your tummy ‘stick out’.

Abdominal massage is an excellent method of shifting your post-natal tummy fat. A recent study by the Department of Nursing, Wonkwang Health Science College in Korea noted that abdominal massage with specific essential oils reduced belly fat in a group of post-menopausal women. Measured against a control group using simple grapeseed oil, the experimental group experienced a loss of both abdominal subcutaneous fat and overall waist circumference. Interestingly, body image in the experimental group was significantly better after aromatherapy massage than in the control group, possibly due to the ‘feel good’ factor of the scented oils.

While the above research relates to post-menopausal women, I have found the same results to be true with younger women using my traditional jamu massage techniques.

In addition to abdominal massage, I would always recommend to follow all your health professionals’ recommendations to lose weight after giving birth, whether that entails dietary changes or joining a gym. In my experience, the longer a mum retains her post-natal tummy, the more difficult it is to lose it. Good luck!

Karen Loke, Founder and Practitioner, Restoring Mums「為何我在懷孕期間積聚了那麼多腹部脂肪?腹部按摩可以幫我減去腹部脂肪嗎?」這是我見過的很多媽媽的困擾。今天我希望可以分享我的想法。

很少女性在懷孕後可以回復平服的肚子。腹部腫脹除了是為了妳的寶寶提供成長空間外,腹部脂肪還會由以下三個主要因素所造成:

  • 懷孕:懷孕導致腹部周圍的脂肪增加,使皮膚能夠伸展,讓胎兒可以生長變大,並且令他可以得到足夠的保護。
  • 荷爾蒙:孕激素包括雌激素會導致準媽媽在肚子和大腿內儲存脂肪,為母乳餵哺作準備。
  • 遺傳:如果妳的媽媽在懷著妳的時候變得肥胖,同樣的情況也會有較大機會發生在妳身上。有些女性的身體會比別人自動儲存更多脂肪,這要看運氣。

其他致肥的因素包括飲食、運動和壓力(遇上壓力時所釋放的皮質醇會導致多餘的脂肪積存在腹部四周)。

當我們想到腹部脂肪,大家普遍會想起皮膚表面下可見的皮下脂肪。其實腰圍變得肥大的原因往往是內臟脂肪。這是在身體內沉澱,並位於妳的內臟器官附近的脂肪。內臟脂肪往往會將妳的皮膚層往外推,令妳的腹部「突出來」。

腹部按摩是一種減走產後肚腩的極好方法。最近一項由韓國圓光大學健康科學學院護理部的研究指出腹部按摩配合特定的精油令一組已停經的女性減去腹部的脂肪。對比對照組使用簡單的葡萄籽油,實驗組的女性減走了腹部皮下脂肪和收細了整體腰圍。有趣的是,實驗組的女性的身形在她們接受了香薰按摩後比對照組的明顯地更好。這可能是因為香油令她們產生「感覺良好」的心理。

雖然上述研究只涉及已停經的婦女,但我發現同樣的結果發生在接受過本人的傳統Jamu按摩的年輕女性。

除了腹部按摩,我總會建議大家遵循所有的專業保健人員的建議去作產後減肥,無論要不要改變飲食習慣或做運動。根據我的經驗,肚腩在產後留得愈久,就會愈難去減走它。祝大家好運!

Restoring Mums創辦人和治療師Karen Loke

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