(Photo: Positive Med)
Not all women are created equally — or at least as far as our bellies are concerned! Your belly type is dependent upon your musculoskeletal structure, genetics, lifestyle, diet and more. James Duigan, fitness expert and A-list celeb trainer, has narrowed down the belly types to five: spare tire, stress, pooch, mommy and bloated. Once you figure out which belly type you have, you can address the weight loss with focus and efficiency, tackling the core of stubborn belly extras. All of the information below is based off of Duigan's research and recommendations.
The spare tire is one of the easier belly types to deal with, since it's generated mostly from eating the wrong food and being inactive. The wrong foods are usually sugary foods that spike the blood sugar levels, create cravings and rapidly transition into stored fat.
» Solution: To lose weight, avoid white breads, pastas and cakes and try a sugar detox for a few days. Start walking after dinner, taking the stairs and incorporating beginner workouts to your routine. Check out our 10 Exercises for Beginner's Workout or try Journey to My Six Pack: Level I Workout right here.
Slow down! These bellies are often found on workaholics and perfectionists. The stress you create and absorb from your day-to-day doesn't just blow over your head — it settles in your gut as cortisol. This bulge is seen in the front of the belly, centered around the belly button. Sometimes, it's even a little tough to the touch.
» Solution: Burn this type of belly fat by limiting the caffeine (seriously), giving yourself a bed time, prepping your snacks or stock only healthy ones and making sure you're getting magnesium. Instead of trying to scorch the fat off, try a more gentle approach with your workouts, like yoga or light resistance training. Try the Yoga Sequence to Blast A Muffin Top workout.
It sounds cute, but this pesky pet clings to the mom on-the-go. You might work out five times a week and still deal with this thing! But that's your problem — you're probably doing the same workouts, same routine and eating the same foods as a way to stay sane, but it doesn't change the pooch.
» Solution: First, add some fiber and greens to your diet. Second, learn better technique with core-related exercises. (Oh wait, that's every exercise!) Your pushups, planks, crunches, squats, lifts, jumps and everything in between need to be mastered. You could be putting stress on the lower back or hip flexors instead of actually working the abs, and that will cause a small protrusion of the abdominals. Finally, incorporate short sets of weight training, like supersets.
In order to have a mommy belly, you need to be a mommy. During pregnancy and delivery, the pelvic floor muscles are extremely stressed. They don't snap back. Usually, you need to make a point of it to retrain them. The uterus doesn't really go back to its original placement either. A mommy belly will resemble a pregnant belly that's softer to the touch, but still rounded.
» Solution: Don't rush with this belly fat. If you're reading this a few weeks or only a few months postpartum, crunches are not the answer. Instead, retrain the small muscles and stabilizers first. Click here to find out if your postpartum abs are ready for exercise and how the experts want you to tackle it. Incorporate omega-3s and other good fats to help you burn the bad fats and stay energized.
» WATCH: Body After Baby: Core
You wake up slim, but go to bed with a bloat that grew throughout the day. This bloat is a sign of a poor diet. You could be dealing with food sensitivities or allergies in addition to too much of one food group (dairy, protein) and not enough of others (veggies). The bloat makes you want to unbutton your pants by 2 p.m. and you're probably feeling pretty sluggish at that point, too
» Solution: Start a food diary to what types of foods seem to trigger the bloat: dairy, yeast, gluten, alcohol. Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables with every meal, like some of these 10 best foods for weight loss. Add a probiotic to help the bacteria in your gut do their jobs, stay hydrated and add light, pleasant activities to your day. Try walks, breathing exercises and meditation to keep the blood flowing to the right places. Check out this recipe for Kale-tastic Green Juice.