Having a distended stomach can bother any girl, especially one who is slim everywhere else. Your tummy pouch may be genetic or caused by lifestyle habits. Regardless of the reason, you can take steps to minimize your pouch and achieve a flatter stomach.
While exercise and diet can help you stay lean, genetics play a role in where your body prefers to store fat. Your particular genes and ethnicity contribute to fat storage in certain problem areas, usually the thighs, stomach, hips and buttocks. If weight loss typically occurs last in the stomach area, it’s likely that your body prefers to store fat there. You may have to work twice as hard as other girls to lose the fat that sits on top of the abdominal muscles. Minimize your tummy pouch by creating a calorie deficit, choosing healthy foods and incorporating fat-burning cardio and muscle-building strength training into your exercise regimen.
Low Muscle Tone
Poor musculature in the abdominal region can account for a stomach that appears saggy. Even people at low body weights have fat due to lack of muscle tone. Adding regular strength training into your exercise routine can help you build muscle, shed body fat and create a tight and toned appearance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults ages 18 and up perform strength training at least twice per week to work all major muscle groups. Focus on working your abdominals and eating foods high in muscle-building protein to turn your stomach pouch into a six-pack.
Many factors contribute to bloating, which makes the stomach appear “puffy” and larger than it actually is. Water retention to due your menstrual cycle; eating too much sodium, dairy and fiber; and drinking sodas and other carbonated beverages can lead to a bloated stomach. To reduce bloating, skip the salt shaker, limit your intake of high-fiber foods and dairy and opt for water over soda. If you’re still having problems, make an appointment with your doctor to rule out irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders.
Sitting or standing up straight can help you instantly appear slimmer. Hold your head up, pull your shoulders back, tighten your abdominals and lift your chest. In doing so, you’ll lengthen the torso and elongate the stomach area to minimize any lumps and bumps. Thin girls who have poor posture can appear to have a larger stomach. Practice makes perfect with posture, so concentrate on sitting or standing tall until it becomes a habit.
- “Obesity Facts”; Obesity and Body Fat Distribution: Ethnic Differences and the Role of Socio-Economic Status; Joanne K. Ujcic-Voortman, et al.; 2011
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity for Everyone: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- FitSugar; Bloated? These Foods May Be the Culprit; February 2010