Posted by: Lila | 2004/10/27

huge tummy

I've got a huge tummy and a female. I'm of normal weight, BMI 19,5, and small figure and all, but i have a huge bloated tummy. When i stand relaxed i look as if i were in the middle of a pregnancy! I can suck my tummy in, then it looks normal, only a little bump because of my fatroll (not that much fat though.) If i sleep my tummy is also relaxed and bloated out. It really iritates me! I'm gymming lot and training horses, and asked the instructors to get me a program to target my stomach muscles, but it doesn't help at all. I have really strong stomach muscles, but my tummy is stil totally bloated when relaxed. I'm 20, and was never pregnant,and really dont know what to do to solve this problem, Please help, Thanks a lot!

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Our expert says:
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Hi Lila

I hope that I can help you. It is probably generic advice that I'm about to give you, but it's what works for people if they apply it correctly, and I have a feeling, just from the tone of your email that you may be looking at your situation a little too critically. If your BMI is 19.5, you are weight very little, and you are right at the lower end of the ideal range. It's therefore not a question of weight loss, that's for sure, because any weight loss you achieve will just be unhealthy.

So, my advice is to focus on cardio training like running, cycling, swimming, aerobics etc. rather than weight training. That is, you can't really try and reduce the fat around your stomach, thighs and abdominals by just doing exercises for those areas. This kind of exercise, using specific muscles only, actually burns fewer calories than exercising large muscles groups in dynamic cardiovascular exercise such as walking, jogging, running, swimming or cycling. In order to burn the fat, you need to do these types of cardiovascular exercises as least 4 - 5 times a week for at least 30 - 45 minutes. This will help to increase the amount of calories that you use and help to decrease your body fat.

Having said that, it is still important to do some strengthening and toning exercise and obviously to include exercises that make use of the muscle groups in your abdominal area. The exercises that you do will depend on whether you have access to a gym or you do body weight exercises at home. I would suggest you have a look at the following website through the Health 24 site -

Lastly, keep in mind that this is a very common problem, and changes in certain areas can happen very slowly, because some people do just have a specific distribution of fat, and it can be hard to fight against this.

However, be patient and keep at it!

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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