Posted by: Melani | 2008/09/17


I found out I was pregnant in Aug 2005 with my first child  she was born in April 2006 and weighed 4.08kg. Needless to say I was huge during my pregnancy.
While trying to lose the pregnancy weight, I discovered I was pregnant again in Dec 2006!!! I had another girl who was born premature one month early and she weighed 3kg then. I was huge during both pregnancies.
Now I have a terrible overhang and need expert help.
I watch what i eat, trying to stick to more fruit and veg, cut out breads, sweets etc
+ I workout 20-25 mins a day on my Orbitrek.
Please advise me on more effective methods to take to get rid of this " mother' s apron" 

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Our expert says:
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Hi Melani

Difficult one. Your diet is a crucial part of this, and I know you watch what you eat and have made some healthy choices, but it's worth really looking hard at diet, because little things can add up to big differences if you get this right. So my advice is that you see a dietician and make 100% sure of this aspect.

As for exercise, it is the cardio training, like cycling, running, stepping, aerobics, walking etc. that is most helpful in losing weight. All these activities cause heart rate to go up, and are increasing your body's metabolic rate, which ultimately causes you to lose weight by burning more fat (again, assuming you are also eating well). So I would say you should continue with what you are doing, keep focussed on the cardio. I think that 4 times a week is the minimum you should aim to exercise, five is probably the ideal number, but four is fine too. The intensity you train is also very important. A lot of times, people train a little too easy, perhaps. I am not saying you should go out and push super hard and exhaust yourself every day, but stepping up the intensity once or twice a week is certainly a good thing. You should aim for a total of 45 minutes or so (anything between 30 and 50 minutes is a good average), and you should finish each session feeling tired, but not exhausted. It might be that you need to increase yoru training time a little (the orbitrek is fine, but more time might help), and also look at the intensity of your training - small increases make big differences. If you do that, and you eat well, then you should lose weight.

Finally, the weight training is also beneficial, though it has a different effect - by doing weight training, you increase your muscle mass, and that means that you body's metabolic rate is lifted. The effect of this is that once you begin to lose weight, you keep it off more than you would by simply dieting. So it is important to do some resistance training, though one or two sessions a week is plenty for the goals of fitness and weight loss.

So just keep it up, give it a few months to work - remember, you have to be consistent, one month of training, one month resting is not really that effective, it should be a steady training period over many months to really see great results.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: Jess | 2008/09/22

Hi Melani,

I had EXACTLY the same problem! My first born was 4.4kg and the second was 3.8. I was HUGE during both pregnancies and I' m only 1,55m tall (short). I had a tummy apron that embarrassed me to no end. I had a muffin roll over my jeans for years. 2 years ago I decided I' d had enough and couldn' t afford cosmetic surgery. I joined a running club who started me off with walking and slowly built up to running fitness. It took me 6 months of walking and running (more like plodding) before the scale showed any difference. I' ve become hooked to running. 2 years later and my apron' s almost gone. My husband is amazed that it' s reduced so much. I run 4 times a week. Ran my first half marathon in April this year. I also started trail running which helps with toning the thighs, tummy and bum. I' m not into gymming but someone has recommended some specific tummy toning exercises. Getting back into running has been a life-changing decision for me. Finally something worked. Good luck!

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