Know your tummy type: 5 types of curves that have nothing to do with weight


Just because your belly is bloated doesn’t mean you are overweight! Often, worry, stress and other psychological problems can manifest in the tummy. This could possibly explain why, despite all your exercising efforts, you can’t get rid of this little belly surrounding your otherwise slim waist. Here are 5 types of tummy demystified, which will help you better understand your curves.

1/ The stress belly

Does fat concentrate around your bellybutton, although your abdomen is firm and far from soft? The causes are often stress, eating too quickly, drinking too much caffeine, a sensitive colon or eating too many salty foods (crackers, crisps, cured meats, etc.).

What you can do to correct it:

  • Go to sleep earlier (to help balance your appetite).
  • Relax before going to bed (doing breathing exercises or meditating).
  • Limit your caffeine intake.
  • Don’t do too much intense sport (stick to gentle exercises such as yoga, walking or moderate sessions in the gym).
  • Take magnesium.

2/ The spare tyre

A ring around your middle is characterised by little bulges on the sides. This could be due to a sedentary lifestyle, eating too many sugary foods, desserts, refined foods and alcohol.

What you can do to correct it:

  • Limit your consumption of alcohol.
  • Avoid ‘diet’ products and low fat foods, but go instead for eggs, lean mean, fruit and veg containing good fats (avocados, walnuts, almonds, etc.).
  • Exercise moderately.

3/ A little tummy in your lower abdomen

You are slim, but still you can never manage to get rid of that little pocket of fat in the lower part of your abdomen. This “protuberance” could be due to having recently given birth, doing too many abdominal exercises, a diet that is not varied enough or spinal curvature.

What you can do to correct it:

  • Eat plenty of fibre (green veg, whole grain bread, etc.)
  • Don’t do squats.
  • Spread your exercises over all body parts (i.e., avoid concentrating on just one area of the body).

4/ Maternity tummy

Maybe you gave birth a year or more ago, but your belly still looks as if you are a few months pregnant! The possible causes are diverse: maybe you started back doing sport too early (you should wait 2 to 3 months before going back to intense physical exercise), your pelvic floor muscles are weak, or you have very little time to give to strengthening your tummy muscles.

What you can do to correct it:

  • Take cod liver oil
  • Eat good fats (such as in raw nut butters or olives), especially to help fight fatigue.
  • Strengthen your pelvic floor (with Kegel exercises).
  • Get into the habit of contracting your abdomen.
  • Don’t do squats or too much ab work.

5/ Inflamed stomach

Is your tummy flat in the morning before you eat, but gradually becomes bloated throughout the day? You could be suffering from food allergies, your intestines may be working slowly, or your intestinal flora could be out of balance.

What you can do to correct it:

  • Try to seriously cut back on gluten, alcohol, yeast and dairy products.
  • Go for fresh vegetables, meat, chicken and fish.
  • Eat breakfast every day.
  • Don’t eat too late in the evening.
  • Try taking probiotics that will help regulate your tired intestinal flora.