4 Surprising Ways to Ditch Belly Bulge

Belly Bulge - 4 Ways to Ditch it

(Today we have Beth back from Fit2B.  She wowed you before with her oh-so-earth-shattering and very helpful posts–Lose Your Mummy Tummy and Why Crunches Are Bad for You and A Surprising Cause of and Treatment for Back Pain. This time, she is going to really shake things up with a post about 4 Things that Cause Belly Bulge. Read on–I guarantee this information is life-changing!}

The six pack is what most people fixate on when they want to trim their tummies down, but a bigger conversation among real core experts is arising about other factors that influence the shape and health of your belly.

As someone who has been in the fitness industry for almost 19 years {okay I’ll admit the first 2 years were in the Kids Klub of my local gym} I’m literally a degree-holding body nerd, and I’ve spent the past three years–solid–focusing on your center bits. To me, everything goes back to your core, so I’d like to share four freaky things–stuff you may have never thought of–that I’ve learned will truly sabotage all the time and money you’ll ever invest in your abs.

(Note: before we get going here, some of the following links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking I might make a commission, which is oh-so-greatly appreciated and helps to keep this free resource going :).)

4 Ways to Ditch Belly Bulge

Lower Your Heels

High heels.

Why do we wear them? Oh, yeah, they make us look taller and they also make our tushies look 25% bigger. {From Adrienne–I didn’t know that about my tushy.  Yikes!} But how do they do those two things?

By lifting your “heel” up which puts your body’s weight on the wrong foot bones while taking weight off the RIGHT foot bone and shortening your calf muscles. This is NOT good for your other muscles and bones, because no part of your body is an island unto itself.

Everything in your body is attached to other things, and when you take those elevated shoes off (even those sneakers with a 1″ rise) those shorter leg muscles reach up and pull your pelvis out of whack, and your abs attach to your pelvis.

A wonky-tilted pelvis makes for a bulging belly and is very much related to tight hamstrings and tight calves.

Next time you buy shoes, transition to a little lower heel. Then next time, transition again. Go barefoot as often as possible and – if you can – get a negative heel shoe one of these days. That way your calves are stretching instead of shortening.

Katy Bowman wrote, Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief, that has amazing information about your feet, calves, etc. If you have foot issues, or want to dig more into the relationship between high heels, your feet, and more, check out this book.

Every Woman's Guide to Foot Pain Relief

{From Adrienne again–I am working on this. I am a long time Dansko addict so I am trying to figure this out. Bummer I bought several pairs of Danskos off of Ebay. Sigh. I can completely attest to the tight calf thing.}

Adjust Your Screen

Wait, let me adjust my computer screen before I write this, so I’m not a hypocrite… Okay, now I’m ready. Leaning forward toward your computer, slouching back with your laptop on your knees, sticking your head out and down to check your smart phone… Have you ever noticed how your belly sticks out more in those positions? But if you stack the bones in your torso, your belly appears flatter? Like this…

  • head between shoulders like a ball floating on a fountain’s spray
  • shoulders over ribs, relax them down and back
  • ribs over hips like two halves of an eggshell being matched
  • pubic bone right below hips so you’re not tucked or arching but simply neutral and sitting on your boney “sits” bones.
  • If you’re a member of Fit2B, this routine “Aline it Flat” goes over all of that in workout style!

(And if you’re not a member, you can join now with Code AdrienneUrban and get a nice discount…see details at the end of the post.)

Now, there’s a MAJOR principle in fitness which is that “Form Follows Function.” Or like your mama said it: Don’t make that face or it might get stuck that way.

She was right. How you train is how you end up looking.

You sit slouchy, then you’ll still look a bit slouchy when you stand up. Our bodies get stuck in patterns of posture {oh there’s a whole blog to be written right there!} So if your pot-gut is protruding for 3 hours every night while you surf the web or watch TV, don’t assume that doing 300 crunches will magically fix that…

… Speaking of crunches… They’re on my list of no-no’s, too!

Stop Doing Crunches

You are about to do the LAST crunch of your whole life. Normally I tell people to avoid them like sin, but you’re going to do one right now and you’re going to watch your belly while you do to see if your belly flattens when you lift your shoulders off the ground. Go do it. I’ll look away and tell myself that it’s for the greater good.

You didn’t do it, did you? I scared you a little didn’t I? Well, good for you, because if you had crunched, you would have seen that your belly bulges. Form Follows Function.

When you crunch your spine, it diminishes the space in the center cylinder of your trunk, forcing your organs outward against your belly button and downward against your pelvic floor. Not good. Plus, if you sit slouched a lot, your spine has already been flexed a lot, and you need to extend it the other way more. Read all I’ve ever written about crunches here.

Stop Eating Cortisol-Increasing Foods

It’s Autumn as I write this, and my local grocer is full of fresh-baked bread and candy for the holidays. But gluten and refined sugar can really mess up your gut because they elevate your cortisol, a stress-hormone, that not only bloats your belly but helps insulin in telling your body to store fat.

Limiting or eliminating your sugar intake and gluten-based breads will go a long way to flattening your tummy.

–You can do it folks. (This is Adrienne talking again.) If I can give up sugar–anyone can!

For more information on sugar, going sugar-free, and gluten-free baking tips, check out the following posts:

- What is Candida – and the Beginning of My Sugar-Free Life
- My Childhood and 5 Causes of Gut Dysbiosis
- Great Gluten-free Baking Tips
- Stevia -What It Is and How to Use It

And I just can’t say enough about Beth. I’ve been trying, little by little, to get my core in shape. I am amazed at how much work I have to do on this, but it’s worth it. I really encourage you to look at her site, Fit2B, and strongly encourage you to consider getting a membership. Honestly (well, I would never lie to you, so it’s kind of odd to say “honestly”, isn’t it?), this is sooo worth it.  Gut health is crucial for overall health. I really think this is one of the best investments you could make in your overall health.

I for sure don’t want a wonky-tilted pelvis, do you?  Nope!

And of course, I am always trying to save you money on your health, so here are the savings I’ve arranged with Beth.

With SAVINGS CODE AdrienneUrban, you get:

  • 3 month membership for just $20 (a $10 savings)
  • $10 off a one year membership (you get 12 months for only $89.99)
  • and you get to support my blog while you’re at it so you can feel REALLY good about getting rid of your belly :).

Here’s to all of us getting our core in good shape so it can support all the important stuff that’s inside of us–so we can be healthier and be better moms, wives, and citizens–Yippee!

P.S.  In case you’re a little confused about what code to use and where to put it, please use AdrienneUrban (all one word) and put the Savings Code in here:

Fit2B Payment Place

 

So what do you think? Amazing stuff, eh?

Let’s get rid of our high heels, wonky-tilted pelvises, and embrace better health. I, for one, am super glad to be ditching the crunches, aren’t you?

 Which Belly Bulge Causing Thing(s) Do You Do?
What’s the First Healthy Core You Are Going to Make?

 Shared at Real Food Forager, Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, Time Warp Wife, Chef in Training, We Are that Family, Frugally Sustainable, The Nourishing Gourmet, Food Renegade, The Prairie Homestead, Skip to My Lou, The Better Mom, and Sugar Bee Crafts.

Comments

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  1. I’m confused. Are Danskos still considered heels if your foot is the same level? I assumed “heeled” meant that your heels were up higher than your toes. Can you please explain? Thank you!!

    • Most danskos do put your heel a bit higher than your toes. Plus, the heel isn’t too sturdy, and the toes aren’t flexible which makes your whole foot moves mostly as one unit instead of many units. They sure are comfy though, aren’t they? I’ve had a few pairs myself ;) #grace

  2. I have to say there is something that you missed that can cause bloating that is not listed on your list and that is SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Over Growth) and so can Candida each of these can cause bloating even if you are eating a very healthy diet. I have Sibo and the only thing I can eat without bloating is meat and very low low carb vegetables. AND The bloating will continue until SIBO is finally healed. So, if any of your listeners are following what you say and are still bloating with meals. They may want to check into understanding SIBO better or check out Candida. At first my doctor thought Candidia was what I had but the normal treatment for Candidia did not work. Finally through other tests it was discovered that I had SIBO. I’ve been on a Gluten free diet for over 4 years and have not used sugar for over 12 years. I finally went to the SCD Diet/Paleo diet to discover what other foods I was having problems with 2 years ago. So far, I’m eating just meat and Avacados and juicing Kale. Anyway, it is not that easy to get rid of SIBO and takes alot of hard work. I just thought your listeners needed to know, especially those who are doing everything you say BUT it’s not working. :-)

  3. I keep checking my belly to see if there is a bulge. LOL Thanks for linking at Trim Healthy Tuesday!

  4. Are the Kaslo shoes the best option for those of us who are on our feet all day (i.e. teachers, surgeons, etc.)? I’ve battled foot problems for years & have a custom orthodic(?) that I put in my shoes with extra arch support & a cut out for the ball of my food so it doesn’t get added pressure. Trying to find good shoes has been a major challenge for me!

    • Christy, I haven’t heard of that brand until just now when you mentioned it. When I googled them, though, it appears they are one and the same now with Earth shoes which I am familiar with. They are a good brand, however, if you’ve been using a shoe with lots of support, you’ll need to slowly work your way into the more minimalist style. Your orthotic might help with that, since you can move it from shoe to shoe, provided it fits?

      • So Beth, does one typically get injured if moving from high support to none too quickly? Is that the reason for the caution?

        • Is it ok if I chime in a bit? Think of it as your orthotics basically keeping your feet in a cast continuously. You need to re strengthen your feet to do what they naturally were meant to do. I’m not sure what the best process is, but I have about 80% transitioned to minimalist shoes. I really love my Merrell barefoot shoes. They are totally flat and flexible.

          For what it’s worth, my brother is a runner and was constantly getting injured and having to rest and heal. Several years ago he discovered barefoot running, and he has never looked back! He needed to re learn his form and stride, but it didn’t take long and he was injury free!

  5. I think there are some excellent tips here! Beth is so very helpful :). But I have to disagree that everyone should avoid wheat and gluten. I highly recommend looking into Sue Beckers research and teaching on wheat. She refutes a lot of the falsehoods in the book Wheat Belly. Most people don’t even know what a true whole grain is, which is the biggest problem. If everyone was using freshly milled grain, we would have a fraction of the issues that are currently present. Anyway, I encourage you to look it up. Google Wheat Belly: Fact or Fiction by Sue Becker.

    • Hi Stacey. Thanks for the comment. I did read Sue Becker’s info and I have to take issue with it. I think I responded to it in another post on gluten here. If there is something you are specifically referring to I would be happy to respond but although I think she is a great lady I don’t think science is on her side in this one. The gluten from fresh ground grains is still a huge problem. Thanks much.

      • Thank you for your prompt response. I did some searching and read through the comments section on a other post here. While agree with you that Sue is not a Biblical scholar, and I really don’t agree with her theologically, I still think I will have to disagree with you in regards to wheat.

        I should also point out that I had blood allergy testing done about 6 years ago and it showed that I was severely sensitive to gluten and pretty much everything. I was reduced to chicken, rice, and a few veggies. I almost lost my mind, it was so stressful. And trying to eat that way made my other symptoms worse. It just wasn’t worth it. Our bodies are fallen. We live in a sinful, imperfect world. We can it be 100% healthy, no matter what we do. It just won’t happen this side of heaven. Maybe I do really have some issue with gluten, but It was more harmful to me and my family when I tried to cut it out of my diet. We can so easily make healthy living our god, and I just refuse to put my family through all that.

        • I wonder if you read this post of mine (well, not mine). http://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/wheat-autoimmune-blood-sugar-depression-lectins/ There is tons of info coming out about how gluten damages the thyroid w/o anyone even knowing it. I completely agree w/ Sue about how to look at things re: the single food group but the groups have changed and the effects of gluten on the body are totally different these days.

          I am going to ask the author of the gluten post on my blog to drop by b/c she did a whole bunch of research here and I am sure can address this in more detail than I can. I so appreciate your bringing this up.

          • Yes, that is the post that I read. I honestly found it to sound a lot like fear mongering, but I’m sure that wasn’t the intent. I think I may even own the author’s ebook. Was it part of a huge bundle in the past few months? I think I started reading it and stopped because I just couldn’t agree with it. Who knows, maybe in the future I will agree with you and make a change, but right now I know I can’t do it and remain sane.

            • Ok – gotcha. Well, I think years ago I would have been skeptical but after learning about TPO (thyroid antibodies) and gluten and seeing the results on tests for many many people I just can’t think about it anymore. We are all off of gluten for good. The wheat and schizophrenia link is very strong as well. I personally haven’t found GF to be very hard. Now, the gut healing diet I am on right now…wowee. Talk about hard! :).

              • I have four kids. Number four being a huge surprise and shock. I just don’t have the mental energy to try and relearn meal planning. Never mind the huge cost to eating more meat and veggies. But I hope I will someday not feel so overwhelmed by my life. I do realize that this makes me sound like a whiner :). Just trying to learn to live with what God gave me.

                When I tried going gluten free, it was also egg free and dairy free and mostly beef free. It was the perfect recipe for failure. Maybe one thing at a time would have been easier.

                • I hear you on that. Do what you can. Just keep an open mind. We are egg and dairy free b/c of my oldest. I am off all of it now as well. Lower expectations totally. We’ll see where I end up.

                  • Thanks for the good conversation here. I appreciate that you were able to engage without it turning into something ugly. We are definitely all on a journey in our health, just at different places along the path, I’m always learning new things. My latest venture has been into the world of water kefir.

  6. Thanks.