I am a mum of three - 10, 8 and 3 are the ages. I have a small build - 5ft 3, weight 9.5 stone approx (might be more), only a 34 A, but problem is my tummy. If I get one more 'are you expecting' comment I will crack! I try everything, I eat very healthy 90% of the time. I do small exercises (15-20mins running about 3 times a week – it’s all I can manage to squeeze into schedule). I try doing tummy exercises after the running. After my second child I was able to get rid of my tummy again, but since the third I cannot, and while I do also swell up quite regurlarly, even on good days I still look a nice 4-5 months pregnant if I don’t keep it sucked in. Is there any advice you can give considering I don’t have time to join a gym and get a personal trainer! Would the freezing fat option work? I really want to do something as I’m just 42 and can’t handle middle age spread already!
 
Fiona
 
Hi Fiona,
 
Thank you for getting in touch. So your main challenge is your tummy area, and you mentioned that you “swell up quite regularly”. It must feel quite uncomfortable and the comment “are you expecting” must really be irritating.  
It is possible that this swelling is a type of bloating caused by certain foods, such as bread or foods containing flour or yeast. Does it occur mostly after meals or after eating certain foods? If it’s possible that specific foods are causing the tummy bloating, it would be good to try and figure out the food culprit. A process of elimination and a food diary could help with this. Or a dietician could offer some valuable advice.
 
With 3 young kids, your hands must be full, and it’s possible that you might experience daily stress. Stress contributes to bloating in a couple of different ways, according to research. For example, stress makes your intestines more prone to irritation, so you'll feel bloated even when normal amounts of gas are passing through your system.  Some of the most formidable culprits of bloating and irritable bowel syndrome are small carbohydrates that aren't well absorbed in the small intestine. This includes some of the healthiest foods we know (cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, leeks, cherries, avocados, many kinds of beans), which can result in bloating and flatulence.
 
Pilates can be quite an effective exercise for strengthening and engaging deeper abdominal muscles. It would also be good to blow off extra stress. You mention that you don’t have time to join a gym or get a personal trainer and I understand that your hands are full. But could you consider carving out some time from your busy daily routine to focus on caring for yourself and engaging in an activity that leaves you feeling good about yourself and physically strong?
 
Weight Management Expert

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