Is it possible to get a flat nice belly after getting stretch marks from a pregnancy?

Remember ladies, after a pregnancy, your body is not ruined – you are a tigress who earned her stripes.

While many argue that you should embrace your stretch marks, most women still view them as imperfections that they need to erase from their bodies.

lose-stomach-fat-after-pregnancyBoth males and females can get them during puberty, or if they gain or lose weight relatively quickly. This article will discuss how to reduce, or even erase stretch marks caused by pregnancy and how to regain that tight, smooth skin that enhances the look of a flat belly. But first, let’s talk about the possibility of prevention.

If you do not currently have stretch marks, chances are, you do not want to get them. Remember that you are not alone. Over 90% of women do get stretch marks after giving birth. For those who are not familiar with what those are, the name “stretch marks” perfectly describes it. They are marks on the skin that indicate that it has been over-stretched due to a fast-paced enlargement in a specific area of the body. They first appear as pink or red line- shaped indentations in the skin, and if they go untreated, the always remain there. Their color does fade out as time goes by, and eventually, they take a color that is a few shades lighter than your actual skin tone, making them a bit less noticeable. The indentations, however, do not disappear.

One of our readers has sent us this link with a review of a program she used to shed her extra pounds with startling results. If you want to find out more you can visit this website.

It is possible, although not guaranteed, to follow the steps below to prevent stretch marks, or, at least, keep the amount of stretching to the minimum.

  • Exercise – exercise has comes up numerous times in this blog, which should really give you an idea about its significance in staying in shape.

Working out does wonders for your skin too, not just your muscles and fat. It improves blood circulation, making it easier for nutrients and oxygen dissolved in the blood to nourish your skin. In addition, it makes the muscles underneath firmer, so your skin will have something more reliable to hold on to, which reduces stretching. A little bit off subject, working out can also extort many of the toxins that accumulate in your pores through sweating, which naturally reduces blemishes and black heads.

  • Healthy weight – women who are overweight are even more likely to get stretch marks during pregnancy. In fact, a constantly fluctuating weight is the main cause of stretch marks.

Those who follow the whole scheme of gaining weight, following a strict diet, losing a dramatic amount of weight, then, with a sense of satisfaction, stopping their diet and going back to their previous weight are very prone to skin problems, including stretch marks. The best you can do is finding your healthy weight and sticking to it. During pregnancy, try to gain your weight steadily throughout the 9 months instead of gaining it all at once.

  • Hydrated skin – a woman’s gestation period is nine months, which means that there will most likely be a time in your pregnancy when the weather will be cold and dry. Dryness can literally cause your skin to “crack”, leaving behind very unattractive lines and aiding in the formation of stretch marks. You can avoid this by keeping yourself hydrated. Remember, during pregnancy, you will daily need enough water to keep both you and your baby hydrated, so increase your intake of liquids. Using hydrating lotions, especially ones with cocoa better, can immensely help your skin in staying firm. However, be on the lookout for suspicious “miracle products” on the market, as they do not always deliver what they promise. Just to be on the safe side, choose a pharmaceutical brand over a cosmetic brand, and use it as instructed on the packaging.

weight-loss-turbochargedNow, let’s say that you were not aware of all the ways that can help you prevent stretch marks, and you went the whole period of your pregnancy without protecting your skin. Or, let’s say that these methods failed to help you. There are still ways to reduce your stretch marks, especially while they are new.

The quicker you act, the better your chances of seeing an improvement. Do not wait until the scars begin to fade. If you see a dermatologist, he/she can help you decide whether to choose a prescription cream treatment or laser therapy treatment, which are the 2 most drastic, yet generally most effective methods.

To regain the skin’s tight feel and appearance, try using this recipe made with inexpensive products that you can probably find in your kitchen. In contrast to artificial moisturizers, this one does not contain any harsh chemicals. All you will need is some extra virgin olive oil and some used coffee grounds. Heat up the oil for no longer than 30 seconds then test it to make sure it will not be too hot on your skin. Pour the oil on a soft towel and sprinkle coffee grounds generously on top. Apply the mixture on your belly with the towel. This procedure can be done in your shower in order to avoid a mess, and will work on your butt and thighs as well to improve the tone of your skin, keep it hydrated, and prevent cellulite. The warm oil will quickly penetrate your skin, leaving it with a soft feel, while caffeine will invite blood into your dermis to keep it well-nourished.

5 Healthy Food Groups That You Should Add To Your Diet

The key to lose weight naturally is to eat properly. To do so, you have to keep a healthy diet. So, I will describe each of the following five food groups and indicate easy-to-measure portion sizes and a “budget” for each food group.

Starches

Cereal, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, crackers, couscous, quinoa

Must be whole grain, or whole wheat, or brown rice. No white bread, white flour, or white rice

  • 1 portion = the size of your palm
  • 3 portions per day (females)
  • 4 portions per day (males)

Choose 100% whole grains

group-food-to-your-diet

The Health First program begins with starches because starches – breads, cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes, and crackers – constitute the food group most likely to be enjoyed to excess.

Starch portions have become massive. Bagels and bread slices are larger today than they were fifty to sixty years ago. Pasta servings have grown tremendously, too. What we consider a normal portion today would have been at least two servings in the 1950s.

Portion creep is slowly killing us!

It is critical that, in addition to reducing the number and size of starch portions, you seek out whole grains.

Studies have shown that people who eat whole grains rather than refined grains (white bread, white rice, or regular pasta) have a lower risk of heart disease, obesity, and certain cancers.

Always choose whole grain bread, whole grain cereal, whole wheat pasta, and brown or wild rice. Whole grains not only are more nutritious but also have the benefit of not triggering insulin spikes after eating. When insulin goes up, blood sugar goes down and we feel hungry. This is why you typically feel satisfied longer after a meal with whole grains than after one with refined grains. It’s a win/win.

Naturally, you’ll want to avoid anything fried or fatty, which means passing on fries or creamy mashed potatoes. Remember – the food you eat is a choice, and you’re choosing to be healthy. This isn’t deprivation; it’s innovation. There’s a new, more vigorous you developing with each better choice you make.

Cereal

Whole grain only

  • 1 portion = palm size (about ½ cup)
  • HINT: Add real fruit to sweeten the cereal naturally.
  • WARNING: Read cereal box labels. Select cereal brands that are low in sugar

Bread

Whole grain only

  • 1 portion = palm size
  • CAUTION: A standard slice of bread is 4 inches by 4.5 inches by ½ inch thick (10cm x 11cm x 2cm). Many slices these days are almost double this size.

Some of my patients think that, if they choose whole grain bread, they can eat as much as they want.

This is not correct. Even whole grain bread must be counted as part of the budgeted starch portion for the day.

Watch the size of your bread portions, too. Many buns, bagels and slices of bread are altogether too large – double or triple what they used to be. Often a single slice of bread of a restaurant sandwich will fill your entire hand from your wrist to the tips of your fingers; it is equal to two slices, making the whole sandwich equivalent to four bread portions.

For a male, the restaurant-sized sandwich noted above would include a full day’s budget of starch.

For a female, the same sandwich would contain one starch portion in excess of the allowed budget.

The solution would be to leave some of the bread uneaten, or choose a salad with tuna or grilled chicken instead. Try going to restaurants at lunchtime less often. It’s always better to bring your own lunch so you can control your portions.

Treat your portion allowance like a budget. Once you’ve eaten your allowance, you can’t have more. Overdrafts are not allowed.

Pasta

  • Whole wheat pasta only
  • 1 portion = palm size, about ½ cup

Pasta dishes are the prime example of portion creep. The amount of pasta always fills the plate, and plates are getting larger. You must focus on portion size when eating pasta. Remember that one palm is one portion. Three starch portions equal approximately 1½ cups of pasta. If you have a starch for breakfast or lunch, a restaurant pasta dish will likely push you seriously over budget.

When you plan to have pasta, add many cooked vegetables to the dish so your plate is full and you feel satisfied at the end of your meal.

Rice

  • Brown or wild rice only
  • 1 portion = palm size, about ½ cup

healthier-brown-or-wild-riceAs with bread and pasta, portion control is critical. Years ago, chicken or fish would be served on a slender bed of rice. Many restaurants today cover the plate with rice.

Even if you switch from white rice to healthier brown or wild rice, you must still stay within your starch budget. Healthy starches are still starches. Three servings for women and four servings for men is the budget per day.

Sample Budgeting for Starch Portions

Breakfast Half cup of cereal with 1% milk and some strawberries (1 starch portion) Lunch Grilled teriyaki salmon, 6oz Grilled vegetables and a salad Dinner Skinless chicken breast, grilled 1 cup of brown rice (2 starch portions)

Generous portion of cooked vegetables and salad (You have 0 or 1 starch portions remaining, depending on whether you are female or male)

In this sample menu, a woman would have used up her starch budget for a day, whereas a man would have one starch portion left for a larger serving of rice or for a snack.