to ask is anyone else dead skinny but with a fat belly?

(60 Posts)
MoodyDidIt Sun 27-Jan-13 16:55:34

i swear sometimes i look 6 months pregnant sad

today is one of those days <sigh>

am just over 8 stone and 5 foot 2 so clearly not overweight. BMI is only about 21/22 i think. and got skinny arms and skinny legs but a right pot belly. i eat a good diet - eat less than about 1600 calories every day but then have one day at the weekend when i let it go a bit. AND, and i do sit ups and push ups regularly but i feel like not fecking bothering for all the good it does sad

its not like i have a baby, youngest dc is 3 ffs blush

am ttc dc3 atm and i dread to think if am successfull what the state of it will be like after.

is anyone else like me? and is there anything i can do?? other than be 10 years younger and never have had dc help me

Me sort of!

I am slim think size 6 but I have a lot of fat on my belly. Its like stretched skin as it just wont fuck off or even tone up

SolidSnake Sun 27-Jan-13 16:59:29

I'm the same, 4ft 10inches and 7 stone, slim everywhere except a mini pot belly! I usually hide it with control pants. Personal question and a bit TMI, you don't have to answer it, but do you get constipated often? That can cause a bit of a fat belly. That or bad diet, which doesn't sound like your case.

microserf Sun 27-Jan-13 17:00:36

I am not dead skinny but I have a similar problem. Size 14 and shrinking down to a 12 all over but big tummy that seriously makes me look 6 months gone. I have been mistaken for pregnant twice in the last month... I am not. The last person asked me "are you sure" when I told her! I do have ibs which doesn't help.

Youngest dc is 2. I would love some stories from fellow mners about how they managed to budge the tum! It is not loose skin, it's just a very sticky out stomach...

SoleSource Sun 27-Jan-13 17:00:59

Only head, in reality I am clinicly obese

Solid I'm a whole 1 inch taller then you grin I don't know how much I weigh though. Between 7 and 8 stone though. Do not wish to find out

3monkeys3 Sun 27-Jan-13 17:02:01

I am taller and heavier than you - bmi is about 23 I think - most of my extra weight is on my tummy, hardly any excess on my legs or bum. I think it is an unfortunate side effect of having dc - I have had 3, all by section - I don't think my tummy will ever be right again.

SolidSnake Sun 27-Jan-13 17:03:25

SP i wish I had one more inch on me grin When you are that short, you count every 1/8 of an inch!

I do too! An inch might even be a tiny exaggeration grin If people ask I say just under 5 foot or say 5 foot grin

How do you find out your BMI?

I have scales here at home from wilkinsons but they are very indecisive. They give or take half a stone each time I stand on them

SolidSnake Sun 27-Jan-13 17:06:24

Yes SP, round it up to the nearest foot I say grin

thebody Sun 27-Jan-13 17:07:28

I am 5'2 and similarly weigh 8 stone. I bloat if eat bread or too many carbs.

Have 4dcs and find loose skin in my tummy hard to turn to muscle... Mainly though as too lazy.

Feel for you op..

Scales say 7 stone 10.

But I am wearing boots, clothes and a scarf so I should take 5/6 pounds of right? grin

Lostgirl27 Sun 27-Jan-13 17:19:10

I have this problem but I am far too lazy to do any sort of tummy work.

I'm 5' 8" size 10 but like yourself, can easily look preggers and do most days.

My trick to disguise it is to buy tops that are a size too big so they are loose on my tummy and long scarfs.

I'm learning to just accept my tubby belly, you should try the same smile its prob not as bad as what you think.

EuroShagmore Sun 27-Jan-13 17:34:27

I'm the same. I currently have a BMI of 21/22, but even when I was a size 8 and underweight for my height I still had my little pot belly. I long for a return of the days when Louise Werner (Sleeper) made having a little pot fashionable.

Sit ups are not the best exercise for it, btw. Crunches (on a swiss ball), reverse crunches and planks help but they never get rid of it totally for me. I don't even have children so cannot blame it on pregnancy!

musicmadness Sun 27-Jan-13 17:37:09

I've got this problem but it seems to be getting better now. I've found doing more overall muscle toning( Not just sit ups, thing for arms and legs as well as your core) is helping. You need to build up overall muscle tone rather than just concentrate on one area.

Depending on what your diet is more protein could help, it is fairly necessary for trying to increase muscle. Alternatively more fibre could also help depending on how "regular" you are going to the toilet. Make sure you drink loads of water as well!

You need to be patient for this to work. If you are skinny but have fat areas it is one of the hardest things to get rid of, because generally you eat the right amount calorie wise. I think most people with this problem have lower muscle mass than they should do so that is the area that needs working on but it takes time to see an effect.

ophelia275 Sun 27-Jan-13 17:40:08

Yep, me! I wouldn't say I am skinny but slim at 5'1" and about 8 and a bit stone.

The thing is that if you have had a baby your tummy muscles get stretched (diastasis recti) and the only way to get them back to normal is through surgery (I did a lot of research on this). Even if your tummy is not actually fat, you will look it if your stomach muscles have been too stretched by pregnancy and have not knitted back together. Exercise doesn't really make much improvement although you could try the Tupler technique;

lovetomoan Sun 27-Jan-13 17:42:43

Me! Kind of, thanks to 3 month old DS.
Almost 9 stone, 5 ft 3.

And I used to think I was fat when I was a size 6/8 (pre pregnancy)
Now size 12 top (breastfeeding) and 10/12 skirt (baby belly).

foreverondiet Sun 27-Jan-13 18:17:17

What is your diet? Give example of average day?

Can you eat same calories but cut carbs in favour of protein and fat? And exercises that focus on core. Aim to lose fat, gain muscle, weight stays the same and pot belly goes.

MoodyDidIt Sun 27-Jan-13 18:24:34

yeah i was wondering if i had that diastis recti or whatever its called, but tbh after having dd 3 years ago i actually went back to quite skinny quite quick after i had her, and i only put on about a stone whilst pg. its only been in the last year or so really.

both dcs were born via section though (planned, not sure that makes a difference) but i doubt that helps sad

ok example of average day

breakfast - 1 slice wholegrain toast with peanut butter plus coffee with semi skimmed milk and a sweetener

snack - an apple

lunch - boiled egg and 1 slice wholegrain toast and probably another coffee

afternoon snack - small bag of popcorn, hot chocolate (low cal)

dinner - chicken kiev with polenta chips and 2 veg, usually grilled mushroom and petit pois or similar

after dinner - bag of maltesers or similar

i drink loads of water too. Also, i chew sugar free gum a lot because it helps deaden my appetite a bit sad

FreakoidOrganisoid Sun 27-Jan-13 18:25:52

I think also when you're short and thin every little bit shows. I have a very short torso and one meal can make the difference between flattish belly and pot belly. I've always had that but would love to lose the rolls that appear when i sit down!

NoisesOff Sun 27-Jan-13 18:26:58

Yup, sounds familiar. I'm very slim but have a tummy and occasionally get asked whether I'm pregnant. Grrr. But I carried twins so a bit of a residual tum is probably inevitable.

Me! I have two DC (8+5) and both were very large babies delivered by section. If I do no exercise and eat anything I like I have a pot belly but I never put on weight anywhere else. Really the thing I hate more is the sluggish feeling I get. I find running is best to make me feel healthy, but its hard to be motivated in winter!

TheDarkSideOfTheSpoon Sun 27-Jan-13 18:44:18

I have this sad Even at my very fittest, pre DCs, size 8 self I had a bit of a belly, always worse after food it just pops out.

Now I've had two DCs and put on a tonne little weight its bit just the imposing stomach but lots of extra flabby skin as well, dd2 is 4 months old now and I still look 5 months pg sad

NormaStanleyFletcher Sun 27-Jan-13 19:17:16

Also worth checking out Cushings disease

sherazade Sun 27-Jan-13 19:56:40

5 feet tall and 6 and a half stone. size 4/6.
have a small pouch after my c section but it was VASTLY improved by doing those postnatal stomach exercised albeit abot 4 years later. Apparently the pouch effect can be caused by stomach muscles not coming back together properly after birth.

IvorWindybottom Sun 27-Jan-13 20:37:04

I am but I put it down to beer, cheese and pies
I like my grub me I do

PiratePetesPotty Sun 27-Jan-13 20:52:33

I have the opposite problem, my stomach is flat whatever my weight is, after each pregnancy it was flat again after 2 weeks BUT I have back fat even when slim, my bmi is 20 and I have back fat. It's just body shape I suppose, I gain weight on my boobs, back and upper arms more than my stomach or hips. At a BMI of 18-20 I'm an hourglass shape, 20 or over and I become increasingly more parsnip shaped.

VitoCorleone Sun 27-Jan-13 21:00:12

Im 5'2" and weigh 8 stone. I have a bit of a belly too, i always have but its worse after my 2nd baby.

When i got pregnant with him i was a tiny size 6 and weighed just under 7.5 stone. Then out of nowhere my bump became MASSIVE (people actually thought i was having twins) and out came this 8lb8oz baby (my 1st was only 6lb5oz) and now i have quite a bit of loose skin and my stomach muscles seperated really badly and i had to have physio.

I hate my little pot belly and loose skin.

I'm 5'6 and weigh 7 1/2 stone. You can see my ribs and hipbones but I've got a jelly belly - both of mine were c-sections, think its just a shitty side-effect.

caroljackson Sun 27-Jan-13 22:19:46

Do you have any menstrual issues OP? I am a similar height/weight and I look about 5 months pg - but I know this is because I have a fibroid which is quite large. I've had scans and it was the gynae who said my womb seemed like it was carrying a 5 month fetus! It also gives me very irregular/heavy periods, so I'm having it checked out soon.

I actually have very strong core muscles though, as I do a sport which requires a lot of core strength and I can do things which wouldn't be possible if I had weak abs!

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sun 27-Jan-13 23:13:12

I'm just like you, OP. I'm 5' 1", just under 8 stone and size 8 but have a really bloated tummy. I look about 5 months gone and it's pretty obvious if I west something tight or clingy. DS is 6 so that's no excuse and my diet is decent (and getting better as I'm trying to improve it further). I poo regularly grin.

I'm sure it wasn't this bad when I was doing 30 day shred last summer so I'll have to get back into it.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sun 27-Jan-13 23:13:54

wear not west, ffs

lairyhegs Sun 27-Jan-13 23:16:05

I am size 6 - 8 and have been asked twice recently if I have second baby on way (did type 'asked if I had number two on the way, until I re-read it!).

I like to think of my belly as my food baby...

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 27-Jan-13 23:37:54

OP,might you have a food intolerance? I have a friend who is naturally slim but always has a bit of a tummy...however she is also intolerant to wheat which makes her stomach swell to the point of her looking 6 months pregnant.

MammytoM Mon 28-Jan-13 06:25:28

The vibration plates that some salons and gyms have are fab for toning up. I wouldn't say I'm skinny (size 10) but I had an emcs and along with healthy eating the machines really helped tone my belly. I've noticed a difference since I stopped using them sad. Looks fine when I'm standing up but when I sit down I seem to have a bit of a muffin top sad

foreverondiet Mon 28-Jan-13 07:11:55

I think you are eating proportionally quite a lot of carbs, try and move away from low fat higher carb model. I think if you eat more protein and fat (don't cut calories though) you should lose stomach fat.

I found hula hooping really helped my stomach muscles. I got a special exercise one (£15 from amazon), taught myself to hula (very chuffed I managed to learn) and then hulaed for half an hour each day (in front of the TV).

I also cut down on my carbs especially wheat based ones.

I've just had my fourth child and every midwife I saw always commented on how good my stomach muscle were (fourth child is 4 weeks old so not good at the moment).

MoodyDidIt Mon 28-Jan-13 10:36:18

wow i am so surprised how many of you suffer from this too

it makes me feel bad cos i am always dieting, and my friends are like, oh moody you don't NEED to, you are sooooo skinny. and i know i am, i just want to get rid of this bloody horrible belly. i dont know if i have any food intolerances, not that i know of, have never really thought about it.

but tbh i would rather be bigger, say, size 14 but have a flat tummy sad my friend is like this, big all over but with a flat tummy (she has had 3 kids) and she looks fab in everything she wears envy

and i am, erm, regular, so its not that. and my periods are OK, i doubt i have any fibroids as i have had 2 kids in last 6 years, surely they would have been spotted during scans etc?

and foreveronadiet ...thats interesting, could i ask you a massive favour, would you mind suggesting some better food options for me? as you seem to know your stuff.

topknob Mon 28-Jan-13 10:40:46

5ft 6 weigh 8st 10 have a belly confused probably due to too much wine as youngest child is almost 8 grin

mammmamia Mon 28-Jan-13 10:49:09

I have this problem - am 5'5" used to be a size 8 but now 10-12 due to my stomach. I have twins and my stomach really stretched, I was absolutely massive, went to full term and they were big babies and born by section.

They are almost 3 now though and I still look a bit pregnant... I found I put weight on once they started walking everywhere and I wasn't pushing the buggy. And I don't do any formal exercise which is part of the problem.

The rest of me is slim but I'm sad that I can't wear my old clothes due to my stomach. In fact I've given up wearing trousers completely as find them too uncomfortable and tight.

sherazade what sort of post natal exercises did you do?

atthewelles Mon 28-Jan-13 11:11:27

I have the same problem. Very thin but often get asked when I'm due sad.

I did have enormous fibroids and had to have a hysterectomy last year but I still have a tummy out of proportion to the rest of me.

CoteDAzur Mon 28-Jan-13 11:19:35

If you are already slim elsewhere, dieting is unlikely to help with your tummy situation.

I still had a huge tummy 6 months after the birth of DC2 and looked about 6 months pregnant. Physio at the hospital I gave birth in said my tummy muscles were shot and that I would probably have to have an operation.

I thought I would give exercise a chance first and started a serious training program where they started me running and also focused on core muscles. Within three months, my tummy was normal. I still don't have a flat tummy but nobody thinks I am pregnant anymore. And I still run smile

Just to give you an idea about how bad it was: When I first started running, not only was I terribly out of shape (couldn't run for 2 mins) but also had to stop because my tummy was hurting so much - like, how your breasts would hurt if you run without a bra! That was only for a short while, though, as tummy muscles strengthened in no time to stop the fat from wobbling around.

Do you know what your body fat % is? You could do 1000 sits ups and never see a six pack because of the fat that sits on top of the six pack. You need to burn the fat off.

CoteDAzur Mon 28-Jan-13 11:26:41

Actually, I was told by those physios I mentioned that the muscles to work on in a hanging tummy situation are not going to be helped much by sit ups. There are different type of exercises, but basically they are about completely exhaling out, pulling your tummy in as far as possible, and staying like that in that state of apnea for as long as possible. Do this in different positions: Lying on your back with your knees bent, down on all fours, etc.

firefly11 Mon 28-Jan-13 12:38:12

I have been underweight and petite all my life and when I had DD1, who was a big baby for my size, my tummy was totally misshapen and stretched beyond repair. I went on resistance training about 6 mths post natal and got my figure back, with muscles to boot, which was what I needed anyway because it made me look less underweight and fitter. Then 4 yrs later had DD2 and 2 yrs later, DS1, who was an unexpected pregnancy. I was run ragged by then, hardly had any time for exercise looking after these babies as I was also studying part time. My belly looked about 3 mths pregnant for all those years. I had some really off the cuff inconsiderate comments from other women about how large my tummy looked.But it spurred me onto getting back to exercise again. I have been doing resistance training again for the past year and my tummy is flat again - though its still massively wrinkly but I am not having surgery to fix that. My body is in better shape than it was before I had kids. Yes I do watch what I eat to a certain extent, I have to eat clean. But I don't mind a slice of cake a day, or chocolate! I don't calorie count though, but I do intermittent fasting along with resistance training and have had good results from it.

JeffFaFa Mon 28-Jan-13 12:43:37

In not dead skinny im a size 10, 5 foot 6 and 8 and a half stone. I put my tummy down to IBS and a love of carbs, if i clean eat for a few weeks and exercise like crazy it goes down a bit tho.

Frustratedartist Mon 28-Jan-13 13:25:34

I was going to say about food intolerance too. One of my DCs is wheat intolerant. He had a very distended abdomen as a young child
I've had irritable bowel & bloated abdomen ever since I can remember. The symptoms got so bad I decided to try wheatfree- not expecting anything much to happen
Hey Presto! Nearly flat stomach. It distends again a few days after I inadvertently eat wheat. Wheat is hidden in more foods than you can imagine.
You shouldn't exclude foods without getting advice. If you think wheat is the problem you should get tested for Coeliac by your Doctor before you properly go wheat/gluten free.

Frustratedartist Mon 28-Jan-13 13:29:48

Just to add I actually eat more food, but am thinner, when I'm wheatfree. I use wheatfree bread & pasta now. It's not a question of reducing my food intake & flattening my stomach

MardyArsedMidlander Mon 28-Jan-13 13:37:47

'Very thin but often get asked when I'm due'

^^ YY to this. I can't wear any floaty or smock type tops as I get people coming up going 'Any exciting news???'.
And I did loads of sit ups at one time and have great stomach muscles (my gynaecologist once complimented me on them blush) but there's always a litle podge of lard on top of them.

MoodyDidIt Mon 28-Jan-13 14:00:14

^^ YY to can't wear floaty tops etc - have had same comments angry

and i have rock hard stomach muscles too, due to all the pointless sit ups and push ups, but STILL a blob of fat on top aaaargh

interesting about the wheat free thing - as tbh although tummy was much flatter pre dcs it has always tended towards the rounded....perhaps will ask to be tested

hokeycakey Mon 28-Jan-13 14:39:28

Hey op I have had a similar problem in the past agree with others who have suggested that sit ups will not help, if you are doing them wrong you will actually make the stomach pooch out more try Pilates type breathing exhaling and pulling the stomach in or core exercises like the plank

If you want to check for stomach muscle separation lie on your back with the knees bent and lift the head and shoulders feel the stomach muscles with the fingers of one hand more than 2 fingers width between the muscles is considered a separation

Also agree that bloating could cause this you could try cutting down on bread and starchy food

Frustratedartist Mon 28-Jan-13 16:54:19

Regarding testing for wheat intolerance
Coeliac is very a specific and serious diagnosis- so that's why you should test for it as a cause of gluten intolerance. If you go gluten free then the coeliac test can go negative even though you actually have coeliac
But it seems that some people still can't tolerate gluten, but don't have coeliac. There isn't a blood test to confirm the diagnosis, it's more what you observe yourself. It seems to be a growth area of interest in Medicine
Gluten and wheat are linked, but not the same. It's maybe worth reading up on. It's probably too long to explain here

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 28-Jan-13 18:50:21

frustrated my friend is exactly lack that...not coeliac but through her own observations has worked it out. She's sick when she eats wheat as well as bloating out. Took her years to work out what it was.

Try yoga. And transverse abdominal exercises, which you can do anywhere. Breathe in, relax. Now, suck your belly in to your spine and blow out one LONG breath - count to 8. Even when you think your lungs are empty, blow some more til you have to gasp your next breath in. Be really strict, make sure you don't breathe in tiny bits halfway through. You can feel it working. If you do these breathing exercises Whilst Doing sit ups or plank, it makes them MUCH more effective - you WILL feel the difference!
The transverse abdominals hold the 6pack in place, pulling everything in like a girdle.

Frustratedartist Mon 28-Jan-13 21:54:14

Thanks Alisvolatpropiis - it took me years too!
Just thought it was after too many babies and not enough exercise.
I have no issue avoiding wheat because it's completely worth it not to have the pain or bloating

MoodyDidIt Tue 29-Jan-13 08:05:23

does avoiding wheat mean avoiding bread? <thick emoticon>

if so i honestly think i'd rather have the preggy belly grin

diana thats interesting re the transverse abs exercise, i used to do pilates after the birth of dc1 and they were the kind of exercises they would get us doing. and it definitely flattened my tummy - shame i now have neither the time or the energy to go again now i have dc2!

MoodyDidIt Tue 29-Jan-13 16:42:05


diana i just did that exercise you made me go all light headed, spots appeared before my eyes and i had this like, weird sensation in my nose confused is this NORMAL??

Hmm, not sure about the weird sensation in your nose, but yeah, you may have held your breath a bit long there to make the spots appear. smile Sit down before you start smile

How can you say you don't have time to do breathing exercises?? smile

They really do work, esp when coupled with abdominal exercises - think of trying to force out every single molecule of air out of your lungs as you breathe out on the effort of a sit up, sucking your belly into your spine and visualise getting the bottom rib to touch your hip bones.

You see big muscle men with a 6 pack but still have a big poky-out pregnant looking belly, that's because they have worked the rectus abominis (6 pack) but not the transverse abdominis

MoodyDidIt Wed 30-Jan-13 16:15:44

yeah just tried and its definitely easier sitting down grin

thank you! it really FEELS like its working, where sit ups never did IYSWIM

Yay! smile

I'm really pleased for you!

Now do the breathing whilst doing full sit ups - bend knees (don't anchor them under any furniture, that's cheating!) and peel all your spine off the floor nice and slowly, blowing out all the way up, and keep blowing out as you SLOWLY return shoulders to the floor, vertebrae by vertebrae (NOTE: Do NOT pant/breathe in at the top!)
Don't come up TOO far, once you are sitting upright, you aren't using your abs anymore.
Visualise getting the ribs to touch the hips and the belly button to touch the spine, and every last molecule of breath out of your body.
It should KILL after just a few reps smile

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