A flat and shapely abdomen tells a lot about you – that you take care of yourself, that your overall health is sound and most importantly, you officially get the stamp of ‘drool worthy’ on you! It is said that a tummy tuck is a shortcut to sexy, flat abs. But plastic surgeons and cosmetologists say that with the help of exercises and a good diet, one can do even better.
Benefits of exercise are multifarious
“The benefits of a healthy diet and exercise are multifarious. Besides improving your general well-being, these two are very good ways to beat a tummy tuck,” says Dr Swati Srivastava, dermatologist

A senior cosmetic surgeon, Dr Mohan Thomas, believes that a flat abdomen means you are healthy. He says, “This not only indicates optimal strength and endurance of the person, but also his nutritional choices and a healthy lifestyle. So, if diet and exercise are taken care of from a very early stage in one’s life, the chances for a surgical tummy tuck are considerably low.”

Dr Sunita More, plastic surgeon, states that diet and exercise can beat a tummy tuck in unmarried women with a good skin tone and less body fat in the tummy region.
Healthy diet can work wonders
A healthy diet, combined with the right exercise, is a sure-shot way to a flatter tummy, say experts. However, one needs to be focused and knowledgeable. Dr Srivastava says, “Reduced calorie and fat intake in diet will make your body use its reserves of stored fat. Exercising daily will increase the body’s metabolism and strengthen the core muscles of the abdomen. For this, you should do more of cardio workouts and abdomen strengthening exercises. Crunches will definitely help in achieving a flat tummy.”

Dr Thomas adds, “Changing your eating and exercise habits will also shrink your stomach, though it will take more time.”

Tummy tuck needs maintenance
Even if you opt for a tummy tuck, to maintain the results of the surgery, you would need to do regular exercises and eat a proper, nutritious diet, keeping in mind your calorie in take.
Dr Srivastava asserts, “When abdomen and back-strengthening exercises are done synergistically along with a well-balanced diet, a good tucked-in tummy can be achieved.”

Ugly folds and pregnancy

Lifestyle, a technically advanced society and added stress levels have lead to an obesity epidemic. Once the weight gain has occurred, it is possible to reduce it through exercise and diet, say experts. “But this leaves an oversized envelope of skin, which had covered a fatter you. The skin, too, can remodel to some extent, but then it will leave some ugly folds,” states Dr Thomas.

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This is a problem particularly in females who tend to get fat deposits around the lower abdomen, post pregnancy. During pregnancy, there is a phenomenal increase in the girth of the abdomen because of the growing foet us.
After delivery, however, there is significant recoil. Nonetheless, there is a fair chance of those loose folds of skin and muscle, which once covered the pregnant abdomen, remaining. With diet and exercise, only the fat issue can be addressed. Minor muscle abnormalities may also get toned up in some.”However, in vast majority, the lower abdomen is never the same as it was in theirpre-pregnant state,” he adds.

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