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Core blimey! How to tone up your tummy


A personal-trainer-to-the-stars once told me that not all tummy tyres were the same. Keeping his gaze firmly up at eye level (bless him) he explained how making a muffin top was different to creating love handles at the sides. Now I’m thinking that if your Pinterest board is chock full of slinky mermaid wedding dresses (or should that be choc-ful) like this one from David’s Bridal shifting some of the excess baggage lurking around your waistline will be fairly high on your list of pre-final fitting priorities right? I can’t be alone! Anyway, let’s start with what causes a bigger-than-you’d-like belly…..

You’ve got a muffin top?

The rest of you is a stick insect so why are you sporting a top-of-trouser overspill? Apparently, it’s the result of a build-up of the stress hormone cortisol. Stressed? You? The best way to tone it is through low intensity exercise like yoga or pilates.

You’ve got love handles?

Does the phrase ‘a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips’ sound familiar? You can thank your cravings for all things sugary and stodgy for those baggy bits. Apparently, they get digested pretty quickly and flood your bloodstream with extra glucose you don’t need so it ends up as fat sitting around your belly. A healthier diet will help (Sherlock strikes again!) as will lifting weights and some frenzied rounds of HIIT. Huh? That’s intensive 30-second bursts of cardio between rests to spike up your heart rate and kick start your metabolism.

Seven other stomach-slimming solutions:

  1. Eat less calories than you burn (and of course I don’t mean via a crash diet.) Try to give caffeine, processed foods, alcohol and sugar the heave-ho until after the honeymoon. And when you do eat, go for oily fish or lean meat with lots of colourful veg. Chew everything more than usual. And. Take. Your. Tiiiiiiiimmmme.
  2. Having said that, never skip breakfast as your body will go into starvation mode and cling on to your fat stores.
  3. Do Kegel exercises both first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Stay completely still as you squeeze your pelvic floor muscles for a slow count of ten.
  4. Now that same PT told me that side planks were the numero uno exercise to tone your tum. To do it, lie on your left side with your elbow under your shoulder and legs out straight together. Place your right hand on your right hip as you engage your abs and lift your hips off the floor until you’re balancing on your forearms and feet. Go for 12-15 reps – raising your top leg if it’s too easy – then switch sides.
  5. Obviously side planks alone won’t deflate your tummy tyre. Aim for at least two and a half hours of activity (even if it’s walking, dancing, swimming or joining the gym) a week.
  6. Stand tall. Slouching can make your tummy look much larger than it really is. Keep your core pulled in to support your back as well as make you look and feel taller and slimmer. Keep your shoulders relaxed and breathe normally.
  7. Invest in Spanx Power Shorty! An ‘abs-olute’ must-have for any B2B surely….


So what are your solutions for toning your tummy? Please share…..

Sarah x


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Dress shown Style WG3810, £495 David‘s Bridal


  • my dress is just like the one in your picture. since buying it before lockdown i’ve had a baby and out on 2 stone. advice greatly appreciated!

    5 months ago : kris
  • I’m still waiting for motivation to kick in. My dress will hold everything in tightly but I’m getting married in Italy with 40 guests and it’s the around the pool body I’m worrying about. Great tips tho, thanx

    5 months ago : felicity
  • Really? It actually sounds like good sense – that all fatty bits are not created the same way and need different ways to get rid of. I think cardio classes which gets your whole body working is good plus toning exercises too to target certain areas. I’ve been trying on wedding dresses lately and all I see is my stomach. Bxx

    5 months ago : brianna
  • 1. Bringing too many people
    You should definitely bring someone. Many people bring their mum and a sister or a close friend. Whoever you choose, they should be people you trust to give an honest opinion but also not try to influence you to choose a dress they like rather than the one you like! Any more than two people and you’re going to end up with too many different viewpoints, www wedding dresses 2015 which can get confusing for you. Besides, you want your wedding dress to be a surprise for as many people as possible on the big day!
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    2. Getting all made up to come wedding dress shopping
    Okay, so wedding dress shopping feels more special than normal shopping, but there really is no need to get all dressed up for us! You should make sure that you are wearing a well-fitting bra if you are likely to need extra support under your wedding dress, but apart from that, casual is fine. In fact, we would prefer you didn’t wear any make up that could get smudged off on to the dresses.
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    5 years ago : jadegown
  • Pilates! It’s great for stretching and toning. You can really feel like you’ve given your stomach a workout – but don’t emerge a sweaty wreck! Obvs good for over areas too, especially posture. Walk tall fello brides-to-be!! Mandy x

    5 years ago : Abanks
  • I’ve started Barre. It’s amazing for toning your core. I’m reaping great results x Girl on a plane

    5 years ago : Katie
  • A good read. I will definitely give those exercises a go. Mollie

    5 years ago : Moll18
  • A great read

    5 years ago : Olivia
  • A good and insightful article. Maddy Roo Reynolds

    5 years ago : MrsR
  • One word – and you already said it. Spanx!!!! Zoe x

    5 years ago : Zoeyzo
  • I’ve been doing 200 sit ups every morning. Great post 👍🏻

    6 years ago : Belle
  • I can hold a plank for 5 minutes. I did it this morning, will probably never do it again so felt the need to tell someone 🤗

    6 years ago : BusyIssy
  • Behold my dress of dreams!!! Am now working on the flat stomach to go inside it

    6 years ago : Bettie
  • This is great advice of which I hope my muffin takes note! lulu 🏋️‍♀️

    6 years ago : Lulu