People often ask me about losing weight because they are desperate to change how they look. They may have tried a few fad diets in the past that didn’t work out and they’re looking for a safe and effective way to shed those extra pounds.
You’ve probably heard about diastasis recti, a condition in which the muscle fibers in your abdomen — specifically, your rectus abdominis muscle — are not aligned properly. This can cause your belly to bulge and sag, creating a “diastasis” or “diaphragm dip” when you stand up or sit down.
Although this condition can be extremely frustrating, it’s not necessarily a case of doom and gloom. In most situations, it’s a matter of correcting the misalignment and strengthening your core. If you’re determined to lose weight, diastasis recti may be the key to unlocking your body’s hidden potential.
Here, we’ll discuss the connection between losing weight and diastasis recti and how you can use this critical information to your advantage.
The Link Between Losing Weight And Diastasis Recti
Let’s start by establishing the link between losing weight and diastasis recti. In general, when you lose weight, it puts your body into a starvation mode and as a result, your body starts acting in ways to protect itself. One of the first things that get altered is the way your body handles vitamin D. When your body is in starvation mode, your vitamin D levels can get very low which makes you susceptible to a range of deficiency-related illnesses. One of the most serious of these is rickets, which is caused by insufficient vitamin D and results in bones becoming soft and weak.
Because of this, when you lose weight, it’s very likely that you’ll experience a significant drop in your vitamin D levels. To avoid this, you need to make sure that you get enough vitamin D from the sun each day and supplement with vitamin D pills or drops. Another important change that occurs when you lose weight is related to your hormones. When you reduce your body fat, there’s a good chance that your natural testosterone levels will drop significantly. This puts you at a higher risk of developing heart disease, particularly if you’re a man.
How To Identify If You Have Diastasis Recti
Even if you don’t experience any of the ill effects associated with vitamin D deficiency or low testosterone levels, you may still have diastasis recti. In most cases, this is an issue that crops up after you’ve spent some time lost in the gym working out, trying to get in shape. If you’re concerned that you may have diastasis recti, here are a few pointers on how to diagnose the issue:
- Look at the muscles in your abdomen when you stand up. If you have an unaligned or randomly placed belly button, this could be an indication of diastasis recti. In most people, the rectus abdominis muscle should be parallel to the ground when they stand. If not, then this could be an issue.
- Try a sit-up test to see how your abdomen fares when raising your body above the horizontal plane. The ideal number of sit-ups should be 10-20, depending on your body size. If you’re unable to complete a sit-up, this could be an indication of diastasis recti.
- Take a look at your rib cage when you inhale. If they’re not aligned properly, this could be an indication of diastasis recti. In most cases, the inward rounding of the ribs should be symmetrical.
How To Correct Diastasis Recti
Once you’ve confirmed that you have diastasis recti, the next step is to figure out how to correct the problem. There are numerous ways in which this can be accomplished. However, in most cases, it means working your abdominals and trying to align your internal organs. In most circumstances, this involves doing some of the following:
- A lot of crunches. If you have tried other types of ab workouts without seeing much result, this is the best way to start noticing change. When you do crunches, use controlled breathing and focus on trying to align your organs. This will help you overcome the fatigue that plagues most people who try this type of exercise for the first time.
- Walking or running. The important thing to keep in mind with this type of exercise is that it needs to be done slowly and with control to avoid overtraining. Research shows that slow and steady improvements can be made to your health simply by walking or running. In most circumstances, it takes about a month of walking or running every day for this change to start showing in the form of weight loss.
- Venting. If you’re feeling particularly frustrated or down, take some time out to relax and try to relax your muscles. As a result, you may start to notice a difference in how your body feels when relaxed as opposed to when you’re tense. This is particularly beneficial if you’re experiencing chronic pain or discomfort. While you’re there, it’s also worth taking the opportunity to listen to some calm, soothing music.
- Yoga. Yoga is a fantastic relaxation technique that can be practiced to help promote peace of mind and reduce stress. A lot of people also report feeling happier and having better sleep when they practice yoga. Since sleep plays a major role in weight loss, it’s a win-win situation when you practice yoga to help promote better sleep and also to shed those extra pounds.
- Take A Look At What You’re Eating. In most cases, the primary issue that leads to diastasis recti is poor nutrition. In order to lose weight, it means you’re going to have to cut out a lot of the unhealthy foods that you’re currently consuming and replace them with healthy options. If you’re unsure of what constitutes a healthy food, check out the food guide pyramid and get familiar with what’s considered to be an appropriate diet for your height, weight, and gender.
- Consume More Fruit And Vegetables. It’s well known that a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent a number of ailments, including heart disease. If you eat more fruit and vegetables, you’ll start to see significant changes in your weight loss efforts. Cut out the processed foods and get back to basics.
- Be Confident. If you’re feeling frustrated after trying out a number of fad diets that didn’t work out, it may be because you’re not confident enough in your body. When you start to lose weight, it’s a common phenomenon for people to become significantly less confident about how they look. Instead of accepting that this is how they’re going to look now, they may get angry with themselves for not being able to change how they look like. To avoid this, it’s important to remember that this is a natural reaction that your body goes through when you start losing weight. Accept that you’re going to experience this feeling and try to work through it. If you let this frustration get the better of you, it may end up sabotaging your entire weight loss effort.
- Get A Physiotherapist. If you have tried other types of treatments for diastasis recti and haven’t seen much improvement, it’s time for a change. Instead of continuing to struggle with the same old thing, it’s worth investigating other treatment options. One of the best things about this condition is that it’s very treatable. Typically, this involves doing some type of core therapy along with a program of weight training. If you want to see real and lasting results, then it’s worth getting a professional help. A good physiotherapist should be able to put you on the right track to achieving your goals. They can also help you determine the root cause of the issue so that you can work through it. Knowing the root cause of the problem is the first step to fixing it. Without it, you’re simply treading water. With it, you’re able to find lasting solutions.
The Advantage Of Having Diastasis Recti
So, what exactly is the advantage of having diastasis recti? For one thing, it’s a much easier condition to correct. In most situations, all it takes is a little bit of patience and some plain old common sense. If you follow the instructions laid out above, you should be able to correct this issue. The truth is that once you know what your body is doing, it’s easier for you to work around it. In most cases, all it takes is some common sense and a little bit of determination. Once you get over the initial hump of figuring out what the issue is and what needs to be done to fix it, it’s easier to keep going back for more. Some people even report feeling better after they’ve had this condition as opposed to when they first started showing signs of it.