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It happened slowly. So slowly that didn’t realize that it had happened until the day I replaced my bathroom scale battery. I had gained more than 10 pounds.

I no longer felt good about myself or liked the way that my clothes fit. It was obvious that it was time to start doing something to correct this problem.

The past year has been difficult for my family and I realized that I was settling for an “easy” lifestyle as opposed to what was healthy. I was eating too much take-out and not getting enough exercise. Plus, I know that after having two children my body isn’t what it used to be.

This is when I began researching ways to lose belly fat. I owe it to myself as well as my boys to get back in shape as they also need to have a healthy mom.

4 Tips for Losing Weight

Trail mix spread out on picnic tableTake in fewer calories than you burn. In addition to making sure that you are eating a well balanced diet of healthy foods and limiting your intake of sugar, it is also important to make sure that you are burning more calories each day than you are taking in. If you have no idea how many calories you are burning each day, a fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor might be able to help you. You can also log your diet using a variety of fitness apps.

Increase your water intake. We have all heard that we should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day, but did you know that you should actually be drinking half your weight in ounces of water each day? This means if you weigh 150 pounds you should be drinking at least 75 ounces of water a day. The water will not only help keep you hydrated but will also keep you full longer (so you don’t overindulge in snacks) and will increase your metabolism.

Log enough sleep at night. If you aren’t getting 8 hours of sleep a night it can actually contribute to the build up of belly fat. Not getting enough sleep releases the hormone ghrelin which can lead to sugar cravings and other fat-building foods.

Essential Workout gear such as shoes, water bottle, fitness trackerGet moving! As I said before, you should be burning more calories than you take in. Don’t leave it to chance, but get out and get those calories burning! This could mean going for a walk, a swim, or even doing activities such as jumping on a trampoline. Whatever you do, it is important to get your heart rate up and keep it up for a period of time.

As I tried to get moving more often I encountered an unexpected, and embarrassing, problem. When I was running, or jumping on the trampoline with the boys, I found it was very hard on my bladder. You see, both of my boys were very large babies which damaged my pelvic floor. This means that now when I exercise vigorously it leads to bladder leakage which is beyond embarrassing.

In fact, what I experience is not uncommon. Many women experience bladder leakage due to childbirth, age, or even hormones. Thankfully, there is a solution.

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