This story originally appeared on Health.com by Blake Bakkila.
Everyone gets bloated—even fitness influencers who post inviable selfies showing off their flat, fat-free stomachs.
Now, 23-year-old Erin Mitchell is sharing the trick she and other influencers use to achieve that toned-tummy look when their midsections are anything but. On Monday, she posted a before-and-after photo on Instagram, wearing the same sports bra and leggings in each.
“So, I have a secret ......... did you know that if you hike your waistband up, you can create the illusion of a flatter tummy?” she captioned the photo. (Related: This Fitness Blogger's Honest Instagram Proves That Bloating Affects Everyone)
So, I have a secret ......... did you know that if you hike your waistband up, you can create the illusion of a flatter tummy? (but in all seriousness, high waisted pants really do work miracles.) . . Everyone’s body is different and everyone stores fat differently. Like a lot of women, I tend to store extra fat in my belly. Just like anyone else, I also bloat. A lot. One mini club sub Mike’s Way on a wheat roll and BAM lookin 5 months pregnant and, just like anyone, I get really self-conscious about my excess belly fat But I’ve learned 3 really important things about my tummy throughout my fitness journey: . 1. You can’t spot reduce fat. I used to do endless crunches and eat terribly and expect to wake up with a six pack. I wish it worked like that; you actually have to follow a healthy diet and burn fat through physical activity, be it cardio, HIIT, strength training, or whatever it is you like to do. . 2. you don’t NEED to have a perfectly flat, super-defined tummy to be fit or to be happy. You also don’t need to let insecurity hold you back. Lately I’ve been noticing that when I’m super bloated I feel super self-conscious and I let that ruin the productivity of my gym sessions. That’s rLY SILLY isn’t it?! . 3. The people you see on social media showing off their amazing abs bloat too. I know this seems stupidly obvious, especially with all of the posts we see on social media showing off bloated vs non-bloated stomachs, but honestly, I’m grateful that this message continues to get passed around, because when I was just starting out on my fitness journey I literally thought that if you did lots of abs exercises you would have a six-pack 24/7 dont you dare compare yourself . . lighting, high-waisted leggings, the time of day, angles, genetics, body fat %, what you ate and when you ate it all affect the visibility of abs. Never ever ever confuse belly bloat for a lack of progress, and never ever ever let it hold you back! and don’t get discouraged if you have an extremely difficult time banishing belly fat; it can be the mostttttt stubborn and, for me, it’s alwayssssss the very last thing to go whenever I’m trying to lean out
“The people you see on social media showing off their amazing abs bloat too,” she wrote. “Lighting, high-waisted leggings, the time of day, angles, genetics, body fat %, what you ate and when you ate it all affect the visibility of abs. Never ever ever confuse belly bloat for a lack of progress, and never ever ever let it hold you back!” (Related: 15 Best Foods for a Flat Belly)
Mitchell goes on to explain that she knows all about bloating. She naturally tends to bloat, and her body stores fat in her stomach area, which can make her self-conscious and affect her gym performance.
Though she reveals this trick she and other influencers use, she also makes an important point: "You don't NEED to have a perfectly flat, super-defined tummy to be fit or happy."