How Is It That Plus-Size Models Have Flat Stomachs?

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Women are baffled when it comes to plus size models. Looking at their thick and super curvaceous hips, bums and gorgeous body silhouettes in fashion magazines and runway pictures, you would wonder, ‘how is it that plus size models have flat stomachs?’

Plus-size models take their workout regimens and diets seriously. Being bigger than the rest, there is a point to be proved – that they too have equally beautiful frames, if not better. It’s all about shape and not size.

Being in an industry that has since time immemorial adored the bodies of slim and tall women, is quite the tussle. Plus-size models constantly have to battle with the ideal beauty standards the industry is conditioned to and in most cases try to shove down their throats. Being different and boldly standing out like a sore thumb is not easy.

Fashion brands and designs have shown they are willing to ‘bear the risk’ of signing plus-size models into their meticulously thin parade of models. With all eyes watching their every move, weighing their every performance, plus-size models are constantly between a rock and hard place. They always have to prove themselves to receive respect and celebration as their thinner counterparts.

As a model, looks are what will sell. Therefore, a lot of time and labor is spent in building and sculpting that perfect frame that will make you stand out. Of course, models can’t be reckless with their looks even if genetically endowed with a great body and face. They do put in the work, especially plus-size models.  

Being plus size, your body has a lot of fat to deal with. Typically, you’ll be thick all around and not just in one area of your body. So how can you still be plus size without having the back rolls, the cellulite, the double chins, the flabby arms, the bulging stomach, and all other common features that most plus size women have? Here is how plus-size models such as Iskra Lawrence, Ashley Graham, and Tess Holiday do it.

1.     Tailor-Made Workout Regimens and Go-To Exercises

We all understand why we should work out regularly, but few understand how they should workout. For this very reason, many simply copy the workout routines of their favorite athlete, role model, or someone they think they have similar body goals with. This tends to end up negatively. Contrary to popular opinion, you should never train like ‘who you want to be’, rather you should start with where you are and gradually build your body from there.  

Because of our unique features and body predispositions, we all cannot work out the same exact way. Being able to understand that your body is unique and thus requires personalized attention to develop and nourish it, is a fundamental step. Simply because you are in the same age and weight bracket as someone else does not mean that your body can endure and positively respond to their training routines. Again, simply because you desire to have a body like theirs does not mean you should train like them. The secret is in listening to your body. That’s why a tailor-made workout regimen is a go-to for most plus-size models.

Tailor-made workout routines are ideal as they factor in your body goals, your strength, flexibility, weight,  your schedule, your likes, preferences and dislikes when it comes to exercising. Who said that you have to constantly endure through several sets of exercises, that you hate, to get your desired body shape? With a personalized routine, you can do exercises that you enjoy, and get the results you always dreamed of.

This encourages consistency and helps you fall in love with the practice. Think about it. What would make you constantly show up for training if every inch of your body is screaming NO! Only the love for the training will keep you focused, objective, and steadfast.

Unlike other regimens that you can simply watch online or download in an app format, a tailor-made workout regimen is flexible. It adapts with you and your evolving practice. Skipping a few days of exercising won’t be fatal as the plan had already budgeted for the common slips and fails we tend to have now and again. As you gradually become fitter, stronger, and more flexible, your plan can be fine-tuned to accommodate your new state of being. This fine-tuning will constantly happen to match your fitness level and also to keep you on track in attaining your fitness goals.

Go-to workouts

As opposed to doing what everyone else is raving about on the internet, it is prudent to handpick your go-to workouts. These are exercises that you will normally perform if you are unable to do the full workout set perhaps because you are traveling or having a busy day.

Go-to workouts really give you a blast of adrenaline and quickly make you sweat as they are short but impressively effective. This is not to say that they are to be substituted for the regular workout regimen, absolutely not. They simply serve a purpose where you cannot perform your typical regimen.

Why waste a day if you can get all that you need in a quick 5 or 10-minute10-minute exercise. It could be as simple as jumping rope, or a set of isometric movements such as a plank and a V-hold, you name it! Whatever the case these workouts should be something you enjoy doing, are effective, and don’t make you whine and complain all through the session.

2.     Sustainable Diets and Meal Prepping

Dieting is another major staple when it comes to plus size flat tummies. You simply have to eat right.

Food is what builds and nourishes the body. Plus-size models such as Ashley and Robyn fiercely advocate against starving yourself. It simply is not sustainable and does more harm than good. It may be easy to eat a fat-free diet for a week or two or eliminate all your favorite desserts and unhealthy treats for a while, but eventually, something will have to give way. And just like the rest of us, plus-size models do struggle with this.

Contemporary notions of fitness and healthy dining are quite animated and grossly misconstrued. Diet plans that promise you to get that flat stomach in a matter of days will typically have you on some extreme, severe, and unhealthy nutrition plan. These plans boast of their effectiveness as they tend to deliver results by the stipulated time, however hardly any one of them is sustainable in the long run.

Instead, these models plan to always have at home or on hand healthier and more nutritious options. This means cutting out carbonated sodas, saturated fats, and carbs and substituting them with healthy and nutritious meals.

Several plus-size models maintain a simple and sustainable diet that factors in their cravings and favorite (unhealthy) foods, as opposed to entirely cutting them off! This makes dieting all that much more fun as you can, once in a while, indulge in your favorite wine, burger, or dessert.

The portions are also super-friendly and will tend to leave you feeling full. The goal here is to have just enough to equip your body with all the nutrients it needs to continue to grow and repair itself.

Go-To Meals and Snacks

Likewise, with diets, there are also Go-to meals for most plus-size models. These are meals that are easy and quick to whip up and are rich in great nutrients and taste! Having a go-to meal is a great tool to help you remain consistent with your diet goals. Healthy snacks such as protein bars, peanuts, and fruits such as bananas and avocados are Iskra Lawrence’s go-to choices when she is up and about and feels hungry. If eating out, she would typically have salmon and broccoli.

As for Ashley Graham, she recently disclosed her obsession with cucumbers saying that she loves “anything green, cool and crunchy”.

Meal Prepping

The benefits of meal prepping are well known in this day and age. A considerable majority of plus-size models prefer homemade meals to eating out. That way, they have more say on what to eat which minimizes spontaneous indulgence in unhealthy foods.

A fun fact about meal prepping is that you really can get creative with what you make and occasionally come up with something “new” and tasty to please your taste buds. Only be sure to remain within your calorie intake level for each day.

3.     Accountability

It’s not enough to eat healthily and do the exercises you enjoy, you also have to have a vibrant accountability mechanism. Personal fitness trainers offer just that. They help you sculpt an effective fitness regimen that consists of effective workouts, a set of go-to workouts, a sustainable diet and keep you in check when it comes to your fitness goals. They are the glue that makes all the three stick!

Personal trainers are invaluable assets, that’s why nearly every celebrity and model has one. Their expertise, experience, and knowledge come in handy to give you a superb fitness journey and great results at the end of the day. Developing your body into your ideal shape may take time and the road to the top may be plagued with some failures and discouragements. However, having someone who understands where you started from, where you are, and where you want to be, will help you keep on and weather out the stormy times.

Trainers keep a record of your progress, they cheer you on as you exhaustingly try to complete a set. They help you understand your body and appreciate your fitness journey. They are gems!

4.     Body Positivity and Emotional Wellbeing

Stress is detrimental to any body size or shape. It can completely degrade and eliminate any positive changes and progress. It, therefore, should always be kept at bay and avoided at all costs.

Even with the growing embrace of body positivity, plus-size models are still pressured to look a certain way. Their bodies are policed and even shamed, to live up to a specific beauty ideal. This covertly hostile work environment may result in self-consciousness, self-hate, and a spiraling cycle of stress, frustration, and depression. So how do these wonderful women handle the badgering, the silent stares, and the unwelcoming smiles, all day every day in their careers?

On this particular issue, they have quite a lot to say and advise their peers and younger women looking to launch into modelling careers. It all boils down to:

  • Choosing to love yourself and not wait for anyone’s approval
  • Surrounding yourself with a strong and caring support system – usually close friends, spouses, and family members
  • Keeping the right company
  • Not taking in any negativity about your body size or shape
  • Having the right mentality and heart space towards critics and also yourself
  •  Allowing yourself to make mistakes and learn
  • Being content with self

5.     Patience and Consistency

When it comes to having a flat stomach, plus-size models think long term. It’s all about sustainability and allowing your body to gradually transform into the desired frame. Models stay clear from quick-fix training or diets. They all embark on lifestyle changes and not just looking good for the camera. Staying at it is what really separates the boys from the men, well in this case, the girls from the women. It is challenging but doable and the results are long-lasting. For models such as Iskra, her well-defined body and flat tummy are a result of over 4 years of consistent working out and healthy eating. She once said that she typically does not try to get in shape before a shoot because she has put in the work beforehand in her day-to-day practice.


Having a flat stomach is a cocktail of both physical and emotionally hard work over some time. Consistency pays. When it comes to exercising and dieting, occasionally switching things up will help.  It doesn’t have to be monotonous. Replace and substitute now and again to keep things interesting, fun, and effective. You’ll love the outcome!

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