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How To Get Rid Of Stomach Overhang & Belly Fat 

Table of Contents

How To Get Rid Of Stomach Overhang

Table of Contents

With pregnancy and childbirth, your body goes through a lot of changes. One of the most common changes is the stomach overhang, which can be a source of embarrassment and agony.

A stomach overhang is a combination of subcutaneous and visceral fat. One of the most common changes is getting an apron belly, which can be a source of embarrassment and agony. Let’s take a deep dive into what is a stomach overhang, its causes, why, and how to get rid of stomach overhang from this article.

What Is A Stomach Overhang?

Stomach overhang is a common phenomenon caused after fast weight loss, a result of obesity, or after pregnancy. It is also called an apron belly because it hangs down like an apron in front.

To understand what an abdominal panniculus- the scientific name of stomach overhang is, we have to understand the layers of fat in the tummy. It might be surprising for you, that there’s not just one, but two layers of fats standing between you and your perfectly toned body. The two layers are the

  1. Subcutaneous fat
  2. Visceral fat

Subcutaneous fat is the top layer of fat that stores unused calories around our waistline. Physically, it is a soft cushion-like layer that you can touch and feel.

Visceral fat is the second layer of fat that surrounds and protects our vital organs. This fat layer is far more worrying than the subcutaneous fat.

Stomach overhang is caused by excess visceral fat which is easier to lose compared to subcutaneous fat since it’s metabolically active.

What Causes A Stomach Overhang?

The main cause of stomach overhang or apron belly is excess fat gathered in the area around the midriff. You can have a stomach overhang for various reasons. Some of them are listed below

Whatever your reason might be, you can do several things to get rid of stomach overhang or apron belly.

Why Should You Get Rid Of Stomach Overhang Belly Fat?

Visceral fat is associated with a host of serious medical comorbidities. These include:

  • metabolic abnormalities such as diabetes
  • cardiovascular disease
  • cancer.

But the question is, how to get rid of the overhang?

How To Get Rid Of Stomach Overhang?

You cannot expect that hundreds of sit-ups or squats only will help you tighten your tummy. Reduction of fat requires a combination of physical activities and a proper diet. There are both surgical and non-surgical options available to serve this purpose.


One of the best ways to get rid of stomach overhang is a surgery called abdominoplasty. This helps you tighten the stomach muscles and removes excess skin and fatty tissues from the middle and lower abdominal regions. Although it is an effective method, the only downsides are that it can’t be performed on overweight women, and also, the procedure is expensive. But the good news is there still are many ways to get rid of the overhang without surgery. 

Here are 10 ways to reduce your belly fat without surgery.

1. Physical Activity

This does not refer to going to the gym or weight training. It simply means that you have to stay more physically active throughout the day. Some activities that can help you become more physically active are

  • Walk more
  • Skip the elevator and escalator
  • Do more chores
  • Use a pedometer
  • Pick an active hobby, like gardening

2. Cool Sculpting

Coolsculpting is a non-surgical approach to getting rid of the apron belly. In this method, fat cells are crystallized using precisely controlled cooling which is applied to the stomach area. The fat is naturally eliminated from your body and you will be left with a sculpted stomach.

3. Full-body exercises

Unlike abdominal exercises such as planks and crunches, full-body exercises, like squats activate many muscle groups at once. Full-body exercises help in the reduction of your stomach overhang faster than abs exercises.

4. Essential fatty acid to balance your hormones

If you don’t eat enough fats the cells won’t function properly, and as a result, it will become harder to lose your belly fat. Essential fatty acids have three main functions

  1. balancing your hormones
  2. improve overall health
  3. help the body absorb more nutrients.

Some sources of essential fatty acids

  • Non-vegetarian- Fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring.
  • Vegetarian- Flaxseeds, walnuts, almonds, dark green leafy veggies, and olive oil.

5. Avoid stress

There are numerous ways to actively reduce your stress levels, such as:

  • Massage (especially aromatherapy)
  • Reading a book
  • Meditation/ Yoga
  • Avoiding caffeine
  • Proper sleep cycle (7-8 hours of sleep)
  • Exercising – making sure it’s something you enjoy!
  • Spending time outside
  • Listening to music
  • Spending time with friends
  • A weekend getaway

6. Stay hydrated

Drinking sufficient water will not only help you to get rid of belly fat but also helps skin elasticity. This prevents loose skin after weight loss. It is recommended to drink at least 2 liters of water every day. If you are physically active, you can also drink 3 liters of water. Carrying a bottle of water with you everywhere you go helps you increase your daily water intake.

7. Compression

Abdominal compression won’t get rid of the stomach overhang completely but it’ll help flatten the belly. It is mostly used by women after childbirth as it helps to restore your scar after a C-section.

8. Say no to sugar and alcohol

Did you know that 85% of processed foods contain sugar? The worst thing about sugar is that it increases your craving for junk food. Excessive calories from sugar and alcohol do nothing but make your belly bigger.

9. Work on your posture

Poor and stunted posture can make your stomach overhang look bigger. So it is important to work on your posture. An upright posture not only helps your belly look smaller but also strengthens the core.

10. Cardio

Combining cardio with full-body exercise can help you lose weight faster. Doing cardio will help you lose your belly fat and keep your heart healthy. You can choose from high-intensity and low-intensity cardio or can do simple workouts like treadmill, running, and swimming.

What Food Items Do You Need To Cut Down To Reduce Stomach Overhang?

You can spend 1 hour a day in the gym every day. But if you come home and binge on a bag of potato chips, it is going to be impossible to lose your stomach overhang. Here is a list of 8 items that you must cut off to reduce stomach overhang:

  1. Milk and milk products
  2. Potato chips and other fried foods
  3. Soft drinks and alcohol
  4. Processed baked goods
  5. Margarine
  6. White flour and rice
  7. Portions of cereal
  8. Refined sugars and sweeteners

The Bottomline

Without surgery, it may seem hard to lose belly fat. But the truth is, small lifestyle changes can help you achieve big results- if you are consistent. The combination of a healthy diet and exercise can be a great step to lose your stomach overhang. Replace processed food with plant-based food for better results.

Having a stomach overhang may seem like the end of the world, but it’s not. If you follow the right strategies you’ll be on track to losing your apron belly all together!

Stomach Overhang FAQs

1) How do I get rid of my overhang belly?

Various surgical and non-surgical options can help you lose your belly fat. Physical activities, cool sculpting, adding essential fats to your diet, and cardio are some of the methods.

2) How do you get rid of saggy belly and love handles?

Full-body workouts, cutting out sugar and alcohol, physical activities, reduced stress, and proper sleep can help you tone your saggy belly and love handles.

3) Why is my stomach so protruded?

If you have a protruding belly, it can be a result of an apron belly. The other common causes are trapped gas or overeating. Bloating can cause abdominal distention, which is a visible swelling or extension of your belly.

4) What causes a saggy belly?

Pregnancy and weight fluctuations also result in a sagging lower abdomen. Although the cause of such a condition cannot be attributed to one factor only, an unhealthy lifestyle typically contributes to it.

5) What is it called when your stomach sticks out?

During pregnancy, your abdominal muscles significantly stretch and weaken. This is called an overhanging belly or apron belly. You may require some additional local exercises to get back in shape. It is also possible that your stomach sticks out due to the phenomenon called diastasis recti.
Dr. Abby Morris

Dr. Abby Morris

As a postpartum doula, Abby helps birth givers navigate parenthood in their postpartum period by providing infant and maternal care. She is also a sleep consultant for families who struggle with all thing sleep from newborn to toddlers.

On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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