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With pregnancy and childbirth, your body goes through a lot of changes. One of the most common changes in 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 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
- Subcutaneous fat
- Visceral fat
Subcutaneous fat is the top layer of fat that stores any 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
- Weight changes
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
But the question is, how to get rid of the overhang?
How To Get Rid Of Stomach Overhang?
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 on how to get rid of stomach overhang 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 get 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 exercise.
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
- balancing your hormones
- improve overall health
- 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.
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 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.
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:
- Milk and milk products
- Potato chips and other fried foods
- Soft drinks and alcohol
- Processed baked goods
- White flour and rice
- Portions of cereal
- Refined sugars and sweeteners
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!