One of the most frustrating parts about losing weight for ladies and achieving the body your dreams is looking in the mirror and seeing that your stomach has what is commonly termed the tummy overhang, the pouch, or most affectionately of all, the mother’s apron. No matter how much weight you lose or how much the needle on the scales falls, when you look in the mirror you still see what can only be described as a deflated balloon looking back at you!
So, what can be done about this most frustrating of fat deposits? Well, the good news is that you can leap over this final weight loss hurdle but you’re going to have to work pretty hard for it.
- UNDERSTANDING THE OVERHANG
- Tips On How To Get Rid Of Stomach Overhang Without Surgery
- WHAT CAUSES STOMACH OVERHANG?
UNDERSTANDING THE OVERHANG
To beat the “overhang” will first help to understand it. The most important thing to note is that belly fat is made up of not one, but two types of fat, which is why losing belly fat is tougher than losing fat off our arms or legs (which is made up of only one layer of fat).
Visceral fat however is much more active below the surface which plays havoc with your insulin resistance levels and can lead to more complicated health issues, which is yet another very good reason to work at losing “overhang” stomach fat.
Tips On How To Get Rid Of Stomach Overhang Without Surgery
A hanging belly is common among women, especially after childbirth. However, men can have it too, especially heavy alcohol drinkers.
Surgery may be the quickest way to get rid of stomach overhang, but it’s very risky and costly. Luckily, it’s not the only option, you can get rid of belly overhang naturally.
Stomach overhang is a combination of visceral and subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat surrounds the intensities and other internal organs. This type of fat has been linked to heart disease, some types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
Subcutaneous fat lies right under the skin – it’s the fat you feel when you grab your belly.
Stomach overhang is usually caused by excess visceral fat. The good news is visceral fat is easier to lose compared to subcutaneous fat since it’s metabolically active.
Even though it’s not possible to specifically target your belly for fat loss, using the tips below will lower your body fat percentage and consequently get rid of your stomach overhang.
1. INCREASE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
I’m not talking about exercising at the gym or doing short home workouts. I’m asking you to be more physically active throughout the day. Research shows that increasing activity can reduce belly fat and improve overall health.
This means sitting less and standing up more. Some of the things you can do to increase physical activity include:
- Walk more: Walk to the grocery store, walk your dog, or walk up to a co-worker instead of calling.
- Take the stairs: Avoiding elevators and escalators can help you burn many calories by the end of the day.
- Do more chores: Doing some of your partner’s chores is an easy way to become more active.
- Gardening: Doing yard work will get you moving and probably tone your muscles.
- Use a pedometer: A pedometer will make it easier to track steps and encourage you to walk more every day.
2. DO FULL-BODY EXERCISES
Doing crunches and planks won’t get rid of stomach overhang. It’ll only tone your abdominal muscles, which are covered by subcutaneous fat.
Full-body exercises reduce belly overhang faster than ab exercises. Exercises like squats burn lots of calories since they activate many muscle groups at once.
Focus on exercises that target the biggest muscle groups – legs, glutes, back, arm, and shoulders. Training these muscles increases muscle mass and metabolism fast.
In fact, you don’t even have to exercise for hours, these 28 stunningly simple workouts will flatten your belly in just 15 minutes a day.
3. ADD ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS TO YOUR DIET
Essential fatty acids will help balance your hormones and improve overall health. Additionally, essential fats help the body absorb more nutrients.
When we don’t eat enough fats the cells don’t function properly, and as a result, it becomes harder to lose belly fat.
Wild-caught fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring are good sources of omega 3s. If you’re vegetarian, get fatty acids from flaxseeds, walnuts, almonds, dark green leafy veggies, and olive oil. Alternatively, you can take fish oil supplements.
4. TRY COMPRESSION
Abdominal compression garments can be particularly helpful after childbirth. They won’t get rid of the stomach overhang completely but they’ll help flatten the belly and restore your scar (after C-section).
Even though there aren’t studies to back this method, many people swear that it works. Jessica Alba (the actress) revealed that wearing a double corset day and night for 3 months helped her shrink her postpartum belly and waist.
5. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Drinking enough water doesn’t just help get rid of stomach overhang, it improves skin elasticity and prevents loose skin after weight loss.
Drink at least 2 liters of water a day. However, you may need to drink 3 liters if you’re physically active and exercise regularly.
Carrying a water bottle with you everywhere you go will enable you to drink more water. Get this BPA-free water bottle if you don’t already have one.
Drinking a glass of water 15 minutes before every meal will help you curb hunger and prevent overeating.
6. CUT DOWN ON ALCOHOL AND SUGAR
Excess calories from sugar and alcohol make the belly bigger. And the worst thing about sugary foods is they increase cravings for junk food.
Avoid alcohol and sugary foods completely or eat them in moderation. Note that 85 percent of processed foods contain sugar. So eat natural foods most of the time.
7. LOWER YOUR CALORIE INTAKE
You can’t lose belly overhang unless you maintain a calorie deficit. If you don’t know the number of calories you consume in a day, start tracking your calories.
Download calorie-tracking apps like MyfitnessPal or Lose it! These apps will help you know for sure if you’re on a calorie deficit or not.
Now, don’t be discouraged if you think tracking calories is too hectic. You only need to do it for a few weeks until you learn to estimate calories. Once you know the calorie content of the foods you eat regularly, you’ll be able to track your total daily intake with ease.
Start with a deficit of 500 calories. If you’re not losing, increase your deficit by 100-200 calories after every 7 days, until you start losing weight.
8. BALANCE YOUR HORMONES
Did you know that hormonal imbalance can increase belly fat? Research shows that high cortisol levels cause the accumulation of fat around the abdominal area.
High insulin levels have also been shown to promote fat accumulation and prevent fat loss.
Here are a few things you can do to balance your hormones:
- Limit caffeine intake
- Get enough sleep
- Eat nutrient-dense foods
- Eat enough healthy fats
9. WORK ON YOUR POSTURE
Poor posture can make your hanging belly appear bigger. So work on maintaining an upright posture.
Strengthening your core will keep your upper body upright, which in return will make your belly look smaller.
Here are home exercises to help correct bad posture. Yoga also helps improve posture.
10. DO CARDIO
Combining cardio with full-body exercises will help get rid of belly overhang fast. Cardio helps burn belly fat and improves heart health.
WHAT CAUSES STOMACH OVERHANG?
A stomach overhang can be caused by a number of reasons, including:
- Weight changes
One thing’s for sure – no one should have to suffer the distress caused by stomach overhang. The good news is that there are things you can do to either remove stomach overhang completely or considerably reduce it.
The primary cause of stomach overhang is excess fat gathered in the area around the midriff. If you wish to remove this fat, you need to reduce the fat both on the surface and also around your organs.
The ideal scenario is to reduce or remove the fat, then tone the stomach area.
The best way of getting rid of stomach overhang is a surgical procedure known as abdominoplasty, which will remove it completely.
This procedure tightens the stomach muscles and removes excess skin and fatty tissues from the middle and lower abdominal regions. Liposuction is often performed alongside abdominoplasty for the best results.
Abdominoplasty can’t be performed on very overweight patients, so if you are considerably overweight you will need to lose weight until you are within several pounds of your ideal weight before the procedure can be carried out.
Opt for CoolSculpting
For a non-surgical approach to getting rid of stomach overhang, consider a course of CoolSculpting treatments.
CoolSculpting is carried out without anesthetic and there’s no downtime necessary after the procedure. Precisely controlled cooling is delivered to the stomach area, crystallizing the fat cells which are then naturally eliminated from your body. You’re left with a sculpted stomach, with no side effects from surgery.
CoolSculpting is also ideal to treat stubborn areas such as the upper arms, inner and outer thighs, and even under the chin.