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Hate your hanging belly fat? Here’s everything you need to know

Updated on:8 March 2021, 13:15pm IST
If you’re someone who is suffering from an apron or hanging belly, then here is everything you need to know to tackle it.
Geetika Sachdev
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Exercise and eat healthy to reduce an apron belly. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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As women, we undergo a series of changes in different stages of our lives. Whether it’s pregnancy, weight loss, weight gain or any other surprise, there’s a lot that’s going to come your way. You might notice that your body looks very different, from what it used to be. 

Some women also notice that there’s an excessive amount of fat, tissue and skin hanging down like an apron from their abdomen. There’s no denying that it looks unsightly, and you would want to conceal it as much as possible, but you need to tackle the issue. 

But before we talk about the solution, let’s understand what an apron belly is all about. 

Understanding an apron belly

Also called a pannus stomach or mother’s apron, it occurs when the belly and fat that surrounds the internal organs expands due to weight gain or pregnancy. This results in additional fat deposits in the omentum, which is an apron-like flap under your abdominal muscles, and in front of your intestines. 

It isn’t that everyone has the same apron belly, the size can vary. Generally, there are two causes: giving birth and gaining weight. That being said, it isn’t that it does not occur only in women who are overweight. 

Having an apron belly increases the risk of certain types of cancer, including ovarian cancer, and has been linked with higher incidence of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 

Is it possible to reduce an apron belly?

First of all, it is important to focus on overall health by consuming a healthy diet and exercising regularly. You can’t treat an apron belly separately, because it is a combination of overall weight reduction and non-surgical options. 

When you lose weight, your fat deposits get reduced. Some people might say that doing crunches and sit-ups will help. Well, it certainly will strengthen the abdominal muscles, but they won’t make your apron belly vanish. That’s because there are two layers of fat in the stomach area, which is why it is hard to lose weight!

That’s why instead of focusing on spot exercises, try and do exercises in which you move in all kinds of ways. 

Also, make sure to eat healthy foods that are low in calories, while getting in regular exercise. 

You could also go for surgical treatments, but they are often expensive. There is a process called panniculectomy that removes the pannus. It does not tighten the abdominal muscles by removing extra skin and fat, which gives you a flatter abdominal area. It can also be combined with a tummy tuck or any other abdominal procedure, if desired. 

For those who are not comfortable with this, you could go for cool sculpting, which involves minimal invasion and freezing of the unnecessary belly fat. 

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.