During our lifetime, several changes occur to our bodies, including pregnancy, menopause, aging, injury, and illnesses, among others along the way that may lead to weight gain or weight loss.
Have you ever gazed in the mirror at body fat or sagging skin around your waistline that you never noticed before?
This sagging skin around your belly is called an apron belly. Choosing clothing styles that are loose and baggy can help hide it. But, there are also several remedies to help combat apron belly.
Keep reading to discover what an apron belly is and ways to reduce apron belly so that you can live a healthier lifestyle and feel better in your skin when you glance in the mirror.
What Is Apron Belly?
The extra fat that drapes from your tummy and causes you to give up your favorite jeans to a second-hand shop is called an apron belly. Apron belly can occur in men and women of any age. However, it is most common in middle-aged adults.
An apron belly consists of loose skin that hangs from your abdomen, most commonly seen in plus-sized people and post-pregnancy. Apron bellies can vary from drooping just over the waistline to past the thighs or knees.
Although apron belly commonly occurs in many people for various reasons, it is not healthy. Apron belly or pannus stomach can cause serious medical problems if left untreated, including the following:
Type Two Diabetes
People with apron bellies are prone to developing type two diabetes if their weight gain increases. Diabetes is a serious illness that usually requires medication to control and can also increase the chances of other serious, often fatal conditions.
Heart disease is another health concern for people with apron bellies. Cardiovascular diseases associated with apron bellies may include increases in heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes, and blood clots.
People who have apron bellies risk the chance of becoming obese. Obesity causes several health risks, such as mobility problems, poor self-image, and unwanted weight gain that is hard to shed.
Women with apron bellies have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. People with apron bellies of all genders are also at a higher risk for developing cancers within the body.
Having an apron belly can also lead to feelings of depression and decreased self-worth because of a poor self-image. Even though apron bellies are common among adults, depression is a common side effect of seeing the extra baggage in your midsection.
Increased Stress Levels
Stress levels can also increase in people with apron bellies as they struggle with acceptance and coping methods for dealing with their weight gain around their bellies. High-stress levels can lead to several other health issues.
People with apron bellies are also prone to developing high cholesterol. Changes in your diet can help to reduce cholesterol levels and promote a healthier lifestyle. Some ways to reduce high cholesterol are to limit your intake of sugar and processed foods.
Apron belly can cause an increase in abdominal and back pain due to carrying around excessive weight. Back pain can adversely affect your lifestyle and limit your mobility.
Getting rid of an apron belly might seem like an impossible task. However, it is not impossible. Effective methods of reducing an apron belly without resorting to surgery are available through hard work and determination to live a healthier, more active lifestyle.
How Can I Reduce Apron Belly Discomfort?
Several people of different body sizes and shapes develop apron bellies that result in physical discomfort and feelings of shame and poor self-image.
Getting rid of an apron belly can be a lengthy process. However, there are several steps you can take to reduce the discomfort of an apron belly in the meantime, including the following:
Anti-Chafing Creams and Talcum Powders
Having excess skin hanging over your abdomen can lead to sweating a skin chafing, especially in hot, humid weather. One way to help reduce skin irritation from sweating is to apply anti-chafing creams or talcum powder to the area to help keep it dry.
Support Band or Braces
Using a support band, clothing, or a brace designed to support an apron belly can not only help to conceal the excess skin, but it can also increase your comfort level and support your loose skin while keeping it in place.
Keeping the Area Clean
Keeping the area under your skin fold dry and clean is one of the best ways to reduce the discomfort of an apron belly.
Because this area is susceptible to irritations and skin rashes, regular washing with mild soap and water, rinsing, and drying well helps your skin to feel less discomfort and smell fresher.
Wearing Compression Pants
Compression pants are ideal for holding your belly in and reducing the discomfort associated with an apron belly. Compression pants can even reduce the size of your apron belly.
How Can I Get Rid of Apron Belly?
Having an apron belly can make you look and feel unattractive and pose several health risks. Thankfully, there are some effective treatment methods to help reduce apron belly and help promote a healthier lifestyle.
Getting at least 20 minutes of continuous exercise a day is not only beneficial for your overall health but also helps to reduce your apron belly. Ideally, 40 to 60 minutes of daily exercise in total daily will tackle your apron belly to the curb.
It doesn’t matter what exercises you choose to do, as long as you get 20 minutes of continuous exercise daily and 40 to 60 minutes in total per day. Some types of exercise that can help to combat apron belly may include:
Cardio exercises are beneficial for losing weight on your entire body. Although cardio doesn’t concentrate solely on your apron belly, when you lose weight in general, your belly fat will also start to disappear.
Sit-ups and crunchies are ideal for toning muscles. But they won’t reduce body fat on their own without cardio exercises that burn fat.
Eating a Healthy Diet
To lose belly fat, start by eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and fiber. Avoid sugary foods, processed foods, and high-calorie drinks that are fried, cooked in oil, or full of sugar.
Other foods to cut down on when trying to lose belly fat include processed snacks, whole dairy products, and refined grains. Alcohol is also high in calories and should be avoided if you want to lose your apron belly.
Instead, eat a diet rich in low-calorie foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, eggs, poultry and fish, and beans.
By changing your diet and paying closer attention to the foods you eat, you will quickly start noticing your belly fat going down in size.
Other benefits of eating a healthy diet, include the following:
- An increase in energy levels
- Clearer skin
- Better overall health
Drink Plenty of Water
Another tip for losing your apron belly is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Experts recommend drinking at least three liters of water daily to lose weight. That is 13 cups of water per day.
Drinking lots of water also helps to suppress your appetite, so you will eat less. Drinking that much water per day seems like an impossible task. However, if you break it down to a few cups of water at a time, it seems more manageable.
Try drinking two cups of water when you first wake up in the morning, followed by two cups with each meal, and bring water with you on your walks, or during exercise routines throughout the day.
You can invest in a large water bottle that you can carry along with you on your travels throughout the day. You will soon learn that drinking 13 cups of water a day is doable.
Get Sufficient Rest
Getting adequate rest at night goes a long way to help combat apron belly. Being well-rested will also give you the energy needed to maintain a regular exercise routine throughout the day that will help you lose weight and look your best.
Most adults should get between seven to nine hours of sleep each night to wake up feeling well-rested and ready for their weight-loss journey.
If you are one of those people who find it difficult to fall asleep at night, here are some ideas to try to help you get better sleep:
- Keep your room dark with black-out curtains
- Play background music or white noise to help you fall asleep
- Avoid vigorously exercising right before bed
- Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeinated drinks in the late afternoon and evening
Many stressed people tend to overeat as a coping mechanism. Stress is one of the leading causes of obesity and belly aprons in several people.
Reducing your stress levels can help to maintain a healthy weight and reduce your apron belly. Here are some effective ways to eliminate stress and help get rid of apron bellies:
- Meditation, yoga, or exercise
- Spending time with family and friends
- Taking short breaks from work or stressful situations
- Taking a holiday
Take Time For You
A typical day in the life of an adult is hectic and doesn’t leave much time left to concentrate on yourself. Take time to do the things you love, such as watching a favorite show, reading a book, or chatting with a friend.
Taking care of your mental health is just as important as exercise and dieting to combat belly fat. When we are depressed, many of us tend to eat more rather than watch our diets.
Medical and Surgical Methods of Treating Apron Belly
If you have tried losing your apron belly through the methods listed above and nothing seems to work, talk to your doctor about other alternatives including medical and surgical treatment methods that are right for you.
Sometimes after losing weight, many people have loose skin left over where their belly apron once was. Your doctor may have surgical solutions or recommendations to help you treat this condition. Some medical treatments your doctor might recommend may include:
- Laser surgery
- Cool sculpting procedure
- Panniculectomy or removal of the pannus
In this article, we have touched on the basics of getting rid of belly aprons. Here are some more popular questions and answers to give you further information on the subject.
Is it impossible to spot treat an apron belly?
The best way to conquer an apron belly is to do cardio exercises that target your overall body and help you to lose weight. Once you have lost weight, then you can start spot treating the flabby skin left behind and tone your abdominal muscles.
What causes an apron belly?
There are several cases of an apron belly including eating an unhealthy diet, over-eating, poor sleeping habits, poor exercise habits, and health-related problems, such as obesity, genetics, or pregnancy.
Do apron bellies mostly affect older women?
Apron bellies can occur in all ages in males or females. However, many women are prone to apron belly after they reach menopause.
Why do I have an apron belly but I’m not fat?
An apron belly can sometimes be caused by hormone changes, bloating, and other medical problems that occur in otherwise normal-weight people.
What foods help burn belly fat?
Some foods that help to burn belly fat include:
- Green vegetables
- Lean poultry
If you glance in the mirror and notice an extra layer of skin hanging from your belly, it’s most likely an apron belly. Apron bellies are common among many adults and are no reason to feel embarrassed or ashamed.
If it is uncomfortable, there are several remedies to help minimize your discomfort, such as wearing comfortable clothing, using anti-chafing creams, and keeping the area clean and dry.
The good news is that apron belly is treatable by using some of the suggestions mentioned in this article, such as exercise, dieting, getting plenty of sleep, and making time for yourself.