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The overhang – understand it and get rid of it

It’s one of the questions we see ALL THE TIME in The Healthy Mummy community;

‘How do I lose my mummy tummy?’

One of the most frustrating parts about losing weight, losing stomach fat and achieving the body your dreams is looking in to the mirror and seeing what is commonly termed “the overhang”, “the pouch” or most affectionately of all, “the mother’s apron”.

So what can be done about this most frustrating of fat deposits? Well the good news is that thanks to the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge you can leap over this final weight loss hurdle – the bad news is that you’re going to have to work pretty hard for it.

What exactly is “the overhang”?

The most important thing to understand is that belly fat is made up of not 1, but 2 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).

stomach fat explained

1. Subcutaneous Fat

The top layer is called the subcutaneous fat and this sits on top and is the soft, cushy fat that you can touch, feel and see staring back at you in the mirror.

Subcutaneous fat simply stores unused calories around our waistline in the event that one day you will be threatened with starvation and your will body will need an excess calorie supply to survive. Basically to lose the “overhang” you need to overcome thousands of years of human evolution dating back to caveman times when the threat of over eating was less prevalent.

2. Visceral fat

The ‘hidden’ fat underlying the subcutaneous fat is called visceral fat and this surrounds our vital organs which can cause health implications such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Visceral fat is referred to as “active fat” because it can actively play 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.

Health Experts say women with a waist measures 80cm or larger are at risk for health problems from visceral fat, for men its 94cm or more.

How to lose “the overhang”?

Lose that overhang

The key to ridding your body of both Visceral fat and Subcutaneous fat and ultimately the dreaded overhang is very simple: You need to move – A LOT AND OFTEN! This does not mean doing endless crunches, sit-ups and planks – although these are great exercises when included into a well rounded diet and exercise routine, you cannot use them to isolate weight loss or target areas.

To help bust this myth a little further it will help to learn that when you perform a crunch or sit up exercise you’re in fact only working the abdominal muscles which lie beneath the fat on your stomach – the fat on top however is doing little to no work at all and has the intention of going nowhere fast!

As such isolating only the abdominals will have absolutely no bearing on the removal of the fat above it as the abdominal muscle and the fat above it are not directly related, other than by being closely positioned anatomically. I know – how can this be?

The simple fact is that fat is stored energy (calories) just waiting to be burned whether it is located on your stomach, legs, bum or arms, and in 99% of cases when you exercise the last fat to get burned is from your bum and stomach (blame evolution again).

Many people still believe in the concept of spot reduction i.e. Asking your body to only remove fat from one area of your body e.g. removing fat from your legs when you perform a squat or removing fat from your stomach when you perform a crunch but unfortunately this is not yet possible. For now we have to play by mother nature’s rules.

What we do know is that when we exercise or perform physical activity our body burns energy (calories/excess fat) from all over our body without bias.

The areas that it will first start to burn is often genetically predetermined, but for most people and especially women the bum and stomach areas are the last places to see the fat burning take place.

This is why abdominal muscles are often the last muscles to make an appearance on your new lighter body when following the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge as they’ve been hiding under both your subcutaneous and visceral belly fat even though you’ve performed a thousand crunches!

Want to see what the recipes in the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge are like? Grab our FREE recipe packs here.

So where does this leave my overhang?

Great work Sophie Barrett! Sophie says: "This is a journey towards better health - we all have a starting point, and the "after" pics you often see are months of hard work. I know starting can be scary, daunting and quite simply HARD. But starting is the hardest part - stop putting it off waiting for a sign, because that's just wasted time that you could be working towards your goals. Just think where you could be in a few short months! The Healthy Mummy hasn't just changed my body, it's changed my life! No longer do I hide or miss out on the fun things because I'm too tired, too big or too ashamed of myself. I am HAPPY, I am healthy and I am strong - and those are the gifts worth fighting for. So start your journey today!"

If you’ve read up to this point you’ve probably realised there is no ONE miracle exercise that will remove excess overhang, however the great news is that if you combine multiple exercises such as walking, jogging, squats, push-ups, crunches and any of the hundreds and hundreds of different movements that your body can perform (and which we show you on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge) your stubborn, seemingly immovable “overhang” will be on borrowed time.

The key point to remember is that it will take time but if you keep going, it will be worth it!

And remember small amounts of progress is still progress so don’t ever ever give up. Remember to take measurements too and don’t just live by the scales.

Bust belly fat on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Want to shift your baby weight but feel like you have NO TIME in your day to exercise and eat healthily? That’s where the Healthy Mummy’s 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge can help.

Our Challenge entails: 

  • 28 days of at home exercise routines (no gym needed) – with video instruction
  • Customisable and breastfeeding friendly meal plans
  • Time-efficient exercises for busy mums – under 30 mins
  • Challenge combines Pilates exercises with interval and circuit training (HIIT)
  • Suitable for basic to advanced fitness levels.
  • Home to thousands of EASY-TO-MAKE recipes.

Find out more about joining the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.

PLUS – connect with THOUSANDS of other mums on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge by joining our free support community here.

Want to see what the recipes in the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge are like? Grab our FREE recipe packs here.


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