The "apron" is the area of fat around the lower abdomen that tends to hang over the waistband of your pants or skirt. Lack of muscle tone and excess weight can lead to the development of a fat apron on your body. Although you can't target fat loss to your abdominal area, you can lose weight all over and get rid of your fat apron. The best way to do this is with a safe rate of weight loss achieved through diet and exercise, while engaging in strength-training exercises to tone the abdominal area.
A loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week will help you lose your fat apron and other body fat, and help you keep it off. Half of this weight loss can be achieved through healthy eating and a reduction in calories. Women should never consume less than 1,200 calories and men should never consume less than 1,400, but you can cut 250 to 500 calories from your daily intake to lose 1/2 to 1 pound per week. A simple and painless way to do this is by switching out your regular soda for diet soda, water or herbal tea. You can also opt for yellow mustard on your sandwiches instead of fat- and calorie-laden mayonnaise or barbecue sauce.
Aerobic Exercise to Burn Calories
To lose 1/2 to 1 pound weekly through exercise and help get rid of your fat apron, you must burn 500 calories daily through aerobics. There are many different aerobic activities, and it's important to participate in one or more that you enjoy so you'll be more likely to stick with it. Two hours of brisk walking, yoga or working in your garden will burn approximately 500 calories. Alternatively, you can burn the same amount of calories to lose body fat by swimming, riding your bicycle or jogging for one hour each day.
Include Fat-Burning Intervals
Adding intervals into your aerobic workouts is an effective way to increase the calorie- and fat-burning benefits, finds the Mayo Clinic. The higher rate of exertion you expend with interval training helps your body burn more calories, which translates into more efficient fat burning for you. Incorporate intervals into your aerobic exercise routine by adding higher intensity spurts. If you walk, add a 30- to 60-second jog after walking for four to five minutes. If you swim, bike or jog, simply increase your pace for 30 to 60 seconds every four or five minutes.
Strength training is an essential part of slimming down your belly area and all over. As you build muscle with total-body strength training, your body will burn calories more efficiently, leading to more weight loss for you. The addition of strength-training exercises that target the abdominal area will help you achieve a toned, firm belly area as you lose weight. Situps are an excellent way to tone your abdominal muscles without the need for any exercise equipment, but you can also flatten your abdominal muscles with single- or double-leg squats. Standing broad jumps engage the abdominal muscles as well. Perform them by standing in a squat position with your arms extended in front of you. Jump forward, landing squarely on your feet with your knees bent. Do abdominal muscle exercises every other day, performing enough repetitions to tire out the muscles.
- American Council on Exercise: Why Is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- Harvard Medical School: Abdominal Fat and What to Do About It
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Common-Sense Strategies to Long-Term Weight Loss
- Georgia State University: Physical Activity
- Mayo Clinic: Rev Up Your Workout with Interval Training
- University of Rochester Medical Center: Lifting Your Way to Weight Loss
- Fitness Magazine: Flatter Abs ASAP
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.