Pooch bellies occur when the lower abs and pelvic floor do not coordinate well together, causing the abdominal viscera to sit downward and forward. Certain body structures have a natural tendency for the abdominal contents to sit in this area.
Your genetics prefer storing fat in your stomach area
Visceral fat—the type of fat the body stores in your abdomen and around your intestines and is mostly responsible for keeping people from a flat belly—can be partly determined by genetics.
Fat cells in the stomach area have a higher amount of alpha receptors, which makes them more stubborn to get rid of. This is why when you start a fat loss program, you see results in the face, arms and chest before you lose the belly fat. Another reason may be the foods you're eating.
Pregnancy or significant weight fluctuations can create a pocket of skin and fat in the lower abdomen. This paunch is known as the panniculus, and its appearance can become more pronounced with age. A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure that removes this excess skin and fatty tissue for a slimmer stomach.
Generally, if the muscles are going to heal on their own, they will within three months of birth. If you are several months postpartum, it's likely that your diastasis recti is here to stay. Some women have had success using targeted exercises to help the muscles move closer together.
For many people, belly fat is perfectly healthy and it's extremely common (especially in women) to have belly fat in the lower abdomen, just below the belly button. (Remember, fat is just stored energy.)
It's impossible to spot treat an apron belly. The only ways to reduce one are through overall weight reduction and surgical/non-surgical options.
There are several skin tightening treatments for the stomach, such as lotions and surgery, but these are not equally effective. If you're looking for the best way to ensure optimal results for firm stomach skin, then laser skin tightening is the most effective alternative to surgery.
“In general, it can take anywhere from weeks to months—even years,” says Dr. Chen. If after one to two years skin is still loose, it may not get any tighter, she says.
Core strength workouts like Pilates, yoga, and barre can assist tighten and toning stomach muscles, which can help with loose skin appearance. Toning muscles can be achieved through cardio exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or aerobics.
A pannus stomach can occur following pregnancy or weight changes when excess skin and fat begin to hang down from the abdomen. It can cause emotional distress, but it is possible to ease the discomfort and remove a pannus stomach. When skin and fat around the abdomen hang down, it can resemble an apron.
Sometimes, excess fat around the belly is due to hormones. Hormones help regulate many bodily functions, including metabolism, stress, hunger, and sex drive. If a person has a deficiency in certain hormones, it may result in weight gain around the abdomen, which is known as a hormonal belly.