The Dangers Of Belly Fat In Men
Understanding Belly Fat (Visceral Fat)
Most of the fat on our bodies is subcutaneous fat which is a layer of fat just beneath the skin, but abdominal fat also includes visceral fat – visceral fat surrounds your internal organs deep within the abdomen.
Even if you are thin as a stick, if you have excess belly fat you increase the risk of:
• High blood pressure
• Sleep apnea
• Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
• Colorectal cancer
• Cardiovascular disease
Gaining Belly Fat
Your weight can be attributed to genetics and/or age but is determined and controlled by a very simple equation – Energy in minus energy out.
If you eat 1200 calories a day and your activity level only burns off 800 calories per day then you are going to gain fat.
If you eat 1200 calories a day and your activity level burns off 1300 calories a day then you are going to lose fat.
If you gain/lose fat you gain/lose it over the entire body at the same time. This includes abdominal fat. You cannot exercise and just take a bit off your butt – It just doesn’t work that way.
Alcohol And Belly Fat
Alcohol, like most other beverages contains calories, so it stands to reason if you drink too much there is a chance that you will increase your belly fat. We are all familiar with the classic beer belly in men.
Another thing with alcohol is the body metabolizes food in order of The Path of Least Resistance, it burns the easiest to convert fuel first
- Alcohol is easiest to burn, then sugars, carbohydrates, mono unsaturated fats, saturated fats, proteins etc.
Now you might think that this is a good thing because the alcohol is being burnt off rapidly, but this is not the case.
You just finished work and you are having a couple of beers at the local hotel, you have had two drinks and are feeling a little hungry so you order a hamburger for a snack.
Now remember your body will metabolize the alcohol first, when it has all of the nutrients it needs for proper function it will then store the rest for later use.
Excess calories are stored in your muscles and liver as glycogen and when these stores are full calories are stored as fat.
Soooo… If you have a couple of beers and mix high calorie foods with it you best be hitting the gym next day.
All alcohol is not the same; some research suggests wine might be an exception but the jury is still out.
Measure your belly size
• Stand comfortably and place a tape measure around your waist just above the hip bone
• Pull it gently so it doesn’t dig into the skin and give a false reading
• Breath out and measure your waist
If you measure 102 cm (40 inches) you have too much belly fat and are at a greater risk of serious health problems.
How To Lose Belly Fat
we gain and lose weight over the entire body at the same time so a healthy eating plan and moderate exercise will reduce your excess belly fat.
• Eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, protein from fish and low fat dairy. Reduce saturated fats and limit processed foods – eat polyunsaturated fats from fish and nuts instead.
• Keep an eye on your portion size, calories can add up pretty quickly
• Cut down on sugar – drink water or artificially sweetened drinks
• Get moderate physical activity 30 – 40 minutes 3 to 4 times a week (remember calories in vs calories out)
Doing crunches will help tone your abdominal muscles, but THEY WILL NOT REDUCE YOUR ABDOMINAL FAT.