MEN’S HEALTH: 5 Ways to Reduce Belly Fat

istock_000004286619xsmall.jpgConcerned about your ever-expanding middle? You should be.

At greatest risk of developing health problems from too much hidden belly fat are men whose waists are wider than 40 inches.

What are these health risks?

  • People who have big bellies in their 40s are much more likely to get Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in their 70s.

  • Wide girths are a likely indicator of deep-hidden fat around their organs. This fat, which is called visceral or intra-abdominal fat, is linked to high cholesterol, high insulin, high triglycerides, high blood pressure and other problems such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.

What can you do to reduce your belly fat?

Eat healthy meals. No, you don’t necessarily have to go on a diet. But you do have to eat healthy food in the right proportions. Healthy meals consist of lean protein, lots of vegetables, whole grains and some fruit as close as possible to their natural state. Stay away from junk food, refined carbs and sugar. Pick foods high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Use only good fats like olive oil and avoid trans fats. Eat lean meat, poultry and lots of fish. Read this article from UC Berkeley that gives you 13 keys to a healthy diet.

 

 

Exercise. Unfortunately there’s no getting away from this one. But it doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym and spend hours exercising each day. Just a half-hour walk each day will do the trick. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far you walk in the beginning. Just get started and keep it up regularly. If you can’t walk, or don’t enjoy walking, ride a bike, rollerskate, jog, run or dance to music you love. Tai chi or Qigong work well for anyone over 50 who has difficulty with other forms of exercise. Participate in whatever activity you enjoy. That way you’re more likely to keep it up.

Strength training. Some research has shown that exercising with weights is effective in trimming tummy fat. Talk to your doctor about how to incorporate strength training in your exercise routine.

Get a good night’s rest. This may sound odd, but sleep deprivation lowers leptin, a protein that suppresses appetite and tells the brain when the stomach is full. Not getting enough sleep also inhibits the production of insulin, which regulates blood sugar.

Take the right vitamins and supplements

  • The amino acid L-Carnitine may be helpful because of its role in fat metabolism
  • Some studies have shown that Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) reduces the percentage of body fat in people who also exercise
  • Calcium aids weight loss in overweight people who eat a low calorie diet in 3 to 6 months
  • A good multi-vitamin provides basic support and essential nutrients for the body while exercising.

Get your tape measure out and if your waistline is wider than your hips, get started right away. Reducing your belly fat will not only make you look better, you’ll feel better and cut down your risk of health problems..

 

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*