Belly fat, also referred to as a "beer belly" or "beer gut" is a common problem in men as they age. Ageing equals muscle loss, particularly for those that do not exercise. Muscle loss can slow the rate at which the body burns calories, according to Mayo Clinic, and increased caloric intake combined with a lack of physical activity results in an expanding waistline. Combat belly fat by reducing calorie intake as well as developing an exercise regimen.
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Add cardiovascular exercise to your routine. Work out five or six times per week for 30 minutes, concentrating on activities such as walking, jogging, biking or swimming. While strength training is important to build strong muscles, cardio workouts burn fat. Even if you can't fit the ideal amount of exercise into your daily routine, any exercise helps, so even 15 minutes walks is better than nothing.
Perform sit-ups or crunches to strengthen abdominal walls and define muscles. Start slowly and work towards a goal of 50 repetitions, then 100.
Tense your stomach muscles throughout the day and try drawing your naval into your spine. Perform these exercises anywhere, anytime, including when sitting and standing.
Reduce your portion size at meals. You must burn more calories than you consume to lose weight, so read ingredient labels carefully. Replace items like fatty meats, unhealthy dressings, sugary snacks and soda with fish, natural dressings, fruit and water. Eat more healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil and nuts. Whole grain breads and cereals are good options as they are low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates.
Eat five or six small meals throughout the day and record your calorie intake. This is a much healthier option than eating one big meal.
Tips and warnings
- Limit alcoholic beverages to two a day to reduce calorie consumption.
- Drink lots of water throughout the day, which will keep you feeling full.
- Always eat breakfast, which will raise your metabolism for the entire day.
- Eat and chew slowly and drink more water with meals.
- Men with excess belly fat are at an increased risk for assorted diseases and conditions including diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnoea, metabolic syndrome, abnormal lipids and insulin resistance.
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