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Combating Belly Fat for Men's Health Week

16th Jun, 2017

Combating Belly Fat for Men's Health Week

Belly fat is a common problem amongst men; so common, there’s been a whole catalogue of names created in an attempt to lighten the situation (beer belly, 6-pack of rolls, Buddha belly etc.).

All jokes aside, belly fat can be a serious issue. That’s why it’s been made the focus of this years’ Men’s Health Week and why we thought we would share some advice on how men can shift that unwanted bulge.

When is My Tummy Too Big?

Firstly, you need to know what is classed as a hazardous waistline and how to measure yours correctly.

You have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke and erectile dysfunction if you have a waist of 37” (94cm). Your risk significantly increases again if your measurement is 40” (102cm) or over.

This measurement is different to your trouser size and can be found by measuring around your stomach, at the point of your belly button.

The Risks

In addition to the risks above, an enlarged belly can also increase your chances of the following:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Premature death from any cause
  • High blood pressure

How Do I Shift the Fat?

There are four main areas that we’re going to focus on: diet, exercise, alcohol and sleep.

Diet

You probably guessed it already, but what you put into your belly has a great impact on the fat that builds up around that area. Having a balanced diet is extremely important and there are some foods that are fantastic at keeping your belly fat down. These foods include quinoa, broccoli, asparagus, blueberries and Greek yoghurt.

Keep in mind that the recommended daily amount of saturated fat for a man is 30g; going above this will increase your chances of having extra padding around the stomach area.

Exercise

It’s important that you exercise regularly. Did you know that people who exercise frequently are half as likely to have a heart attack? Regular exercise is classed as 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week.

The best types of exercise for combating the fat on your tummy include high-intensity interval training, running, cycling or resistance (weight) training.

Alcohol

You might not like to hear this, but alcohol does encourage belly fat. The term ‘beer belly’ didn’t come from nowhere!

If you can completely cut alcohol out - great! If not, try to stay below 14 units a week. Spirits, such as tequila, rum, vodka, whiskey and gin contain fewer calories than the likes of beer or wine.

Sleep

Sleep is such a power tool. Getting plenty of it is essential in the battle of the belly fat as it gives you more energy and helps you to handle stress better - two leading factors that usually make us want to eat more. Obtaining 7-8 hours of sleep each night can also lower your chances of having a fatal heart attack by 60%!

Looking for some healthy recipes to fit your busy lifestyle? Click here.