Having extra weight, especially in the abdominal area, may be very risky. People who accumulate visceral fat are at increased risk of serious health problems. Men are more likely than women to gain weight around the belly area. This kind of fat is especially unsafe because the liver turns it into cholesterol and it further flows through the blood stream building up hazardous fatty plaque that keeps narrowing the arteries. This increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, high triglycerides, low levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL), metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea etc.
Measuring the belly fat
Waist size is a pretty good indicator of whether one has too much belly fat. Waist-to-hip ratio or body mass index are precise means of determining whether one fits in the risky group. For most men, risk factors increase with waist greater than 40 inches. For proper waist measurements, a tape measure should be placed around bare abdomen just above the hipbone so that it fits snugly around the body and still doesn’t push into the skin.
Genetic heritage may play a role in becoming obsessive. However, for most of the population the problem is caused by a wrong lifestyle.
Excessive alcohol use can form the so called “beer belly”, nevertheless any kind of alcohol can increase the body fat. Some studies show that vine may be an exception because of its ability to stimulate metabolic processes in the body. Limiting to two drinks a day will significantly reduce the number of consumed calories.
Reducing the fat
Unfortunately, it is not so easy to lose belly fat. Not even every kind of physical exercise can help reducing visceral fat. Strength exercises, such as sit-ups will only strengthen the underlying muscles, but they won’t be visible unless the fat is burned out. Regular aerobic exercise will help to reach the heart rate at which our body, working under pressure, burns fat. Cardio workout that lasts 30 minutes to an hour, performed every day, is enough to get slim and fit very quickly.
Healthy and nutritional diet is another essential part of every weight loss program. It should be based on calorie reduction, or reduction of portion sizes. One should avoid the intake of empty calories and substitute them with healthy foods.
Even when the targeted weight is achieved, it should be maintained through already accepted lifestyle moderations: a healthy diet and regular physical activity. It takes patients and effort but it makes a fantastic impact on looks, health, and self-esteem.