The Truth About That Beer Belly
Myth #1 I’m slim everywhere else, so my belly’s not a big deal. I’m afraid that unless you’re very tall or big-boned, if you wear trousers with a waist size over 40 inches (102 cm), you’ve got double the risk for heart disease of a man the same age with a smaller waist. Fat round the midriff has been tied to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and insulin resistance. These problems together are called metabolic syndrome, which can lead to diabetes. Myth #2 It’s caused by beer. Not directly. A German study published in 2009 looked at more than 20,000 men and women and found that while knocking back beer made men put on weight, it had no relationship to a big gut. The real cause is a mix of poor eating habits (too much high-fat, high-sugar food, and not enough lean proteins and fruit and veg), too little exercise, age and genetics. So it follows that the guy who sits around a lot quaffing beer and munching snacks is at risk of a beer belly. Myth #3 Guys aren’t self-conscious about our tummies. Oh yes you are! A survey from the University of the West of England found that 80% of men talk about their bodies— mostly negative talk about their big gut—and 35% would trade a year of their life for a more streamlined, muscular shape. Myth #4 Sit-ups will soon get rid of my gut. In fact, core training won’t help you beat the bulge. What’s more, if you have a large belly and suddenly start doing abdomen exercises incorrectly, you could end up pulling muscles. Instead, focus on aerobic exercise and smaller portions.
If you lose just 5% of your body weight gradually, you’ll be better able to keep the weight off, shrink your gut and stay healthy.