Unlike women who can store fat in their hips, when men gain weight, they usually store the fat on their belly.
The result is a potbelly. This situation is also known as abdominal obesity or central obesity. In this case the fat accumulates around the waist resulting in a serious condition even if the person’s weight is considered acceptable according to the BMI range.
After the belly becomes full of fat, any additional fat might be stored in other parts of the body. The abdominal fat includes subcutaneous fat, that is the fat below the skin, and visceral fat, that is the fat between the organs.
Visceral fat is associated with a number of diseases such as hypertension, Insulin resistance (Type 2 Diabetes), heart diseases and even cancers. Therefore we should consider the factors that lead to this belly fat for our own sake.
Men accumulate belly fat for many reasons.
A sedentary lifestyle has been one of the main causes of potbellies for men. If a person does not exert enough physical activity on a daily basis, there will be an imbalance between his energy used and his food intake. The result will be a potbelly since fat tends to accumulate on the belly in men.
In the last few decades and especially in the western world, many men spend most of their time at their desks. If these men don’t exercise often enough, they are likely to develop belly fat.
Age is also a factor when it comes to fat accumulation. Men over the age of 40 tend to gain belly fat faster due to changes in their metabolism. The older a man gets, the more easily fat can be accumulated on his belly.
Also as men age, they start losing their muscle tissue. The less the muscle tissue they have on their body, the less calories can be used by the body. If a man does not participate in physical activities to build up his muscle tissue, then belly fat is sure to form.
Beer belly is a term that we commonly hear. A beer belly is a bulging belly that appears in men by drinking to much alcohol or beer. There seems to be an association between alcohol and beer belly, at least in popular folklore. Alcohol and beer have a lot of calories per glass and should only be drunk in moderation. The more a man ages, the less alcohol he should drink to stay fit and healthy.
In addition genetic factors have a great impact on potbellies. Some people have a genetic tendency to gain more weight and can have potbellies faster than other men. However these people can still enjoy a healthy figure if they follow a healthy lifestyle balancing their diet and activity wisely.
Unhealthy diets can definitely lead to potbellies.
Sweets and red meat are known to contribute to belly fat in men. Whereas healthy fats such as olive oils and omega 3 can reduce the fat storage in the body, a man should consume sufficient fruits and dark-leafy vegetables and reasonable amounts of nuts and seeds for their essential fatty acids. The food intake should be balanced compared to the average exerted physical activity. Also men need less food consumption as they age due to the muscle tissue loss.
Stress is a leading cause of belly fat especially in our fast-paced life and hectic schedules. When men are stressed, their bodies tend to release cortisol. This usually appears in the form of craving for carbohydrates and fats during stress. Long intervals of stress often lead cortisol to cause long intervals of elevated blood sugar and to encourage the storage of visceral fat. The result is potbelly and a tendency for insulin resistance and thus type 2 diabetes.
Testosterone is also somehow linked to abdominal obesity in men. Some studies claim that low levels of testosterone cause abdominal obesity because they lead men to lose muscle cells. While other studies state that it is the abdominal obesity that leads to lower levels of testosterone. While the debates are still going on regarding which of these causes the other, a link is believed to exist between testosterone level and belly fat.
Unlike women, belly fat in men has no physiological benefits. It has many hidden risks and it is often stubborn fat that is hard to lose. When we know the source of this fat, we understand why it is there in the first place and know what should be done to lose it before it is too late.
A healthy and lean figure is the dream of many men, and simple facts should be known about what hinders that perfect shape.