Posted by: FA | 2008/06/09

Belly fat


I have a fat belly. I've heard stories that it is because of drinking too much beer, inactivity etc.

What is the real cause of men getting fat bellies and whaT should I do to get rid of the unwanted belly fat?

Plz tell me


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Our expert says:
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It's quite complex, and probably not 100% understood, but the cause, to oversimplify a lot, is that men and women tend to store fat in different areas, as a result of genetics. Then, what happens is that if your overall energy intake is too high, relative to how much energy you use (for example,if you eat a lot of fatty foods, and don't exercise), then you store that extra energy as fat. This is where genetics comes in, because men store it in the stomach, woman often on the thighs.

So the problem is the same - too much energy in, not enough out. It's just the result that is different.

The solution then, is to correct the initial problem, which is energy related. The mistake people make is that they try to target the muscle group, often at the expense of doing the whole body exercise that is actually more effective. That's not to say that focus on a muscle group or area is bad, because you need it, but it's better to do whole body exercise. The exercise is cardio training - like running, walking, cycling, swimming, taebo, aerobics etc. Anything that is cardiovascular gets the heart pumping and energy burning is most effective. It is just a question of how you use these cardio sessions. I would suggest at least 4 days a week of cardio training, each session lasting about 30 to 45 minutes, AT LEAST. You have to build up this duration and then keep at it consistently in order to see change.

The specific exercises for the area in question have a relatively minor role, other than that they are responsible for developing the muscle in the area, which creates the appearance of being toned. That's obviously what you want, but you have to realise that you can't do the toning and specific work first and neglect the cardio - it has to work the other way around, cardio first, toning second. So focus on cardio, then on toning.

Diet is also very crucial, and if it's not 100% it will undermine any exercise benefits. So the best thing is to see a dietician or follow a very good diet plan. Just remember that low kilojoule is not necessarily better - too low causes problems as well, because it causes the body's metabolic rate to drop and that affects your ability to lose weight in the future. So don't try to starve yourself or go overboard, rather eat sensibly, cut out as much fat as you can, and listen to your body.

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Bobby | 2008/06/13

I Am 47 Yrars old and I am stating to develpoe a large somach. Diet wise I eat a clot a lot of chocolart. Can you please avise me of a training progrsn tis ik traininfg schedule I can foow ti trause this fat choconst

Reply to Bobby

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