How Belly Fat Affects Your Health

While you regularly hear women lamenting the woes of “thunder thighs” or “arm flab,” you rarely, if ever, hear men complain of the same issues. While culturally men and women view their bodies differently, nature also plays a role in this. When women gain weight, their fat storage goes to different areas of the body than their male peers. In fact, women store nearly 5-10% more body fat than men which is nature’s way of preparing for childbearing. However, men store fat as well and while men’s fat storage most typically heads to their abdominal area, it can actually be very dangerous for men to be overweight.  There are a variety of issues you should take into consideration if you are a man who has those extra pounds lingering around your belly.

 

How to Know if You Are Carrying an Unhealthy Amount of Weight

So how do you know if you are carrying around too much belly fat? According to the Mayo Clinic website, the following is the most effective way to measure and decipher if your weight is unhealthy.

  • Take a measuring tape and place it on your bare skin right above the hip bone.
  • Stretch the tape measure all the way around until it touches but is not snug around your body, making sure the tape is level all the way around.
  • If your waist size is greater than 40 inches your health may be at risk.

 

Health Complications Associated With Belly Fat

While you may not be particularly thrilled with your weight gain aesthetically, it’s actually what’s going on inside your body that should have you even more concerned. Here is a list of the most common complications associated with belly fat.

Heart Disease: This is the main concern for men when it comes to overall health. Heart disease can be caused by a variety of other factors, but fortunately your risks can be lowered by breaking bad habits and creating healthy new ones. These bad habits include smoking, drinking excess amounts of alcohol, poor stress management as well as eating and unhealthy diet.

Certain Cancers: While not all types of cancers are brought on by weight gain, eating a healthy diet and remaining at an appropriate BMI for your age and height can help you reduce your chances of developing certain types of cancer.

Insulin Complications: Overeating and weight gain can lead to problems in insulin regulation.

Stroke: This happens when your blood supply is cut off to the brain causing cells to begin dying within minutes. Often men carrying around extra weight have high cholesterol and this is one known risk factor for experiencing a stroke.

High Blood Pressure: Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is associated with obesity or being overweight. Often you can receive treatment and get the problem corrected before it gets out of hand.

What to do if Your Waist is Larger Than 40 Inches

The good news is that eating healthy and losing weight can help remedy your health problems and lower you risk of future health challenges.

Eat Well: Start to become aware of everything you are putting in your mouth. Found out the healthy calorie content for your age and size and develop a meal plan. It may be difficult to stick with this in the beginning, but you will soon begin to feel better as your body adjusts to the change.

Exercise: This is one thing that you can control as long as you put in the effort. Most people agree the toughest thing about following a fitness routine is actually getting the motivation to do it each day. Once that bridge is crossed, put in the effort and you will see (and feel) the results within weeks.


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