How to beat a beer belly
First the good news: Beer may not be to blame for the, er, ballooning belly your guy has acquired with age. A study done in the Czech Republic, which tops the world in beer drinking (per-person consumption there is about 156 quarts a year compared with 108 quarts in the U.S.), found no connection between the beloved national beverage and beer bellies.
You may also be able to let him off the hook in the willpower department. Research suggests that some beer bellies are genetically programmed. An Italian study showed that men with a certain genetic variant are more than twice as likely to become overweight and develop beer bellies as other guys if they don’t watch what they eat and exercise regularly.
But most of the time the problem isn’t in the genes and has little to do with beer. The cause of that growing gut is usually a lot simpler: Eating too much and exercising too little. Unfortunately, having a beer belly isn’t a trivial concern. “Abdominal obesity,” the fat that collects around the middle, increases a man’s odds of developing heart disease, diabetes, some types of cancer, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and other health problems.
How big is too big?
A glance in the mirror will probably tell your guy all he needs to know about the state of his belly, but if “proof” is needed, here’s how to check:
- Measure around his (bare) belly between the lowest rib and just above the hipbone.
- To determine the size of his hips, place the tape measure between the top of the hipbone and the crotch.
- To calculate waist-to-hip ratio, divide waist measurement by hip measurement. If you don’t trust your math, enter his waist and hip sizes on this website, which will do the calculation for you: www.healthstatus.com/calculate/whr.
- If his ratio is more than 0.95, it’s time to get a handle on those “love handles.”
The only way to get rid of belly fat is by losing weight. Spot exercises alone won’t work. Although sit-ups to strengthen abdominal muscles will help hold the belly in, they won’t melt the fat. On the plus side, once he does start to pare the pounds, belly fat is the first to go.
A guy’s best exercise bets are walking, jogging, biking, swimming—anything that raises the heart rate and lets him know that he is exerting himself. Of course, if a man is overweight and/or has knee or other health problems, he should check with a doctor first.
Pushing your guy to shrink that beer belly may take some effort, but his health is worth it. If he balks, remind him that the calories in 12 ounces of beer range from a low of 67 for one brand of “lite” to 210 for porter and stout. With enough exercise, and careful calorie counting, he may be able to lose the belly without giving up (all) the beer.Source: This article was submitted by John Adams of Ohio, source of the article is unknown at the moment.