6 Steps To Get Rid Of Your Belly

6 Steps To Get Rid Of Your Belly

Guys, an expanding waistline isn’t inevitable – here’s how to keep yours in check.

Beer belly. Dad bod. Pot belly. Whatever you call it, you don’t want it. Belly fat is a common problem for guys in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. But it’s not an inevitable part of getting older. Here’s how to slam the brakes on belly fat gain and keep your waistline healthier at any age.

3 Real Risks Of A Bigger Belly

Having a big belly doesn’t look (or feel) great. But the potential problems are more than visual. The trouble with fat around your stomach, waist, and lower back is that it’s not just subcutaneous (under the skin) fat. It can also be a sign of visceral fat around your internal organs. And that’s something to worry about.

  • 1 Increased risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, heart attack, or stroke
  • 2 Higher risk of type 2 diabetes
  • 3 Can contribute to sleep apnea

How Big Is Too Big?

You probably already know the truth about your belly. But these things can creep up on us. And if you’ve always been a bit overweight, you might not know what’s normal. The good news is that it’s never too late to lose some fat and bring down your waist size (yes, even if you’ve been overweight your entire adult life!) For most regular men, a waist measurement of 40’’+ (102cm) is usually too big and can point to excessive fat and the associated health risks.

How To Reduce Your Belly Fat

OK, so what can you do about it? Age isn’t an excuse. Your metabolism doesn’t slow down as you get older. What actually happens is you gradually get less active, your lifestyle changes so you sit more and move less, and your portion sizes creep up. Some healthy habit changes with activity levels, food choices, and portion sizes will see your “metabolism” move in a positive direction!

The most common culprits for belly fat in guys is lack of activity (both formal exercise, and daily activity like walking), poor sleep, high stress levels, too many calories, and booze!

What doesn’t work: sit ups. Or any ab exercises. Sure, they can be part of a well rounded workout routine. But ab exercises won’t burn abdominal fat. To get rid of fat in this area you need to bring down body fat all over, and that happens by creating a calorie deficit (a bit less food, a bit more exercise, a bit more moving around every day).

1 Check your alcohol intake

There’s nothing wrong with a drink or two. But if your alcohol intake has become a habit, it’s time to assess. Alcohol has almost as many calories as fat, and you wouldn’t drink a pint of oil (would you?) Alcohol is a big source of calories. Plus it can make you eat more food, crave poor food choices, or eat more the next day.

It can also have a negative impact on your sleep quality.  Less alcohol means fewer empty calories, and probably better food choices.

2 Eat more protein

Protein can help you avoid belly fat. It’s the most filing type of food (it makes you feel fuller, and your body actually uses more energy to digest it). Protein also helps you build and maintain muscle, which is a major factor in keeping your metabolism high as you get older. Eat a serving of protein with every meal and snack. Think lean meats, fish and seafood, eggs, low fat dairy like Greek yoghurt, pulses, beans, and maybe a decent protein powder.

3 Reduce processed sugar

You’ll never hear me demonising one food type. But processed sugar has very little to say for itself, especially when the conversation is health. It’s a fabulous source of energy, but you don’t really need that. Try to reduce your intake of refined sugars and the foods that include them. Yes, this means biscuits, cakes, muffins, sweets, doughnuts, baked goods, and sugary sauces and dressings. Take a look at food labels – simple sugar is lurking in a lot of things. If you spoon sugar into your tea and coffee, challenge yourself to break the habit.


4 What can you do about stress?

Life is stressful. Kids, work, relationships, travel, finances, home… I get it. But all that stress is really no good for your health. What can you do about your stress levels? Can you get rid of any of the things that stress you? Outsource the work? Ask for help? Be better at time management? Or simply get rid of the pressure if you don’t need it? Sleep and stress management tactics can help you deal with the stuff you can’t get rid of. Less chronic stress means less overeating, more exercise, better sleep, and less belly fat.

5 Lift weights

Whatever time you have for exercise, make some of it weight training. Lifting weights (or any other kind of resistance training) is amazing for tackling belly fat. It burns calories, and builds up muscle. This means a higher metabolism. It also helps your body deal with insulin, and can improve a number of important health markers. Lifting weights can also be amazing stress relief for guys. Plus it can shape your body to build up the bits you want, and whittle away the bits you don’t like!

6 Sleep deeper

When life is stressful, sleep often suffers either because you’re burning the candle and both ends or you can’t sleep. But do try. Better sleep is the best thing you can do for your short term and long term health. There’s a lot you can do to improve your chances of 7+ hours a night. Make your room as dark as possible. Reduce light from outside, and from electronic devices. Don’t take your phone into the bedroom. Don’t work on your laptop in bed, or check emails (or scroll social media). Wind down before bed. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time. 7+ hours sleep a night boosts your testosterone levels, helps your body build muscle, reduces stress hormones, and elevates healthy fat burning hormones. It will make you more likely to exercise the next day, and less likely to crave junk food.

Try implementing just one of these ideas this week. Once you’ve got that one nailed, introduce another. Even the smallest changes can help you lower your belly fat and live a healthier future. Need help? Email me on stephen@stephen-clarke.com or call me on 07883060108. You can do this.


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