How to Lose Belly Fat Men: Exercises, Diets & Lifestyle Changes
Thousands of men, regardless of age, are constantly seeking out ways to reduce belly fat, simply because it can have a negative effect on many aspects of health and is unsightly, to say the least. However, losing that fat can be hard to do if you do not follow a methodical approach and apply proven effective techniques along the way.
After reading this article to the end you will be in a much better position to finally get rid of that troublesome fat once and for all!
Understanding Belly Fat For Men
Belly fat is different from fat found on other parts of the body, such as the arms or legs, since this type of fat can be found deep within the abdomen, surrounding the vital organs or “viscera” (hence the name visceral fat). Accumulation of fat in this area over many years significantly increases your risk of serious health conditions and metabolic disorders, making it important to start making changes now.
Belly Fat Can Have Many Causes From Hormones To Diet
There is no singular cause of belly fat, as many variables can contribute to its development, including factors such as:
- Sedentary Lifestyle – lack of regular physical activity and long periods of inactivity lends itself to fat accumulation over time.
- Consumption Of Calorie Rich Foods – the many processed foods we have at our disposal means that it is easy to consume well above our caloric requirements on a regular basis. Consuming more calories than we expend is the simple reason we gain weight.
- Hormonal Disorders – hormones such as estrogen and insulin lend themselves to weight gain and prevention of weight loss, making it important to keep them in their normal ranges.
Belly Fat is Often Very Hard To Lose
Many persons find that belly fat is much harder to lose when compared to fat stores in areas such as the periphery, as this has a lot to do with the density of specific receptors on the surface of fat cells.
For instance, fat cells can be found two main type of receptors that can impact the effect of fat burning catecholamines on them; known as alpha and beta receptors. Beta receptors increase the rate of lipolysis or fat burning when stimulated, whilst alpha receptors do not have this effect. Belly fat has a higher density of these alpha receptors, which explains why fat loss seems slow and very resistant in this area.
Visceral Fat In Your Abdomen Can Have Adverse Health Effects
Visceral fat, which is another name for that stubborn fat found around your abdomen poses several health risks, increasing your chances of having to rely on medication later in life. The most common health effects of visceral fat accumulation include:
- Heart disease – belly fat increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks exponentially
- Diabetes – insulin resistance and glucose intolerance are worsened relative to visceral fat accumulation.
- Arthritis – especially of the lower joints, from greater loadbearing and increased inflammatory mediators.
- Lower testosterone levels – the female hormone estrogen is produced via conversion of testosterone when acted upon by the aromatase enzyme, manufactured in fat cells. The greater the amount of fat, the more estrogen is produced.
- Erectile dysfunction – impaired blood flow throughout the body, poor cardiopulmonary health and testosterone disruption all lend themselves to erectile dysfunction.
How To Lose Belly Fat For Men By Exercising
A consistent approach to exercise is compulsory when trying to lose belly fat, as exercise is the most reliable way to increase metabolic rate and the number of calories expended daily. Exercise also helps to increase the levels of catecholamines (such as epinephrine and norepinephrine) that can act on the beta receptors found on fat cells in order to stimulate lipolysis.
High-Intensity Interval Training Cuts Fat Efficiently
A 2011 study by the School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia concluded that high-intensity training is the most effective way of reducing body fat, especially compared to conventional exercise protocols. Also known as HIIT, this type of exercise contribute significantly to the loss of belly fat as it induces a greater post-exercise calorie burn when compared to low-intensity exercise.
Any exercise can be made to follow high-intensity interval training type principles, but it is often more practical to do it with common cardiovascular exercises done with a treadmill, stationary cycle or with sprints done outdoors.
The basic premise involves short duration (from 15 to 60 seconds of maximum intensity exertion), followed up by a longer period of low-intensity recovery work. For example, a 20-second sprint on the treadmill followed up with a slow one minute walk to allow recovery. Repeat this cycle four more times or so, based on respiratory endurance and you have a HIIT work out.
Running, Biking, And Other Cardio Exercises Help Regulate Metabolism And Burn Calories
At the core of your exercise plan to lose belly fat should be serious cardiovascular (cardio for short) exercises which help to increase calorie burning and regulate your metabolic rate over the long term. You don’t need to limit yourself to anyone specific cardio exercise, as you can feel free to choose from running, cycling, stair climbing or even rowing. They all work great to burn calories, especially interspersing high intensity with moderate intensity sessions.
Building Muscle Can Help You Cut Fat
While cardio is a great way to burn calories, it carries a risk of muscle loss occurring as well. Over time, this can lead to a stalled metabolism, since muscles are inherently the regulators of your metabolic rate.
Within muscle cells are specialized structures called mitochondria which are responsible for the production of our energy currency, ATP. To do this it burns calories in the form of glucose, amino acids or triglycerides. The more of these muscle cells we have (or larger they are), in a proportional fashion, do the mitochondria reflect this.
This is why weightlifting exercises are a critical part of long-term weight loss, as more muscle positively lends itself to more efficient fat loss.
Moderate Exercise Like Walking, Yardwork, And Standing At A Desk Can Help Burn Calories
All activity regardless of the intensity possesses an inherent metabolic equivalent value, which can be considered a factor multiplied by our basal metabolic rate (which is assigned a value of one). Thus, even highly sedentary activities such as sitting at a desk and typing have a value of 1.5, whereas more physical activities such as walking have an equivalent value of about 2.3, with more vigorous yard work such as shoveling snow having a value of six.
Simple changes can add up over the course of the day, such as using a standing desk while working, or going for a brief walk after sitting for 30 minutes. They all lend themselves to increasing your metabolic rate for a period of time afterward.
How To Lose Belly Fat For Men Fast With Dieting
Even though exercise plays an important role when trying to lose belly fat, without a solid nutrition plan behind it, more often than not results will be slow to none. Arguably, 70 percent of the progress you make can be attributed to having a sensible diet.
Make sure to implement the following tips in order to maximize the amount of belly fat lost:
Eat More Protein
Protein is one of the most important macronutrients when it comes to losing visceral fat, as it contributes to the muscle building process and inherently has the greatest thermic effect of all the macronutrients. A 2014 study by the Yale University School of Medicine concluded that high protein diets are effective for weight loss, based on the premise of its thermic effect.
The thermic effect refers to the number of calories needed in order to completely process that food. For proteins, the thermic effect ranges between 15 to 35 percent of the gross calories, which means that if you consume 100 Cal worth of protein, the body uses between 15 and 35 Cal to sufficient breakdown and absorb it, so you get far less than you consumed.
Not forgetting a greater degree of muscle mass is directly related to your basal metabolic rate, the protein being essential to the repair and synthesis of this tissue type.
Don’t Skip Meals Or Starve Yourself
Skipping meals or starving yourself in an effort to reduce calories and lose belly fat is not the way to go. By design, the human body is geared at survival, so while you may notice initial weight loss, it soon stalls as the body holds on to its fat stores and reduces metabolic rate in anticipation of a food shortage.
The only techniques that involve meal restriction that works involves doing it in a cyclical manner, such as with intermittent fasting in order to trick the body into a sense of normalcy, while still creating a great caloric shortfall.
Try Limiting Your Carb Intake
Restricting your total carbohydrate, and more importantly, sugar intake is one of the best ways to lose belly fat and overall weight, owing to the role insulin plays in the equation.
Every time you consume a meal with carbohydrates, insulin is recruited in order to shuttle it into muscle cells, but more often than not, in the fat cells for storage. During the time blood glucose levels are high (and insulin in response), lipolysis is shut down, as the body preferentially is in storage mode.
This is why restricting carbohydrates improves fat burning, as when glucose is low the body breaks down stored fat to use as fuel. You can still benefit from consumption of a small number of carbohydrates around your work out as at this time glucose is shuttled into muscle cells to initiate recovery, as opposed to going into fat.
Cycling Your Calorie Intake May Help Keep Your Metabolism Strong
In order to prevent stalling of weight loss, cycling your calories is one of the breast approaches you can take. Periods of prolonged caloric restriction lead to a metabolic crash, during which all unnecessary metabolic processes-such as fat burning is inhibited as the body goes into a storage and preservation mode.
A 2014 study by Iran University of Medical Sciences and Nano Vichar Pharmaceutical Ltd concluded that a calorie shifting diet was superior to standard calorie restriction for weight loss. Cycling calories help indicate to your body that food is not scarce, allowing your metabolism to stay high.
How To Lose Belly Fat For Men Naturally With Lifestyle Changes
In addition to exercise and dietary changes, a complete lifestyle overhaul needs to be done. This includes addressing many elements you may not have considered, such as:
Get More Sleep
During sleep, the body actively repairs damaged tissue, including muscle broken down during previous workout sessions, and synthesizes important hormones such as that fat loss friendly growth hormone, and testosterone. Lack of sleep impairs sufficient recovery and synthesis of these hormones which diminish your muscle building and fat loss potential.
Be Aware Of Your Emotional Needs So You Don’t Overeat
Consumption of carbohydrates increases the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, well known to boost your mood and enhance a sense of well-being. Taken advantage of along with increased consumption of tyrosine containing foods and a general sense of well-being is attained.
This is the basis of emotional and binge eating in persons suffering from depressive illness, as each time such foods are consumed, a short-lived improvement in mood is obtained. During the first two weeks or so been following a low-carb diet, it is very common to experience mood disruptions, but this usually rectifies as the body becomes more efficient at using fat for fuel.
Stay Away From Alcohol
Alcohol has absolutely no nutritive value, even though it may provide calories to the body which aren’t used for energy. In addition to this, alcohol places great stress on your liver for processing and breakdown, affects electrolyte levels and causes dehydration, reducing your physical performance to a great degree in the process. Alcohol also possesses estrogenic properties which can disrupt the male hormonal balance. You should stay away from alcohol as much as possible, and only have the occasional glass of wine if you must.
How To Lose Belly Fat For Men Over 40
Men trying to lose body fat over the age of 40 need to make a few additional considerations, owing to reduced testosterone levels and the likelihood of metabolic disorders already present. A few great ways to start are:
Make Sure That Your Testosterone Levels Are Healthy
An annual blood test to check testosterone levels should be compulsory if you are serious about losing excess belly fat and improving overall health. Such a test will give an indication of both free and bound testosterone, so you will know exactly how hard you need to work to improve it or what results you can expect realistically.
Eat More Healthy Fats Like Coconut Oil And Olive Oil
Coconut oil and olive oil are great fats for men of all ages as they lend themselves to testosterone production owing to their high monounsaturated and saturated fat content. Coconut oil is also a rich source of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are using alternative energy sources if following a low carb or ketogenic diet and also for improving your metabolism.
Even though many people believe saturated fats are bad, they are necessary for testosterone production. In fact, diets high in saturated fats but low in carbohydrates have no adverse effect on heart health, as insulin is what usually raises their danger risk. Avocados are also another great source of fat that is both heart and testosterone-friendly.
Check Your Insulin Levels
It isn’t really practical to check your insulin levels, but rather insulin’s response to blood glucose. Constantly elevated blood glucose levels indicate insulin resistance, as this hormone is unable to sufficiently facilitate the uptake of glucose. The good news is a low carb diet coupled with regular exercise can improve your insulin resistance as reflected by your blood glucose readings.
Tips On How To Lose Belly Fat For Men Over 50
Men over 50, while needing to keep in mind the considerations all men make when trying to lose belly fat, also need to take advantage of the following tips:
Try Making Bone Broth To Keep Your Skin From Sagging
Bone broth is a rich source of collagen, a structural protein found in joints, skin and other “support” components of the body. Regular consumption of this important protein can prevent premature sagging of the skin, keep your joints healthier, and in general help, you maintain a more youthful look.
Keep Up On Your Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise becomes more important as a man ages, in order to keep low the risk of cardiovascular disease. Men over 50 that regularly perform aerobic exercise multiple times per week have more efficiently functioning cardiovascular systems, as evidenced by resistance to fatigue and sufficient blood flow (meaning decreased incidence of erectile dysfunction)
Count Your Calories
As we age, and testosterone levels decrease naturally, we lose muscle mass and correspondingly, the lower our metabolic rates drop. Thus, weight can be easily accumulated when eating the same foods that we did in our 20s, making it important to adjust calories by calculating energy requirements.
Counting your calories and ensuring a good balance of macronutrients will also help to support the remaining lean muscle you have, preserve testosterone function and offset metabolic disease.
Given that you do not have a genetic condition causing low testosterone, losing belly fat is very achievable by applying the principles outlined above. Do not put off actively working to get leaner today, as each day you let slip by can contribute to irreparable damage over the long haul.
Try to achieve a caloric deficit, include an exercise plan that consists of cardiovascular and weightlifting activities, and consume a testosterone-friendly diet so that when you are looking back over the next year you will be ecstatic with your results!