Beer Belly in Middle Age

A beer belly is something that many men develop once they hit middle age, sometimes even when they are in their early 30s. In some cultures, carrying a bit of extra weight is considered a status symbol, but in most Western countries it is viewed as a sign of overindulgence and poor fitness. The dangers of this type of obesity are now better understood and the news is not good. There are some convincing reasons for why people will want to lose their beer belly. Thankfully there are things that people can do to get rid of their abdominal fat.

Beer Belly Defined

As a slang word beer belly refers to somebody who has a large gut obtained while drinking large quantities of beer. This term is used to refer to anyone who has developed abdominal obesity. It occurs because people have developed a great deal of visceral fat. This is a type of fat that accumulates around the organs in the abdominal cavity. This type of obesity is mostly associated with men, but it does appear in women once they have gone through menopause. Up until that point, fat will most likely to be stored in their buttocks and hips.

Other Names for a Beer Belly

Beer belly is just one of a number of ways that this type of body fat is labeled. It can also be referred to as:

* Pot belly
* Beer gut
* Belly fat
* Abdominal fat
* Middle age spread
* Paunch
* Spare tire
* Central obesity (clinical term)
* Abdominal obesity

Dangers of a Beer Belly

If people are dealing with this type of obesity, it means that there is a great deal of fat surrounding their abdominal organs. These are dangers associated with this condition:

* A beer belly is a symptom of metabolic syndrome. This is a combination of medical disorders that greatly impact health and increase the likelihood that people will die younger than otherwise expected.
* Those with excessive belly fat are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
* If people have a beer belly, they are also more likely to develop type II diabetes. This is because it encourages insulin resistance.
* There is now evidence that those people who have this type of obesity in middle age are twice as likely to develop dementia in later life.
* Those individuals who have this type of body fat can suffer from low confidence and low self-esteem. This is because they feel embarrassed by this extra body weight. It can even lead to feelings of depression.
* Beer belly usually goes hand-in-hand with a lack of physical fitness. Those who are out of shape can miss out on many of the good things in life.

Causes of a Beer Belly

This abdominal obesity is due to a number of causes:

* Excessive consumption of alcohol is the most obvious cause of beer belly. It occurs because alcoholic drinks can contain too many calories with no real nutritional value. If people drink too much it will usually mean an excessive amount of additional calories in their diet. If the body is unable to burn these extra calories as fuel, they will be stored in the body as fat. The problem with beer in particular is that it not only means consuming more calories, but it can also cause people to feel hungry.
* Comfort eating is another common reason for why people develop abdominal fat. It is sometimes described as attempting to eat away feelings. When the individual is young, they can begin to associate food with reward, especially sweets and other junk food. In adulthood, people can develop the habit of turning to food whenever they are feeling stressed or emotional.
* Lack of exercise is another common reason for this type of obesity. People are just not as active today as they were in the past. More people have sit-down jobs than at any time in the past. If the individual spends most of their day starring at a computer they will not be doing enough physical activity to burn even the calories they would consume in a modest diet. Even half an hour of daily exercise is probably not enough activity for somebody who has a sedentary job.

How to Lose a Beer Belly

There are plenty of good reasons for why people will want to get rid of their beer belly. These are some tips for achieving this:

* Giving up completely or drinking less alcohol can help the individual lose their beer gut. A standard beer can have as many as 200 calories. Even light beers can contain an excessive number of calories. If people do want to drink, they should stick to recommended levels for safe consumption. This is one drink per day for adult women and two drinks per day for adult men. It is also advisable that the individual who continues to drink alcohol choose low calorie options.
* Regular exercise is good for burning calories. For best results, people need to commit to at least 30 minutes most days of the week. An irregular exercise regime is not likely to produce great results in terms of weight loss. It also needs to be understood that exercise alone is not enough to ensure the loss of abdominal fat. Dietary changes are also in order.
* Those who spend their day on the computer can benefit from a stand up desk. It takes a bit of getting used to, but after a couple of weeks, people no longer even notice that they are standing. It not only means that the individual will burn more calories throughout the day. Standing up is also healthier in other ways too. The body is not designed for long periods of sitting down. Those people who are really determined to reach peak physical fitness can purchase a standup desk with a treadmill. That way, they can spend the day walking as they work on the computer.
* Mindful eating is a kind of meditation technique that can help people maintain a healthy body weight. It is not a fad diet or quick fix. Instead, it asks people to completely revolutionize their relationship with food. The most exciting thing about mindful eating is that it offers a permanent solution to weight loss. It is something that is sustainable.
* It has been suggested that eating regular small meals is healthier than a couple of large meals each day. Eating small meals throughout the day forces the digestive system to work continuously, thus burning more calories. Eating less frequently gives the digestive system idyll periods followed by periods of overworking.
* It is best to avoid junk food, which tends to be overloaded with calories and lacks nutritional value. Unfortunately, junk food is what people are most likely to reach for when we are in need of comfort. It is therefore a good idea to always have nutritional snacks handy instead.
* If possible, it is better to avoid comfort eating completely. This ineffective stress-coping strategy actually increases stress, because the individual will also have obesity to worry about. Relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation are far better for dealing with pressure.
* It is not a good idea for people to eat carbohydrates before going to bed. This nutrient is used by the body for fuel but when people are sleeping they will not be burning much energy. Any carbohydrate that is not needed for energy will be turned into fat and stored. It is much better to eat protein type foods before going to bed; the body can use this nutrient for the repairing and building that occurs in the body while people sleep.
* It is a common myth that doing lots of sit-ups is the way to get rid of a beer belly. While this exercise can help people tone up their abdominal area, it will not be enough alone to get rid of abdominal obesity.