Belly Fat in Men: How to Get Rid of It

Article posted in: Nutrisystem for Men

Guys: We hate to be the ones to tell you this, but your gut is killing you.

If you carry your weight around your middle, a 2012 study says your chance of dying is doubled compared to those of a normal weight. Your risk of cardiovascular disease is 2.75 times higher than someone of normal weight.

According to a 2015 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a normal weight male with more fat around the middle had an 87 percent increased risk of death during the study period compared to a man who was normal weight without extra belly fat. Even more powerful? Compared to overweight or obese men (as measured solely by BMI, without specific waist size information), a normal weight man with extra belly fat had more than twice the risk of dying early, the study revealed.

Belly Fat in Men Side
Sick of carrying excess weight around the middle? Beat belly fat in men with these simple diet tips.

According to a Norwegian study, for every 10 centimeters of excess waist size, your risk of heart failure increases by 30 percent. Much of this risk is due to visceral fat. Unlike subcutaneous fat, the squishy fat just under your skin, visceral fat is the rock-hard kind that most associate with a beer belly. It lies much deeper, sitting very close to your organs, and is associated with increased risks of heart disease, cancer and death.

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Chances are, if you’re overweight, you’re packing quite a bit of visceral fat. As you consume more calories than your body can use, those three critical macronutrients from your food (carbs, proteins and, of course, fats) are converted to fat. This fat is stored throughout your body–all types of it.

The good news is that visceral fat around the belly responds more efficiently to a healthy diet plan and exercise than fat on the hips and thighs. So, whether you decide to go it alone, or turn to Nutrisystem for Men, you’re not doomed to a big belly for life.

Here are three simple steps to beat belly fat in men:

1. Give your diet an overhaul.

two separate meal prepped lunches in two containers

One of the best ways to get rid of your gut is to lose weight. And the best way to lose weight is to eat better. If you’re trying to shrink that belly, pay closer attention to portion sizes (check out our easy guide to portion sizes here), and work more of these foods into your diet:

  • Fiber-rich, plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains (A study funded by the NIH suggests that for every 10 grams of fiber you eat, you’ll have as much as four percent less fat around your belly!)
  • Lean sources of protein such as fish and low-fat dairy products
  • Moderate amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (Monounsaturated fats—like those found in nuts, seeds, olive oil and fatty fish—have actually been shown to help reduce belly fat, according to 2013 research presented by the American Heart Association. Swapping in these healthy fats at meals can help you reduce your risk for rock-hard fat. Consider changing out mayo in your tuna or egg salad for mashed avocado, or eating a few almonds instead of a handful of chips.)

At the same time, work on limiting these foods:

  • Foods higher in saturated fat, like cheese and butter
  • Processed meats
  • Sugary beverages
  • Simple carbohydrates like white bread, refined pasta, etc.

Feel a bit overwhelmed? Check out Nutrisystem for Men, our easy-to-follow weight loss program designed specifically for guys like you—guys who want to lose weight and live healthy without all the work. With this program, you’ll lose weight, improve your health and have more energy. (You can lose up to 18 pounds and eight inches overall in your first month with a plan designed for men!*) Plus, you’ll love having perfectly portioned, easy-to-prepare foods delivered right to your door. No thinking, no counting, no label reading. No fads, no gimmicks. Just safe and effective weight loss.

2. Walk for 30 minutes per day.

Man Walk Dog Men Belly Fat in Men

No matter what the latest infomercial may tell you, specifically exercising one part of the body won’t spot-reduce fat. A study from way back in 1971 found that tennis players who exercised one arm quite a bit more than the other didn’t show a major difference in fat deposits between their two arms. This belief has sustained the test of time and is widely accepted today. The implication: You’ve got to lose fat all over to get that gut down.

However, there’s good news. A “fat-burning workout” doesn’t have to be complicated or even high-intensity. In a study published in the journal Obesity, people who were “moderately active” reduced their visceral fat levels by more than seven percent compared to inactive study participants. The standard for “moderately active” is engaging in about 30 minutes of walking, five days per week.

If you vary your pace just a little—speeding up for short bursts—you can increase the overall calories you burn during your walk. Ohio State scientists have discovered that by walking with faster speed in short bursts, it is possible to burn 20 percent more calories than walking at a constant pace.

3. Get seven (or more) hours of sleep:

Belly Fat in Men Sleep

When University of Chicago scientists studied dieters and sleep, those who were sleep-deprived lost just as much weight as those who got a full night’s sleep—but not as much fat. Those who slept for just five hours per night lost 55 percent less fat during the study than those who slept seven hours or more.

Getting shut-eye can even help with your appetite when you’re awake: In the same study, participants on the shorter sleep schedule saw increases in ghrelin, a hormone associated with hunger, increased food intake and retention of fat. So, after your 30-minute walk and high-fiber meal with monounsaturated fats, go to bed! Your belly will thank you, and you might just live longer.

And if you haven’t kicked off your weight loss journey yet, you’ve got one more reason to start now. Make eliminating belly fat in men easy: Click here to sign up for Nutrisystem for Men! >

*In a study on the standard plan, average weight loss was 13 lbs. in one month.