Santa Claus is famous for his jolly personality - and his generous midsection. While he has enjoyed the miracle of immortality, most of us have to make sacrifices here and there if we want to enjoy a long healthy lifetime, or the ability to fit down a chimney.
A Man's Belly Is An Indicator of His Health
It turns out that Santa's jolly midsection puts him at risk for several health issues such as:
- High cholesterol
- Type II Diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Sleep Apnea
- High Triglycerides
- Certain types of cancer
Can't I just get Liposuction?
Click the Arrow to Watch this Video Explaining Liposuction and What Fat Can Be Removed
Why Does a Belly Grow Larger With Age?
We naturally lose muscle tone when we age. Without a health-conscious diet, and regular exercise, muscle is converted into fat. Once belly fat accumulates, it can further slow down the body's metabolism which leads to more weight gain. It's a vicious cycle.
How Do I Know If My Belly Fat is a Risk Factor?
Not all belly fat is dangerous. We're bombarded by images of men and women with society's ideal of a picture-perfect body. It usually includes fat-free bellies with defined abdominal muscles. That body is nearly impossible to obtain.
The human body comes in a multitude of shapes and sizes. While diet and lifestyle are partially responsible for the way you carry extra weight, genes are usually the culprit if you've always had trouble maintaining your weight. If you're relatively active and health-conscious, you probably don't have anything to worry about. Moderate amounts of body fat don't pose a health risk. However, waist size is a good indicator of weather or not your belly is too ample for your health.
Use a measuring tape to measure your waist - which is in the space just above your hip bones. Pull it firm enough to be snug but don't let it dent your skin. If your waist measures 40" or more, you should talk to your doctor about starting a weight loss program.
Are There Foods or Beverages That Contribute to Belly Fat?
Believe it or not, science is discovering that not all body fat is considered equal. In fact, belly fat is most often attributed to excessive intakes of simple carbohydrates. In the article "Abdominal Fat and What to do About it", Harvard University emphasizes reducing simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are found in sugary foods, beverages, and many of the "white foods" such as white bread, potatoes, and pastas that aren't made with whole grains.
Along with sugary beverages, alcohol can contribute to belly fat. The term "beer belly" is well known but cocktails, beer, and any alcoholic beverages with a high-sugar content are liable to show in your midsection if you are imbibing more than your fair share.
How Can I Shave Off Some of My Unwanted Belly Fat?
Lower your calorie intake and increase your caloric burn. If you carry the majority of your weight around your midsection, you will mostly likely have an easier time getting rid of the weight if you eat a little less and move a little more.
- Some simple tips to reducing calories:
- Reduce your portion sizes
- Share your entree
- Change to whole-grain breads, pastas, and tortillas
- Eat half a meal and eat the leftovers tomorrow
Sit-ups are great for toning your abs but they do not help you lose belly fat. Walk, run, swim, cycle, or do anything that elevates your heart rate. Opt for 30 minutes of exercise per day, at least 5-6 days per week and elevate your heart rate for at least 15-20 of those minutes.
Losing unwanted belly fat is not impossible. Set small goals to start with so you'll be more inspired to reach the next one. And don't worry, you can still have some milk and cookies every once in a while.