Do You Have a Boomer Belly?
Posted: September 1, 2015
Beer belly, pot belly, spare tire — there are countless ways to describe the phenomenon in many middle-aged men that looks like a basketball lurking underneath their shirt. No matter what it is called, the look is not only unattractive to many, but it also indicates risk of some serious health issues.
Having excess fat and weight around the midsection is dangerous. Most of the fat (roughly 90 percent) in our body is subcutaneous fat, or the fat that you can pinch just below the surface of your skin. Visceral fat makes up about 10 percent of your body fat, and it sits deep within the abdominal cavity, between your abdominal organs.
Even though you cannot see it or feel it, fat housed in this region has been linked to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, certain types of cancers, and poor cognitive functioning. For optimal long-term health and the avoidance of some major medical issues, reducing and eliminating this fat should be a major priority for men as they approach and surpass middle age.
Many components go into sound strategies for burning off visceral fat. One is attention to our meals and nutrition.“You can’t eat like you did in your 40s or 30s because your body is now different,” says Joan Salge Blake, a registered dietitian, author of Nutrition & You and a clinical associate professor at Boston University. “If you consume those extra calories and they don’t burn off — especially since you tend to become more sedentary as you age — they can settle in your midsection as stored fat.”
Counting calories has its merits, but it is also important to pay attention to the quality of the calories. More whole foods, more natural fruits and vegetables, and less sugar and processed meals help give our body “cleaner” fuel that it will burn off quickly, rather than store as fat.
Exercise is also key. Committing to a routine that includes strength training (to make sure muscles are taxed appropriately) at least three days a week kicks up metabolism, which over time will make the body more apt to burn excess fat for fuel. This is especially important for those who don’t get much physical activity in their workday — people with desk jobs or that sit for long periods at a time.
For men in their 30s and beyond, another key approach is checking testosterone levels. Testosterone is the dominant male hormone, and the body naturally produces less as men age. Over time this deficit can slow metabolism, erode lean muscle, and make it easy for the belly to accumulate fat. If you are unsure of your testosterone levels, contact your nearest Low T Center. A quick blood test is all it takes to get you started on the path to wellness.
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.