While being overweight can pose risks to your health, excess fat is especially dangerous if it is around your waist and can lead to a variety of health problems.
Furthermore, men are more likely to gain weight around their middles than women. You cannot slim down in your waist alone, but dropping weight overall can reduce the fat in your midsection and lead to a healthier you.
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How Much Is Too Much?
Men whose waists measure 40 inches or more in circumference are at the greatest risk of getting heart disease and other conditions, including sleep apnea, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and some cancers.
To determine if you have too much belly fat, wrap a tape measure around your middle, just above your hips. Pull it all the way around your body, making sure that the tape measure is level, and then read the number. If you need to lose weight, make an appointment with your health care provider before beginning, and let him know about your waist measurement.
Combating Risk Factors
As you get older, you body starts losing muscle mass, which in turns slows down your metabolism. This can put you at risk for gaining weight around your waist and other areas, but making the necessary adjustments to your lifestyle can prevent this.
Genetics can play a role in how much belly fat you have as well, but watching your diet and staying active can help combat weight gain. Drinking too much alcohol can also result in an accumulation of fat around your abdomen, and practicing moderation can help prevent this.
Watch Your Diet
Cutting back on calories is one way to slim down. Meet with a nutritionist who can help you determine how much you should be eating to lose weight, as well as prevent gaining pounds as you get older. You do not have to stop eating everything you love.
Rather, you can concentrate on reducing your serving sizes and swapping out high-calorie items with healthier choices. For example, you can consume fish or poultry instead of a fatty cut of red meat and increase your intake of fruits and vegetables.
Work Out Regularly
To get a smaller waist, you will need to work out regularly. You cannot exercise just your stomach and neglect the rest of your body, but you can perform strength-training workouts that focus on your abdominal muscles.
You will also need to get some cardio activity into your day, such as swimming or riding your bike. You can do this at a moderate intensity level for at least 150 minutes each week or at a vigorous level for at least 75 minutes. Ideally, you should aim to get about 30 minutes of exercise five days a week to lose weight, and continue with this amount to keep the weight off for good.