Abdominal Obesity Also Known as a Pot Belly
A pot or beer belly is a belly that sticks out because of a large amount of fat. General obesity is when a person has excessive amounts of fat over most of their body. Abdominal obesity, also know as central obesity, is when the person has an excessive amount of fat around the stomach area. People that are not considered obese or overweight can still be abdominally obese.
You can be at a good weight and fairly skinny but still have an excessive amount of abdominal fat. Having an excessive amount of abdominal fat is linked to serious health problems including heart disease, Alzheimer's, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and strokes. It does not matter if you are overweight or not. It is the fat that puts you at risk, not your weight. Belly fat contains visceral and subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat is located inside your torso with the internal organs. Subcutaneous fat is located underneath the skin. Since visceral fat can interfere with your internal organs it is the most dangerous.
For men and older women the fat is stored in the waist area first and it is the last to go. Stubborn belly fat is stubborn because the fat comes off from other places first. For most women it is the hips, thighs and butt. Before losing belly fat you may need to lose fat on your legs, arms and other areas. One of the best way to see how much fat you have is to see how much you can grab and measure it. Flex your ab muscles to make them hard. The loose subcutaneous fat will be on top of it. You can't measure the visceral fat.
Beer, Pop and Other High Calorie Drinks
Beer is associated with large bellies because beer contains a lot of calories and people eat a lot of high calorie foods with their beer. People also drink more of it. It does not quench your thirst the way water does. Another reason is that beer and exercise don't go together. Doing as little as possible and drinking beer go together. People usually drink beer while they are taking it easy.
Other alcoholic drinks and non alcoholic drinks can give you a beer belly. Beer is just one of the main causes of abdominal obesity. Almost all the men I know that drink beer have beer bellies. Pay attention to what you are drinking and limit the amount of high calorie drinks you consume. You can usually check to see how many calories a drink contains and you can tell if it quenches your thirst or not.
To reduce your belly fat avoid drinking a lot of high calories drinks. Water contains 0 calories and it will quench your thirst. What you drink can mean the difference between a flat stomach and one that makes you look very pregnant.
Junk Food, Fast Food and Processed Food
Junk food, fast food and processed foods are usually high in calories and not very good at satisfying your hunger. So you need to eat more of it. It can also make you lazy. Like beer junk food and processed foods are associated with an abdominal obesity for a good reason. Eating the food makes you fat. If you consume a lot of it then you will not be able to keep the fat off by exercising.
To reduce belly fat limit the amount of junk foods you eat. Eat healthy well balanced meals instead. I can usually tell the difference between a healthy meal and an unhealthy one by how much food I needed to feel full and how energetic I feel afterwards. After a healthy meal I can get in a good workout. After eating fast food I don't feel energetic enough to workout.
Couches and Chairs
A couch potato is a person the spends a lot of time sitting on the couch watching TV and very little time exercising. Most men and older women that are considered couch potatoes have pot bellies because they don't get enough exercise. It is the same for people that spend a lot of time sitting in chairs or laying down. A lack of exercise can make people obese even if they don't eat very much. Don't be a couch potato. You can workout while you watch TV like I do. Be active If you want a lean belly.
Poor Sleeping Habits & Stress
Bad habits can leave you feeling sick and tired. They can also make you fat. If you don't sleep long enough, the quality of sleep is bad or you sleep for too long then you are more likely to have a large belly. Going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time can improve the quality of your sleep. So can focusing your thoughts on one thing at a time and use deep slow belly breathing when you go to bed. Smoking makes burning calories more difficult because it makes exercising more difficult. If you smoke try to give it up.
When you are stressed your body wants to store fat. You crave comfort food and comfort food is fattening. Spend time doing relaxing things like meditation, tai chi, qigong or yoga. Get outside and go for relaxing walks or bike rides. Use deep slow belly breathing. Being more relaxed makes a big difference. Sitting down watching TV is not relaxing enough. It TV does not improve a person's ability to relax. Sitting for 15 minutes while meditating does and it is very good for your health. You don't need to meditate. Just do something to avoid stress. Relax and get a good night's sleep.
When men exercise they often focus on their arms and do very short workouts. A brief upper body workout can build muscle and make you feel powerful but it is not very good for getting rid of fat. A lot of guys with strong arms have beer bellies. The arm exercises they do don't help them burn enough calories. Arm exercise help. So you should do them but they are are not enough on their own. Some good arm exercises besides weightlifting are pull ups & chin ups, push ups and shadow boxing.
Leg exercises are better than arm exercises for losing fat. You can burn the most calories per minute, workout longer and workout more frequently by exercising your leg muscles. Since the leg muscles are bigger than the muscles on your arm you may also be able to build a lot more muscle. Biking, running, jumping rope,step ups, squats and lunges are great exercises for getting rid of belly fat.
Working out your abs doing exercise like planks and ab rollouts can give you rock hard ab muscles but they are bad for getting rid of the belly fat. So avoid spending a lot of time on exercise that focus on your abs until after you have a flat belly. Workout regularly and build some muscle.
Lose the Beer Belly Not the Weight
A beer belly is the result of too much belly fat. Losing 10 pounds does not mean you lost 10 pounds of fat. It just means you lost 10 pounds. Skinny people that are not overweight can have pot bellies and weighing yourself does not tell you if you gained or lost fat. So even if you consider yourself to be overweight you should not focus on your weight. You should focus on losing the fat. Focusing on your weight could stop you from getting the results you want and for some people it would be bad for their health.
People that have beer bellies are usually not very active and they don't have a lot of muscle. So they should focus on increasing their overall strength, endurance and balance. The fat should be replaced with muscle. While some people with large bellies eat a lot many of them eat very little because they don't burn very many calories. A lack of food can stop you from being active and building muscle. So if you start burning more calories you may need to start eating more food.
You might lose weight but it is better to focus on being active, building muscle and providing your body with the food and water it needs. Getting rid of the beer belly could increase your weight.
Things You Should to Lose the Beer Belly.
Drink mostly water.
Develop good sleeping habits
Avoid high calorie drinks.
Spend less time on the couch.
Go to relaxing places.
Eat healthy foods.
Do strength training exercises.
Do relaxing exercises.
Do intense cardio exercises.
Use deep slow belly breathing.
Avoid junk food and overeating.
Do balance exercises.
Don't weigh yourself to check your progress. Grab your belly and check to see how much fat you have using a ruler or measuring tape. Check your progress every day and take pictures every week or two. If you are making an effort to get rid of the fat then you could lose a noticeable amount in just one day. It does not take long to lose fat. However as I mentioned before you may need to get rid of of fat in other areas before you notice a change in the size of your belly.
To continue to change your body you need to continue to change your routine. Don't keep doing the same exercises at the same intensity for the same duration. When you stop changing your routine you will quickly go from changing your body to maintaining it. You could run for an hour 5 days a week and not lose weight or build muscle if it is what you usually do.
© 2014 Michael H
Mohan Babu from Chennai, India on December 28, 2018:
On diet, you have rightly stressed the importance of avoiding junk foods and high calory foods. I guess sugar would come under high calory category. But does it not merit a special mention as added sugar may be the single largest culprit for causing obesity? Just a suggestion from my end.
Ashish on February 03, 2015:
I am doing this simple excerise while taking rocalabs and I am exceeding the average weightloss in a week which is 3-4 Lbs.. I lost 5-6 in a week. And I think regular excerise? can improve your stamina, physical fitness, flexibility, mental state and help you achieve numerous other benefits.
Michael H (author) from Canada on April 18, 2014:
The tips I provided can be used to keep losing fat until the pot belly is gone. There is such a thing as spot reduction when you only have excess fat in one area. At first I was losing fat all over. Then I was mostly just losing it from the waist area because that was the only area with excess fat. The area with excess fat became smaller and smaller.
Building muscle increases your muscle weight. So weight loss is not necessary.
Kevin W from Texas on April 17, 2014:
Interesting read Mikej, the eating & exercises tips are sound, however there is no such thing as spot reduction, or eliminating fat in one particular area. Fat is burned on a chemical level & throughout the body at relatively the same rate.