One of the first places many men gain weight is in their stomach. The stomach bulge, also known as a beer belly, is excess fatty tissue that accumulates in a man's mid-section. Many men have a bulging stomach without excess weight in parts of the body. Losing belly fat requires reducing your daily caloric intake, increasing activity and implementing a muscle-strengthening program.
Belly fat is more than an appearance issue. Harvard Medical School states that belly fat is one of the most dangerous types of fat as it can lead to heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and stroke. The reason fat around the abdomen can be harmful is because the fatty tissue can affect the functionality of the internal organs. Determine if you have too much fat around your waist by using a tape measure just above the hip bone. If the circumference of your waist is more than 40 inches, you have too much fat, notes MayoClinic.com.
There's no easy way for men to lose belly fat. Although many people believe crunches will help tighten the mid-section, they only build muscle under the layer of fat. To reduce your belly fat, you need to restrict the amount of calories you consume daily. The goal is to create a calorie deficit; eating fewer calories then your body burns daily. One-pound of fat is equal to about 3,500 calories. At this rate, you will need to reduce your daily calories by 500 to lose 1 pound weekly. You can do this by increasing physical activity to burn more calories and eating foods that are naturally low in calories, such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains and legumes.
Get active to achieve the goal of creating a calorie deficit. Vigorous aerobic activity will burn the most calories. This includes running, swimming, martial arts, jumping robe, cycling and playing sports. For example, if you weigh 240 pounds and you run at 8 mph for one hour you will burn 1,266 calories. If you're not able to run that fast, begin running at a much slower pace and slowly build up over time. Implement a vigorous aerobic schedule; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises a minimum of 75 minutes weekly.
Although you want to lose weight in your stomach, don't limit your strength training to sit-ups and leg lifts. Focus on all the major muscle groups, such as the hips, legs, chest, shoulders, abdomen, arms and buttocks. Increasing your overall muscle mass causes your metabolic rate to increase. This means you will burn more calories all day long, even if you're asleep.