Go to a restaurant or bar and look around. How many beer bellies do you see? Does your husband have one? Your dad? Your brother?
You know what I’m talking about – the stomach that is solid but protrudes out. People often mistakenly think it’s because of too much beer, or even that it is muscle because it is solid.
Um…probably not. It’s fat.
Beer Bellies Are Fat
There are two types of abdominal fat.
The first is subcutaneous. It is found under the skin and contains blood vessels. It’s used as a shock absorber of sorts. It can cause the skin to look tight or stretched, or be referred to as cellulite.
The second is visceral. It lies under the muscle and surrounds the organs. Men are more prone to it than women. It is difficult to lose and cannot be accessed by liposuction. It is more deadly than subcutaneous because its cells are larger and greater in number. More importantly, they produce cytokines which have inflammatory properties. They promote high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, and other potentially life-threatening illnesses.
How big of a stomach is dangerous? A simple measurement can tell you. Measure around your body 1″ under your belly button. A 40″ waistline or more for men, and a 35″ waistline or more for women is considered unhealthy.
If this describes you, start a structured exercise program and follow a personalized nutrition plan. Calories aren’t calories – you need to eat the right types to help lose weight and reduce the inflammation in your body.