How men can lose the excess belly fat

Many men can find their excess fat hanging around, not wanting to shift, no matter how much exercise and dieting. We all know that eating less calories and doing more exercise should help shift the weight. However sometimes, there are some hormones that have a role to play, which maybe stopping the weight from leaving.

One such hormone is leptin. Leptin is a hormone that is produced by the fat cells. It is a key hormone for maintaining a ‘lean body’. The problem is that some men can become leptin resistant. When this happens the body will naturally gravitate to a weight that is above what is good for your health.

When a person is leptin resistant their body is unable to respond to the feeling of being ‘full’ that leptin is supposed to signal to the hypothalamus, which is then supposed to turn off your appetite.

What not to eat

So by now I am sure you want to know what we can do about this.

One cause of this is inflammation within the body. So what aggravates this inflammation? The answer is blood sugar spikes. The foods most likely to aggravate these blood sugar spikes are the following and are best avoided if you want to loose the tummy fat:

• Potatoes
• Pasta, particularly white pasta
• Breakfast cereals
• White bread
• Foods with added sugar
• Fizzy drinks

Many of those foods are starchy carbohydrates. Other inflammatory foods to watch out for are those containing Omega 6 such as vegetables oils and margarine. Instead opt for foods rich in Omega 3 such as olive oil, rapeseed oil, nut butters, such as almond or cashew nut butter usually available in any good health food shop.

By inducing leptin resistance, then a supposedly ‘’healthy’’ diet can actually lead to a sluggish metabolism and heightened hunger. This is not ideal for men battling with their tummy fat. As well as good oils, try to incorporate lean meat, oily fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna steaks), vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.

Another reason to keep these starchy carbohydrates at bay – they are a major stimulus for the secretion of insulin. This hormone insulin is responsible for deposition of fat into the fat cells. So it’s simple to appreciate that a diet lower in these carbohydrates facilitates fat loss by lowering insulin levels. This can also help prevent future problems like insulin resistance.

What to eat

Stop the starchy cereals and toast in the morning. These foods will cause gluts in insulin levels and disrupt leptin levels, encouraging the tummy to grow! Opt instead for some eggs, scrambled or poached are excellent options and if you can match that with some smoked salmon and a cooked tomato, even better. Another option is some greek or plain low-fat natural yoghurt with a handful of berries such as blueberries or raspberries, top that with some nuts/seeds or a low sugar granola. Try ‘’Liz’s granola’’ as a suggestion.

Try replacing sandwiches as much as possible with a salad at lunch-time. Opt for a salad that includes some protein such as egg, chicken, and salmon. And if you need some dressing go for the oils, leave the mayo out. If you do need to have a sandwhich, keep it to a maximum of x3 a week, ensure it is made with brown or wholegrain bread and contains come salad and protein. Protein maybe chicken, turkey, low-fat cheese spread, egg, humus.
Dinner should focus on lean meats such as chicken, turkey or oily fish. Include some red meat but maximum twice a week. Incorporate as much vegetables as possible and again replace any vegetable oils with olive or rapeseed oil – or butter even. Swapping potatoes for sweet potatoes is a good option.

Try not to go too long between meals. This causes dips in blood sugar levels and can cause your appetite to run out of control. Instead munch on some nuts/seeds with a handful of raisins or a piece of fruit. This will allow you to make healthier choices when you do finally eat.

Don’t forget to sleep

Sleep deprivation can lower leptin levels. This can predispose your body to weight gain. So ditch some of the nights out and get some more shuteye. This will also help you manage your stress levels the next day so you have more energy to cope with excess stress and less need to reach for the chocolates or coffee.