If you’re a man who’s trying to lose weight and get fit, you’ve probably noticed that most of the books, magazines, and programs on these subjects aren’t really aimed at you. Most are for women. And the others seem to have bodybuilders and competitive athletes in mind—not regular guys who simply want to get in shape.|
But your needs are different than those of women, and the fitness strategies you should follow aren’t the same as those of a bodybuilder. This article is for YOU. It will tackle three of the most common questions regular guys have about weight loss:
It’s true that many men can and usually do lose weight faster than women, but this isn’t entirely good news. For one thing, if you share your life with a woman who is also trying to lose weight, you might need a few lessons in domestic diplomacy when she gets frustrated at your seemingly easy and fast results. For another, one of the main reasons that you do lose weight more easily turns out to be a double-edged sword.
The fat that’s easiest to lose is the fat stored in the upper body, particularly within the abdominal area—the infamous male beer belly. Men tend to store more fat in this area and less fat in the hips and thighs, while women tend to do the opposite. The “intra-abdominal” or “visceral” fat that makes up that beer belly (it’s stored underneath the abdominal muscles) is more metabolically active, which means that it’s the fat your body burns first.
The flip side of this “advantage” is that metabolically active fat is dangerous to your health. It’s associated with a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, and many other health problems. So while it may be easier to lose this fat, it’s also more crucial to your health that you do so—now! That large waist puts you at much higher risk of health problems than people who store weight in the lower body. So don’t put it off.
But you don’t need a six pack to greatly reduce your health risk. What you want is to lose your keg—to be able to lay down flat on your back without your stomach sticking up higher than your rib cage.