International Men’s Health Week 12-18 June 2017
This year the men’s health week campaign is focusing on belly fat, also known as visceral fat. This type of fat has a detrimental impact on your health and wellbeing, more so than excess fat on your arms or legs due to it surrounding your vital organs. If you have excess visceral fat you gain an increased risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and premature death from any cause.
Statistics show that one man in every five dies before he reaches the age of 65 and approximately 42% of men in the UK are overweight.
Belly fat is measured using a tape measure around the circumference of your waist. For men, if you middle is larger than 40 inches (102cm), then you are at a greater risk of developing a whole host of diseases and health conditions.
Healthy and steady weight loss is recommended if you are above the recommended measurement. This can be achieved through eating a healthy and balanced diet of real and unprocessed food. However, there are several areas of your diet that have been found to increase your belly fat more than others and you would therefore benefit from avoiding.
- Sugar – both added sugar and sugar within processed foods such as ready meals, biscuits, chocolate, sweets, cake etc
- Refined carbohydrates e.g. white rice, white pasta, white bread
There are also a number of areas that you can build on in order to stave off hunger and lose weight sustainably:
- Lean protein e.g. skinless chicken, fish, seafood and legumes
- Fibre rich foods e.g. fresh fruit, vegetables, beans
- Healthy fats e.g. nuts, avocado, olive oil
Being a healthy weight will help to ensure that your visceral fat is of a healthy measurement, giving you the best chance of maintaining your health and wellbeing throughout your career and well into retirement.