The end of the year is the perfect time to write down your health and wellness check-list for the 365 days ahead. It’s never too late to turn the page on bad eating habits or a lack of exercise, even when it comes to seemingly insurmountable goals like losing belly fat. According to a recent poll, it isn’t only women who worry about the circumference of their waistline.
In fact, getting rid of belly fat tops New Year’s resolution lists for American men. Vault Health surveyed 2,000 men ages 30 to 65, and a whopping 65% said their No. 1 New Year’s resolution was to get into better shape and shed unwanted pounds—especially in the abdominal region. Belly fat seems to be a particular struggle for men in Florida, Illinois, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Texas, states which saw the highest number of male respondents identify shedding fat in their abdominal area as a top goal. (Related: The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.)
And while avoiding a dreaded “dad bod” is a highly motivating factor for men seeking to lose inches off their waist, belly fat is much more sinister than previously thought. Recent research has linked fat in the abdominal area with a higher risk of premature death, regardless of overall body fat. To put it plainly, a smaller amount of fat on your belly is more detrimental to your health than a greater amount of fat in other parts of your body. But why is that the case?
Think of belly fat as a signal that your internal organs have a higher amount of fat on them, too. Known as visceral fat, these fat deposits build up around various organs—like the intestines, the liver, and the pancreas—and they play a part in how your hormones function in relation to insulin.
Anyone would be wise to take their belly fat seriously and declare 2021 as the year they finally tackle this significant health issue. To learn how to start waging a war on your belly fat, check out How to Lose Belly Fat Right Now, According to a Dietitian.
Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest health news delivered straight to your inbox.