While it’s true that men aren’t subjected to the same scrutiny as women and most do not have to struggle with body image issues, no man wants to grow a belly that could be confused with that of an expectant mother. Unfortunately, personal experiences and observations tell us that men are simply predisposed to gaining belly fat.
So, why is it that men tend to put on weight specifically in the abdominal region, unlike most women, who gain weight uniformly?
The Secret Of The Male Gut
“Belly fat formation is associated with higher testosterone levels & hormonal differences, as women are better evolved to store fat”
According to experts, the male propensity to gain abdominal fat has to do with how fat is stored in the body. Apparently, this is one aspect of human physiology in which evolution favored women. Women’s bodies are simply better equipped to store fat, as fat reserves are vital during pregnancy and when nursing.
For men however, excess fat goes straight to the belly. The more calories you ingest, the more your belly will expand, unless you also burn more calories. In women however, fat is also stored in the hips and legs, especially the thighs, as this gives women greater energy reserves. Scientists also attribute this aspect of fat distribution to hormonal balance.
Higher levels of testosterone are associated with central obesity or belly fat, which is why men are so prone to it. This also explains why women tend to develop the dreaded beer belly only after menopause, when estrogen levels drop, or in women who have higher than normal levels of testosterone, as with PCOS patients.
Why Is This Type Of Fat More Dangerous?
“Central obesity puts you at risk of several lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease”
Men need to be particularly wary about packing on the pounds, as belly fat is a lot more dangerous to your health than any other type of fat. Referred to as central obesity, the condition puts you at risk of several lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
Just because you can hide it, that doesn’t make it go away. In fact, if you are skinny with a pot belly, you should be even more worried. Studies show that people with belly fat, who are not obese, have a higher risk of fatal heart disease than obese individuals. So, if you are slender with a big belly, be doubly cautious about weight gain and start exercising and eating healthy today.