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As men age, they tend to gain weight around their waist.
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There are two types of fat -- visceral and subcutaneous. Buried within your abdomen, visceral fat accumulates around your organs, leading to an apple-shaped figure. Subcutaneous fat lies just below the skin, collecting around the hips and resulting in a pear-shaped figure. The fat pad on a male stomach typically consists of visceral fat and can lead to various health issues, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This type of fat can be burned off with a combination of exercise and a nutritional plan reducing caloric intake.
Cardio for Calorie Burn
Thirty minutes of daily cardiovascular activity at a moderately intense level, such as jogging, can help you control your weight, according to Harvard Medical School. However, to lose abdominal fat, you may have to increase that amount to up to 60 minutes per day. In a 2007 study published in вЂњThe American Journal of Cardiology,вЂќ Duke University researchers found that subjects who jogged 20 miles per week experienced an 8.1 percent decrease in visceral fat over an eight-month period. In contrast, sedentary subjects had an increase in visceral fat of 8.6 percent.
More Muscle, Less Fat
In a 2006 Skidmore College study published in вЂњInternational Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism,вЂќ researchers found that subjects who coupled regular high-intensity strength training with a cardio regimen shed more than four times as much abdominal fat in comparison to subjects who only followed a program of moderate aerobic exercise. To combat the loss of muscle due to aging, strength training can help you to build muscle mass. Because muscle burns more calories at rest than fat, you can boost your metabolism and increase calorie burn. Aim to perform two total-body strength training sessions per week.
Better Results in Less Time
Short spurts of exercises performed at near maximal effort for 20 to 30 minutes can replace moderate cardio exercise of longer duration, according to a Canada-based McMaster University 2012 study published in вЂњThe Journal of Physiology.вЂќ Lead researcher Martin Gibala says that performing 10 one-minute sprints at 90 percent of maximal heart rate on a stationary cycle with one-minute rest intervals can reap the same health benefits as doing many hours of cycling at a moderate level. If your lifestyle is time constricted, you can build muscle and burn abdominal fat by using this exercise method. However, avoid high-interval intensity training if you're just starting a fitness regimen or have issues with your heart.
You Are What You Eat
If you're on a couch, watching television and eating potato chips, you'll have a hard time getting rid of the fat pad on your stomach. In addition to exercise, plan and monitor your meals. Focus on complex carbohydrates -- vegetables, fruits and whole grains -- and lean protein, according to the Harvard Medical School. Avoid drinks laden with sugar and simple carbohydrates, such as refined-grain pasta and white bread. Also, keep food portions moderately sized. Avoid starvation diet strategies, which only retard your metabolism and eventually train your body to store even more fat.