If you gain weight around the middle, also known as the "apple" shape (like a beer gut, typical with men) then you've got more health issues. People with this body type are at a higher risk for diabetes and heart disease than those who are of the "pear" body shape. Fat stored in the abdomen is more active metabolically than fat stored in the hips and thighs. It will enter your circulation faster, which ups your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
However, fat on the abdomen is easier to get rid of, and anyone who decides to eat right and exercise will shed the weight quickly.
So what weight should you strive to be?
You can use one of the following calculations to determine your target weight.
1. Your weight circumference-Take a tape measure and wrap it around the largest part of your abdomen. Your goal circumference should be less than 102 cm, or 40 inches (95 cm or 38 inches for those of Asian descent).
2. Your body mass index-Take your height in meters and your weight in kilograms. Divide the weight by the height squared. This calculates your body mass index (BMI). Your BMI ideally should be below 25 if you are over the age of 18.
Here are 10 great dieting tips to follow:
1. Limit your alcohol consumption. Alcohol is such a large contributor to weight gain. Try to stick with just one or two glasses of red wine per night, and if you drink beer opt for a low-carb or light variety. Also drink water in between drinks.
2. Lessen your food portions. Unless you are training for a major athletic event, you can limit your meat intake to 200g of meat or chicken and 300g of fish. Avoid return for second helpings.
3. Instead of meat, fill your plate with salad or veggies, but limit your rice, pasta and potato servings. Opt for healthy options like corn, broccoli, peas, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes (which are also good for the prostate).
4. Stay far away from fast food. This food is full of trans fats and saturated fats and do nothing but clog up those arteries. When eating out, quick but healthy choices include Subway sandwiches, sushi, stir fry or grilled chicken. And no chips!
5. Trade in your white bread for whole grain. Also switch sweetened cereals with high fiber and whole grain cereals. These options will fill you up faster and keep you full longer, so you will end up eating less both then and later.
6. Always take the high fiber variety of any soup, crackers or cereal. These foods will keep you fuller longer.
7. Have fresh fruit around that you can grab when you are on the run. Options that you do not have to peel include berries, grapes and apples. You can also cut up several kinds of fruit and have a big bowl of fruit salad in your fridge to grab whenever you are hungry.
8. When you are eating out, have a small steak or some fish as your main food. Have veggies or a salad for your side. Do not order food that comes with a thick gravy or cream sauce. And do not feel pressured to eat all of the food – portion sizes in restaurants are very large.
9. Always eat breakfast. If you do not you will be hungrier by lunch time (or before) and are more likely to make an unhealthy choice. Just a bowl of whole grain cereal with low fat milk will suffice.
10. Exercise. Swim laps, join the gym, walk the dog, find a friend to exercise with. Just get moving. You should have at least 30 minutes of active exercise in your routine each day.
Following these weight loss tips can be very helpful in your battle against mid-section weight gain.