ALTHOUGH alcohol is usually cited as one of the major causes for the accumulation of fat around a man's midsection, there are a number of other reasons for that dreaded beer belly, which when addressed, can help reduce the flab and expose the well-defined torsos that will have the ladies drooling.
Fitness expert Greg Dawkins said bad eating habits and consuming too much processed food are also reasons for men developing large stomachs.
"A lot of times we think that it is actually fat, but it's not really 100 per cent fat, you will find out that there is a lot of matter in the large intestine caused by undigested foods," he said.
"You have to eat a lot more raw vegetables, steamed vegetables, and a lot more fruits and other things in their natural state. Lay off the processed foods, lay off the alcohol and drink a lot of water and reduce your sugar intake."
Health professionals have always warned that a man's waist should be no more than 35 inches, as going above this will predispose him to a number of health challenges including diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension. It also poses implications for his sex life, as it affects the production of testosterone, affects penis size, and blocks blood flow to the male organ.
"Your physicality would be affected; so that in itself is going to be an issue," explained General and Anti-Ageing Physician Dr Sandra Knight.
"The pressure that you are going to be putting on your heart, just in the act of sex, is going to be so enormous that you'll be prone to a cardiac event, and you have heard of some who have died during sex. Your blood pressure can go up twice as much when you have an orgasm, and your pulse increases," she said.
Dawkins said that in addition to sticking to a healthy diet, increasing physical activity could also help to reduce the beer belly. He said while lifting weights is good under proper supervision, engaging in cardiovascular exercises might prove to be even more effective at luring your six-pack out of hiding.
"By pumping iron, what you are doing is developing the muscles, but you are still going to have that protruding stomach," he said.
"One of the best exercises to do is more brisk walking, because once the man is that heavy, it's hard for him to run or to do anything, and as time goes by and he gets lighter, then he can take up other activities or maybe take up some types of sports like badminton or tennis."
He said that while some men are heavy drinkers, exercising has in many cases helped to keep the beer belly at bay. The clincher for many fat alcoholics, he said, is the fact that they also lead sedentary lifestyles.
"A lot of these guys that you see with large stomachs are drivers. They drive either buses or trucks, so most of the time they are sitting down for like eight to 10 hours for the day and they don't do any physical activity. The body is a machine, it is supposed to work, it is supposed to do physical activity," he said.
"A lot of those with the beer bellies are very inactive and a lot of them, they just eat and then go and sleep," he said.
In addition to eating right, increasing physical activities and cutting back on alcohol, the fitness expert said it might be useful to detoxify the body or get a body cleanse. The nature of this cleanse could be determined by a doctor or an alternative health practitioner.
"You remember when you were a child, you used to get a wash-out on a regular basis to get out some of the waste?" he asked. "The truth is that we eat a lot of garbage and a lot of the food that we eat now is not nutritious; it is just satisfying or filling."