Originally Posted by GB
For the longest time I could not gain weight. It was a joke among my friends and family. Well all of a sudden everything changed and I gained weight like a normal person. Now I have a little bit more of a belly than I would like.
I would like to exercise to get rid of it. I do not want to change my eating habits and I eat pretty healthy already.
So just based on exercise, what are the best things to get rid of this belly? Would sit-ups be the best or are there other options?
Being middle-aged myself, I can empathize with your problem, though I must admit I have never
experienced the luxury of not being able to gain weight. For this I envy you, even though your "free ride" seems to be over. However, I have known many people with exactly the same problem; thin as a rail until they hit a certain age, and then they're still thin as a rail everywhere except their bellies.
The problem in most cases is, for one reason or another their metabolisms slow, chemical reactions within them change, and their bodies start storing fat. (And thence they join the rest
Of course, one way to deal with it is to exercise, which is no doubt good for you, but it is kind of like having a car where the gas tank leaks if you fill it past about the 3/4 mark. So you do, and then you drive around aimlessly to get the fuel level down to where it no longer leaks, when the answer really is (aside from fixing the gas tank, which is not an option in this case) to put in less fuel in the first place.
Don't get me wrong; I am not knocking exercise, but there are two problems with this. A, in order for it to really work, you need to make it a way of life, and not just exercise until the pot-belly goes away, because it will then come right back, and B, as Andy said, if you do sit-ups or the like for "spot-removal", you wind up with a muscular pot-belly. Marbled like a good steak. You can't just exercise the offending body part; you need to exercise your whole body to the point that you have a caloric deficit, so your body starts burning the reserve fuel, which is fat. (That's what it is there for.) Which doesn't always happen, no matter what the infomercials tell us.
I wish I had better news, but most people need to change their diet somewhat to achieve the results you desire. Some people can merely cut their caloric intake, others get far better results by cutting down on carbs. IMO, the currently accepted "Food Pyramid" is not a healthy diet, at least not for middle-aged people. (If it were, pizza with a lot of veggies on it would be health food.) Heresy, I know, but I also know carbs are what cause me
to put on weight, because I can take it off fairly rapidly when I cut or eliminate them from my diet. After a while, the old insulin just doesn't work like it used to. By insulin, of course, I mean the kind the body manufactures, not the injected kind. Putting on weight around the middle (as opposed to all over) is a sign of this. A "beer belly" is as a result of the body's inability to burn the carbs in beer, (and the resulting glucose in the blood) and instead storing it as fat. The same goes for bread, potatoes, candy bars, ice cream, pasta, and, well, the list goes on, doesn't it?
Unconventional views, I know, but I also know they work from personal experience. Good luck.