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Men have problems too

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Love handles and double chins are among the trouble areas that men worry about, says Dr Mohan Thomas 

More men worry about their body shape and appearance—beer bellies, ‘man boobs’ or love handles— than women do about how they look and research shows that more than 50% of young men have worried about their body shapes some time in their life. The ideal male body shape is considered to be trimmed and athletic-looking, with broad shoulders and chest, a flat abdomen, and a narrow thigh area. However, as men age, fat tends to accumulate around the abdomen, the flanks (‘love handles’) and the chest area (a condition called gynecomastia).

Body image concerns are common in boys and young men. It's an under-recognised problem and it can be quite serious. This is a ‘silent’, yet widespread problem.

Usual concerns for a man

Gynaecomastia For a man, nothing can be more embarrassing than having breasts. This is a combination of breast tissue and fat accumulation. Medical treatment and weight loss procedures cannot make them disappear. Usually the fat and gland can be removed entirely by a keyhole surgery which is done as a day-care surgery without hospitalisation. Rarely skin tightening procedures may be required. The scars are minimal and fade in time. Going to a swimming pool or baring the chest need not be scary thoughts anymore.

The beer gut These prominent barrel-shaped abdomens are caused due to fat deposits within and outside the abdomen muscle wall. Consuming excess calories without adequate exercise and physical activity will allow fat to deposit in the skin of the abdomen, forming the so-called tyre as well as around loops of the intestine giving that tell-tale beer gut. What most people like to see is a six-pack abdomen. This can be created but not by surgery alone. Surgery (high definition liposuction) defines the muscle shape but the intra-abdominal fat reduction can be achieved by weight loss and exercises.

Love handles The excess fat deposits on the waist which look like two bulges can be addressed and shaped by liposuction. This is a permanent result as the fat cells are lost forever. The waist becomes narrower and shapely.

Double chin Loss of the jawline and a double chin makes a person look old and obese. The neck looks shorter and the shirt collar become tight. A combination of liposuction and / or injection lipolysis can give a fabulous result.

Dr Mohan Thomas is a Senior Cosmetic Surgeon, Cosmetic Surgery Institute

How to handle the love handles

Cardio all the way Cardio can burn this stubborn fat in the most effective way. Therefore, long runs on the treadmill or running tracks can be most useful.

Sleep well A good sleep for six to eight hours can control hormones from going into a tizzy. Sudden spikes or drop in hormones can impede metabolism, which in turn gives way to weight increase in the wrong places.

Exclude caffeine and alcohol Excess of caffeine and alcohol is not recommended by any doctor. The ability to absorb nutrients decreases as we increase intake of either. Therefore, minimum intake of caffeine and alcohol will only boost the speed to decrease love handles.

Spice it up Spices like turmeric control inflammation, which is one of the main reasons for accumulation of stubborn fat. Stubborn fat could be back or belly fat. Hence increase of turmeric or dry ginger can actually help fight swelling.

Say hello to healthy fat Avocado, fatty fish, olive or coconut oil can actually help in controlling belly or any other stubborn fat like love handles.

Say no to artificial sweeteners In order to cut down on processed sugar many include artificial sweeteners in their daily diet. This triggers the desire to consume more unhealthy carbs and leads to fat storage.

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