How men can lose the boep

Men love eating and some love drinking a lot in equal measure. Unfortunately, the price for over-indulging in tasty treats is a bulging midriff. Hennie Pretorius explores ways in which we can trim that all important area, helping us ‘shape-up’ for summer.

Lushwill Rossouw, co-owner of Crossfit District 6 says, “Losing weight around the midline is a tricky one… but something can be done.”

There are always a-million-and-one suggestions to losing weight – many of which are suggested by friends and family. As good as the intensions may be the methods suggested may not always be beneficial to one’s health in the long run.

According to Biokineticist Tanya Smith, thanks to advanced technology, unhealthy lifestyles are the norm, often leading to obesity due to lack of activity:

“A waist circumference of greater than 102cm in men and 88 cm in women places the individual at a greater risk of experiencing a premature cardiac event due to the nature of the fat storage around the internal organs.”

You need to take into account what you eat and how much you eat: “In order to lose weight you have to supply your body with less fuel (food) than it consumes per day, over an extended period of time,” says Smith.

The ‘banting’ eating plan

Besides recommending regular exercise routines such as running, hiking and swimming, Rossouw suggests a healthy eating plan: “Once you have established that you are medically sound and that it just comes down to poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle… I would recommend an eating plan.”

Rossouw’s preferred eating plan, although first introduced in the late 19th century by William Banting, has more recently been made popular by Tim Noakes, professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town, is simply referred to as ‘banting’.

In a report by, Noakes points out that the ‘banting’ diet is ideal for him as it meets his biological needs affected by the onset of adult diabetes. Even so, Noakes believes many South Africans will benefit from the ‘banting’ eating plan.

As pointed out by Rossouw, this is an eating plan, not a diet. One would have to be committed for life: “It is not a quick-fix,” says Roussouw.

Banting is by no means the only viable diet leading to a healthier lifestyle. There are other diets, notably:

  • The Paleo diet, known by some as the ‘caveman diet’ is based on the consumption of foods similar to food consumed during the Palaeolithic era. Maybe there is something else drawing men to this diet, relating to the way cavemen lived. With ‘man caves’ becoming more and more popular, I wouldn’t be surprised.
  • The 5:2 diet, also referred to as the ‘fasting’ diet, makes provision for a low calorie intake for two days of the week. In other words – you starve yourself thin.

It is always advisable to consult your doctor and even a dietician before choosing a specific eating plan. As pointed out above, Noakes has chosen his plan based on his current health condition.

Will a diet alone help me lose my ‘boep’?

Trying to lose weight in a specific area is not going to happen with an eating plan designed to help you lose weight. If you are planning to target a specific area, such as the midriff, an exercise routine is essential.

“Though every person is genetically predisposed to gaining and losing weight on certain body areas more than others, there is no such thing as spot fat loss. You cannot lose weight just on certain areas and not others.

“You can however do more exercise for ‘problem’ body parts which will in turn firm those areas quicker than doing just the minimum. A healthy body, just as anything else in life comes from working at it daily,” says Smith.

There’s nothing better than a good old fashioned ‘workout’

Often the best way to lose weight is to have a personal trainer assess you and recommend specific exercises to help you reach your goal. Victor Southwell, owner of Evolve Studio, says Pilates is ideal, as it provides the entire body with a balanced workout:

“This is achieved through the functional movements which make up the Pilates repertoire which activates several muscles at once, rather than targeting just one muscle group.”

According to Southwell, the primary focus of Pilates is the strengthening of core muscles, which are essential to providing support for the spine and keeping the body balanced and better aligned.

Some men may have developed a negative complex as a result of an over-bulging ‘boep’. Southwell has recommended effective exercises one can do from the privacy of your home, ensuring a non-intrusive exercise routine and the start of an exercise plan leading to a healthier lifestyle. To find out what the exercises are, click here.

Laser treatment

Laser treatment is often associated with surgery. CoolSculpting is a non-surgical body sculpting treatment and has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Each session is an hour long but recovery is almost instant.

The process is called cryolipolysis which freezes and breaks down fat cells. It is not considered to be a weight loss tool and is more suited for those struggling to lose their last five or ten kilograms.

“We’ve seen patients lose up to 40% of the fat in an area treated. The minimum loss is 20% and every single one of our patients has been able to see a result,” says Natasha Chapman, aesthetic practitioner at Laserderm.

The majority of patients are men looking to improve their bodies: “Most of these men follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly but battle with difficult areas that refuse to respond to any amount of exercise and dieting. Typically, these include a paunch, love handles, man boobs, and cellulite,” says Chapman.

According to Chapman, it is a comfortable procedure where no pain medication is required. Reading a book, working on a laptop, listening to music or simply relaxing during the procedure is common practice.

Cheap imitation machines are out there and can be dangerous to your health. Rather seek medical experts familiar with the procedure than trust the cheap ‘dodgy’ deal to try and save a buck – this is your body we’re talking about.

Should I consider surgery?

I am personally not a fan of surgery procedure to help shed weight. But there are men out there who do not have any other option left. They have tried every diet made known to them, consulted nutritionists, doctors and personal trainers.

During gastric band surgery a band is tied around the top part of your stomach, creating a ‘mini’ stomach. The ‘mini’ stomach can’t hold as much food as your stomach. Your body tells you that you don’t need to eat anymore – you feel full.

There is no quick-fix to losing weight. It takes a balanced healthy lifestyle, a lifestyle that includes a regular exercise routine and a suitable diet. If you are struggling, consult a professional. If you still do not succeed, consider more drastic action such as surgery, but not before consulting your doctor.