With guys, weight gain—and loss—is all about the gut.

Men are genetically predisposed to carry any excess weight in their abdomens, says Brian Quebbemann, M.D., a bariatric surgeon with the Chapman Medical Center in California and president of The N.E.W. Program. And unfortunately, unlike fat in your butt, neck, and thighs, abdominal fat isn’t limited to subcutaneous, just-below-the-skin fat. Belly fat exists all the way down to and around your organs.

“This visceral fat is directly correlated with multiple medical problems including diabetes, coronary artery disease, hypertension, sleep apnea, and a shorter life expectancy,” says Quebbemann.

Add all of that to the simple fact that guts just aren’t sexy and, yeah, you have plenty of reason to get rid of yours for good. Luckily, all of these science-approved tips don’t just fight fat—they fight belly fat.