Have a Beer Belly?
5 Tips to Get Rid of It Forever
No one is born with a beer belly, but after years of weekly beer pong games and endless tailgating parties, your flat stomach may have been replaced with the dreaded beer belly. Each beer you drink is about 150 calories, which can really add up quickly. When you drink alcohol your liver prioritizes the burning of alcohol instead of fat, leaving you with some excess pudge around the waistline. Men in particular tend to store excess fat and calories around their belly. Before you say goodbye to beer forever, give these exercise and eating habits a try. You can regain a lean midsection and still enjoy a cold one by following these tips to blast your built-up belly fat.
1. Lift weights
If you have a beer gut it means you are consuming more calories (from beer or food) than you burn. Stop the downward cycle by hitting the gym. Lifting weights strengthens your muscles and boosts your metabolism. Not only will you look more toned, but with a higher metabolic rate you will actually burn more calories all day long.
2. Monitor your beer consumption
If you really want to burn off that beer gut, then you’re going to have to cut back on the amount of beer that you drink. When you drink to excess, your liver goes into overdrive to process the alcohol from those beers you consumed, filtering the alcohol, which acts as a toxin. Because of this, the liver becomes less efficient, and is less able to process fat into energy, meaning more of it will stick around your midsection. Combine this with a drop in metabolism as you age and you get a beer belly. Come up with a plan that works for your lifestyle. One option is to pick one day a week to drink beer. By skipping the carb-loaded beverage six days a week, you will cut back on overall calories consumed and can drink to your heart’s content on the seventh day. This option works great if you have a weekly guy’s night out or you enjoy drinking beer while watching the football game. Another option is to drink as you regularly do, but to control your consumption by having a glass of water after every beer. This will control the volume of beer you drink while keeping you better hydrated. The more water you drink the less space there will be in your stomach for beer and all the high-calorie foods that usually accompany it.
3. Get in good cardio and strengthen your core
If you want to burn off your gut, you’re going to have to do more than go for a 30-minute jog. To combat beer calories, do anaerobic cardio like sprints or interval training, which involve intense bursts of energy followed by a short rest period. This type of training is called HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). This sort of cardio targets body fat as fuel and is less time-consuming than an hour-long jog or bike ride. If you up the intensity, you can get in a fat-burning workout in a quick 10 to 15 minutes. If you know you have a night of beer drinking ahead of you, dedicate some time to getting in some anaerobic cardio in the afternoon and then again the next day. By making a point to burn more calories than you consume, you will start losing weight.
Target your abdominal muscles and your core muscle group in your exercise routine. Building these muscles up while simultaneously losing weight is the best way to get rid of the beery belly.
Work out your core at home with sit-ups and planks. Start slow, aiming for a three or four sets of 30 – 50 sit-ups, and five 30-second planks over the course of a half hour. Then, increase the speed of the activity to add a little cardio into the mix. You’ll be building your core and losing weight.
Some people have the misconception that drinking lots of beer and eating lots of calories won’t matter as long as you work out your abs. Not true. Building core muscle will strengthen your abdominals, but it won’t eliminate your belly fat, and might even make your belly look bigger as you’re building the muscles. Eating fewer calories and losing a few pounds is the only way to get rid of that gut.
4. Prioritize sleep and try to relax
Take the time to relax. It’s not just alcohol that’s responsible for your belt line. Cortisol, a hormone your body produces in response to stress, can also cause weight gain, specifically around the belly area. If you’re feeling stressed, it’s important to take time out to relax as a way of shrinking your belt line.Many people use drinking as a relaxation routine, but try switching to herbal tea or even just sitting in meditative reflection instead of drinking to relax. You might be surprised at how much more relaxing the alternatives can be.
Make sure you get enough healthy, restful sleep each night, between seven to eight hours. Being rested throughout the day is an important part of staying stress-free. This may literally be the easiest way to beat that beer gut. Significant research shows that getting enough sleep will help you beat the temptation of high-carb snacks, which lead to weight gain. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recommends eight and a half hours of sleep every night for the best results. While this may mean an earlier bedtime and less TV time, adequate sleep will help lower stress and improve your memory in addition to helping you maintain a healthy weight.
5. Eat the right foods and count calories
You may be cutting down on calories, but if your diet consists of refined grains and sugars like white bread, crackers, chips, and cookies, you may still have trouble losing weight around your belly. Stomach fat is associated with inflammation, so eating processed foods (which increase inflammation) will hinder your ability to lose the gut. Swap out your packaged foods and snacks for fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods contain powerful antioxidants which have anti-inflammatory properties and can actually prevent belly fat.
It’s important to find your resting caloric intake number and start counting calories if you want to lose weight. Include any beers you drink in that amount to determine how much beer will be too much. For most people between 1,700 and 2,000 calories a day is a normal intake. To lose weight that number can be safely dropped to around 1,500 calories. It is important to create a safe plan for losing weight and cutting calories while ensuring you get the necessary nutrients and enough calories to stay healthy.
- If you’re going to go out for a round of beers with friends, make sure you eat something that it is both substantial and healthy first. Lean meats, whole grains, and nutritious vegetables are an essential part of any good weight-loss regimen, as well as effective at helping to metabolize the beer you consume. If you’re full, then you’ll also be less likely to drink more and eat unhealthy bar food.
Never drink on an empty stomach. The toxic impact of alcohol is increased if there’s nothing else going through your digestive tract. Plus, the hangovers are way worse. Always eat something before you have beer.
Eating healthy food before you have a couple drinks will also help you avoid the temptation of late night bad food cravings. The Drunk Munchies are a major cause of beer bellies, so if you want to avoid the gut, you also need to avoid the midnight fourth meal.