Two things happen every time I contemplate drinking a beer. First, my heart, mind, and taste buds sing out in joyous harmony at the prospect of enjoying a delicious glass of the most tempting foursome in the world: water, barley, yeast, and hops. Second, every fat cell in my beer belly joins the chorus. For they know that they’re about to make some amazing and squishy new friends.
I’m not gonna lie; I never have nor ever will give up drinking beer. This fact, for quite some time, made it very difficult for me to lose weight. However, with a slight attitude adjustment and through a little trial and error, I figured out how to shrink my beer belly without giving up beer. Over the last few years I’ve dropped nearly 60 pounds, most of which was belly fat. I’m still holding on to some of that gut, but I’m working on it. If you want to learn how to get rid of your beer belly without having to cut the suds completely, read through this article and get your ass in gear. Keep in mind that the results will not be immediately evident. It generally takes 10-12 weeks before there’s a noticeable difference. Make the commitment to yourself to stick with it.
- MGD 64
- Bud 55
- Amstel Light
- Michelob Ultra
Getting Rid of a Beer Belly
Beer intake control. The biggest problem with beer is that it’s high in calories, high in sugars, and has almost no nutritional value. So the first thing you need to do to get rid of that big ol’ fat belly is to cut down on the beer. Try to limit yourself to just one or two per day (most days). In small amounts like this, beer has actually been shown to be good for your heart. Also, work on gearing yourself more towards dark beers. They’re often richer, so people tend to drink less of them at a time. Whatever type of beer you’re drinking, the most important step in losing beer belly fat is being careful about snacking while you’re drinking. Most 12 oz beers have between 100 and 200 calories. Couple a few of those with a few handfuls of chips or a greasy cheeseburger, and you’ve just consumed a whole day’s worth of calories.
What not to eat. Beer bellies are caused by far more than just beer. 80% of the crap many of us shove down our throats would be better off shoved down the garbage disposal. If you truly want to know how to reduce your belly fat, look at what you eat. Cut out as many processed foods as you can. This includes white bread and pasta, hot dogs, fast food, processed cheese foods, potato chips, crackers, etc. Also cut out things with refined sugars and high fructose corn syrup, like soda, candy bars, cookies, cake, and . . . use your common sense. If you don’t think it’s good for you, it probably isn’t.
What to eat. When working to lose a beer belly, it’s important to eat healthy foods that are low in fat and calories. Start eating whole grain cereals, breads, and pastas. It’s also a good idea to eat plenty of raw vegetables, nuts and fruits. Many of these, like carrots and celery, are actually negative calorie foods. This means your body burns more calories digesting them than it derives from them. Legumes are a great option as well. Not only are they high in protein, but they give you gas. And let’s face it, farts are still funny. When picking meat, pick out lean cuts and don’t fry them. It’s far better for you to bake, broil, or grill. If you can work it into your schedule, switch from eating three large meals a day to eating five small meals. Whatever you do, start paying attention to your caloric intake. For most people, anything more than 2000 – 2400 calories is too much.
Exercise. I know, and I’m sorry. But if you want to drop your beer belly quickly, there’s no better way to do it than to add a little cardio to your new diet. A steady exercise routine (at least 30 minutes, 3 – 5 times a week) not only helps you to burn calories while in the act, it also helps you to maintain a higher metabolism throughout the day and thus burn more calories even when you’re just sitting on your ass. So, look into good cardiovascular activities like walking, jogging, swimming, using an elliptical or anything else that gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat. Don’t be afraid to do some weight training while you’re at it. The more muscle mass you have, the better your body metabolizes fat. Ab exercises, while not as good for getting rid of a beer belly as cardio, are also good. Do sit-ups, crunches, TVA exercises, and sit up straight.
Don’t forget to relax. I know, sounds a little counter-productive. But seriously, a little down time is far better at helping you to lose weight than you would think. The human body creates this neat hormone called cortisol. It’s the hormone that is responsible for the fight-or-flight responses that are triggered in high-stress situations. Cortisol causes your body to release high levels of blood sugar for a quick burst of energy. If those sugars aren’t utilized, and they usually aren’t, they end up getting stored as fat. And guess where they’re probably gonna get stored? That’s right buddy, those new fat cells are gonna get all snuggled up nice and warm next to the ones already in your beer belly. So, work a couple sessions of relax time into your day. Shoot for at least 20-minute periods and just chill. Read a book, listen to some music, take a nap, or just contemplate the ceiling.
Beer Belly Dangers
Whether you have a big beer belly or a small one, listen up. The effects of having a little bitta extra cushion around the midsection will surprise you. There are a number of ailments that are caused or aggravated by that kind of fat. Aside from directly causing a number of health issues, having a beer gut can also increase your likelihood of developing others. The following is just a short list of the dangers associated with belly fat:
- Heart disease
- Insulin resistance
- Increased risk of breast cancer
- Metabolic syndrome
- Gall bladder problems
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of colorectal cancer
- Increased risk of stroke
- Fatty liver
- Sleep apnea
Natural Beer Belly Burners
Green tea. Not only is green tea pretty delicious, it has also been shown in numerous studies to help your body process fat. So next time you feel like reaching for that third beer, brew yourself some green tea instead.
Water and lemon. Contrary to popular belief, drinking lukewarm water with the juice from half a lemon squeezed into it won’t make you lose weight. What it does do is supply you with a more interesting alternative to beer and soda than plain water. And since it’s important to drink plenty of water anyway when trying to lose a beer belly, it’s still a good suggestion.
Apple cider vinegar. Before going out on the town for a night of binge drinking and hamburger slamming, take a couple tablespoons of good old fashioned apple cider vinegar. This stuff is a natural appetite suppressant. If you’re intending to take in 8,074 empty beer calories in a single night, there’s nothing I can say to stop you. However, if you try the apple cider vinegar, maybe your resolve against junk food will hold out through the night.