10 Effective steps to get rid of Beer Belly
What have Jack Black, Jack Nicholson and John Travolta got in common with nearly half of all men in the US, the UK and Australia? As evidenced in recent paparazzi shots, they’re all showing signs of the dreaded “beer belly” – that bulge around the abdomen that hangs unattractively over a chap’s pants and increases the likelihood of heart disease, diabetes and dementia. That’s right, latest research shows if you’ve got a big belly in your 40s, you’ve got up to a 30 per cent greater chance of having dementia in your 70s.*
Whatever you call it, beer gut, beer pot or beer belly may not necessarily have a lot do to with beer drinking – but almost certainly alcohol consumption of some sort will play a big part in its creation.
So how do I get rid of beer gut fat?
It’s difficult to lose beer gut fat but not impossible. The trick is to take your time, cut out the alcohol or reduce it a lot, and take up something you enjoy that will provide regular exercise. Here’s a quick guide to how to do it:
Ten Tips for Banishing Your Beer Gut Now
1) Get inspired Your inspiration will serve as your motivation, so think of something that you really want. Is it being able to look better? Wear cooler clothes? Attract more women? Have more energy? Perform better sexually? If you are motivated by the fact that you can impress that new woman with your sculptured abs, then go lose your beer belly now.
2) Set realistic goals – If your waistline measures 38 inches, set a goal and make it 37 next month. You can make it 35 on the second, and then 32 on the next. Don’t aim to make it 24 if you are starting from 38 — and even if it’s from 38 to 34, it wouldn’t still be a realistic goal to achieve. Set only the goals you and your body can attain.
3) Combine aerobic exercise and strength training You won’t get rid of a beer belly just by doing sit ups. Research show that aerobic exercise – swimming, treadmill, speed walking, running, spinning and biking at least four times a week – is required to reduce belly fat. You need to spend at least 45 minutes per session. You should also walk as often as possible.
4) Strength training While it won’t remove belly fat you’ve already accumulated, strength training does prevent the formation of new deep abdominal fat as proven by Kathryn Schmitz of the School of Medicine in the University of Pennsylvania.* After two years, the middle-aged strength training group members gained only a small percent of deep abdominal fat while the control group gained 21 percent.
You may want to consider not only working out your abs, but also working out your shoulders, pectorals, back, and arms to help create a more shapely “V” figure, which will help reduce the appearance of your belly. Keep this in mind: bulking up your muscles requires fewer reps (about 8 ) and fewer sets with greater weight. Building leaner muscle requires more reps, more sets, and less weight.
5) Burn fat slowly Don’t crash diet. You’ll weaken muscle, slow your metabolism, and in the long run damage your health. Instead, aim to reduce your weight by 1 or 2 pounds a week, by eating plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole foods, and reducing fat and sugar. Always eat a good breakfast. Five small meals in a day is highly recommended. You will look good, feel good and stand a much better chance of keeping your weight and your beer gut down permanently.
6 ) Drink less alcohol There’s a reason they call it a “beer belly,” and drinking less beer, or quitting drinking altogether, will help you lose belly fat. No matter who (or how good looking) the drinker is, beer is bad for a number of reasons. The most obvious reason is the caloric content of beer. The less obvious reasons are the inflammation of the pancreas and liver, and the bloating that often accompany the over-consumption of alcoholic beverages; this includes alcohol mixed with sweet, sugary liquids like soda.
7) Build exercise into daily routines Park the car a few blocks from work forcing you to walk the rest of the journey every day. If you take the bus or train, try and get off a stop or two early and walk the rest of the journey. Avoid taking lifts and escalators if there are stairs you can take instead.
8) Reduce sugar Sugar is a big one. The sugar found in junk food and soda is the kind of sugar that burns quickly, unlike those sugars found in fruits and vegetables, which burn more slowly. If your body is processing sugar to create energy, and you’re not using any energy, those sugars will be converted into fat for later use. If you’re going to enjoy sweets, enjoy them right before you use the Stair Master.
9) A daily lemon — Recognize your best friend when it comes to burning fat: a lemon. The formula is simple. In a glass of lukewarm water, put the juice you have squeezed from half a lemon. It’s the best way to jumpstart your problematic metabolism and it also cleanses your liver.
10) Drink water – Drinking water after eating is not enough. If you are not drinking enough water a day, then don’t expect to lose your beer belly anytime soon. Eight glasses containing eight ounces of water a day will make your chances of getting rid of beer belly bigger and better.
The final clincher – bizarre beer gut fact No 3
Blokes who booze in a big way could end up with not just a belly but ‘big man boobs’ too. Why? Because drinking large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis can cause a slight increase in the production of the female hormone, estrogen, on top of a reduction in the male hormone, testosterone.
It’s a long term commitment to lose belly fat, but when you’re fit, trim and mentally alert at 70, you’ll be glad you did it.
* Rachel A. Whitmer, PhD, research scientist of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, CA, and member of the American Academy of Neurology. Published March 26, 2008, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
* Schmitz KH, Jensen MD, Hannan P. Strength training prevents increase in visceral fat among women. Presented at the American Heart Association’s 46th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention in association with the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism, Phoenix, AZ, March 2-5, 2006.