We’re heading into the season where spending time outside with buddies or grilling on the BBQ often goes hand in hand with a cold brewski. If you’ve noticed your belly is bigger than you’d like it to be or you want to avoid the bulge, then we’ve got tips for you.
Despite the name “beer gut,” beer is not the sole cause of abdominal fat buildup—it’s usually a combination of unhealthy habits. A poor diet, excess calories, high-stress levels, poor sleeping patterns and a lack of exercise are some of the variables that can affect the size of a man’s belly.
The type of fat men gain in their midsection is known as visceral fat, which is the fat that encompasses the abdomen’s internal organs and can push them outward. Visceral fat responds better to a healthy diet than exercise, which is why drinking alcohol and consuming too many calories are the main causes of a beer gut.
Can doing just sit-ups get rid of a beer belly?
When many people think of losing weight, one of the first things that comes to mind is getting six-pack abs. Unfortunately, doing hundreds of sit-ups every day won’t lead to a loss of belly fat. In fact, exercises that promote a reduction of fat in just one spot on your body don’t exist.
Can you drink beer and still lose belly fat?
The short answer is yes, but how much beer you drink makes a big difference. Moderation is key. Also, if you have a couple of beers on a Friday night, pay attention to what you eat for dinner and breakfast the next day. If you have a beer with a cheeseburger and fries, that’s going to double down on the unhealthy aspects. When you want to enjoy the occasional beer, think high protein, lean fats and lots of veg for your meals.
Pair your favourite brew with one of these filling man salads.
What are the best exercises to do to lose a beer gut?
Combined with a healthy diet, a workout program that combines cardiovascular, resistance and core work will ultimately help you reduce body fat over your entire body, not just your belly.
Even without access to a gym, there are many exercises you can do at home that will help you burn calories and lose belly fat. By combining cardiovascular with strength exercises into an interval program, you will challenge both your heart and muscles, leading to more calories burned and increased metabolism.
Try this bodyweight interval circuit
This bodyweight interval circuit can help reduce a beer gut, and it can also help you prevent getting one in the first place. Do these 8 exercises 30 seconds at a time with 30 seconds of rest in between. That equals 4 minutes of work and 4 minutes of rest. Do 3-5 rounds with a 2-minute rest at the end of each round.
30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest:
- Jog in place
- Jumping jacks
- Front plank
- Jog in place
- Jumping jacks
- Walking lunges
Healthy eating tips for losing belly fat
You don’t need to make drastic changes to your diet right out of the gate, but your goal is to increase your protein and reduce your calorie intake by around 500 calories per day. Increased protein will help to repair and build your muscles, raise your metabolic rate and make you feel fuller for longer than carbs or fats, so you’re less likely to snack between meals.
If you look at it by the numbers, one pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories. If you cut your calorie intake by 500 calories a day and burn 500 calories every day, you could ideally lose 1-2 pounds a week (7 days x 1000 calories = 7000 calories). This works out to a loss of 4-8 pounds per month. Keep in mind that these estimates vary from person to person, and factors like age, weight, height, activity level and general health will affect the results.
In addition to reducing calories, making healthier choices when it comes to food is key. Eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and less processed foods and those with added sugars, enriched flour, and saturated fats can all contribute to the loss of your beer gut.
Are there other lifestyle changes that can help you lose a beer belly?
Aside from diet and exercise, there are two more ways you can help reduce your beer belly. Chronically high levels of a stress hormone known as cortisol can cause you to store more fat around your belly. Stress management techniques such as a mindfulness or meditation practice, reduction of screen time and spending more time in nature can all contribute to reducing stress.
In addition to increased stress, the lack of adequate sleep may result in unhealthy eating patterns and behaviours, making you consume more calories. 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night is recommended for optimal health.
Try out a few of the above tips and see how they work for you.
Do you have ways you’ve reduced your beer gut? Share in the comments below.
What does your health future look like?
Learn your risk level for the 8 most common health conditions that impact men. Free, confidential and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Take control of your health with Men’s Health Check.