Some men wear their beer gut as a badge of honour, as if it is a symbol of their manliness. This is seriously deluded thinking. For those of us that want to shed the extra kilos, here are a few ways you can beat the barrel belly.
Why should you lose it?
Besides the obvious aesthetic issues, a beer gut isn't doing you any favours, either socially and physically. Although a large stomach will forever be linked to alcohol, it is widely agreed that overeating and lack of exercise are the main reasons for a beer belly to grow, and if you're a bit pudgy down there you're increasing the likelihood of developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which ups the risk of heart disease, diabetes or having a stroke.
It's also fair to assume you're not exactly king with the ladies either, not to mention being a source of amusement for your mates.
How do you do it?
Unfortunately there is no quick fix. Sometimes the oldest methods are the best and the right mix of healthy eating and drinking, exercise and a positive attitude are the best way to shed unwanted fat. If you go for a quick and speedy fix, remember that it will be most likely unsustainable and the weight will come back soon after you relax the routine.
Firstly, measure your waistline. This may seem simple but knowing where you started can do wonders for your confidence a few weeks into the process when the differences start to be noticeable.
Healthy eating and drinking
Balance is the key word when it comes to eating and drinking. It is important to keep eating a range of different foods so the body gets all the nutrition it needs from a variety of different sources.
The following points are a decent overall guideline.
- Reduce overall kilojoule intake. Even the minor changes will pay off, so if you're drinking regular soft drink, switching to the diet version will work wonders.
- Cut down on fatty foods such as hot chips and meat pies. Some fat is fine, but keep it to a minimum.
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
- Try to cut down on alcohol and try switching to a low-kilojoule beer.
- Snacking between meals can be a dangerous habit. If you really are feeling the hunger come on, fruit snacks provide a healthy, low-fat option.
Aerobic or cardio-vascular exercise is the key to burning fat. This can be achieved through anything from fast walking to swimming, rowing, cycling, jogging or practically anything that gets the heart rate going and produces sweat. Yes, even sex is exercise.
Endless sit-ups are effective for strengthening the abdominal muscles, but they don't burn fat or diminish a beer belly as many would expect. Don't feel pressured into doing these right away because they can put excessive pressure on your lower back when done incorrectly.
The best thing for you to do is get out and move. Depending on your time restraints, 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week should be enough to get the belly shrinking. Once you get on a roll you can add an extra 10 minutes here and there; it all adds up!
Also, ditch the car or bus whenever you can. If your supermarket or coffee shop is just up the road then walk instead of settling for the lazy option.
Remember, exercise is good not only for burning fat, it's also extremely effective at clearing your mind and helping you feel positive and happy psychologically.
Do you have any tips to help lose a beer gut? Share your thoughts below
Without the right attitude, no attempts at beating the beer belly into submission are going to work. Having the motivation and willpower to do it is half the battle. Undoubtedly the hardest part is starting, but once you start noticing the differences you'll find keeping the kilos off a lot simpler than first thought.