Before you say goodbye to beer (and your social life) 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. Beat the 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. Active recommends focusing on your legs and lower body, which represents 60 percent of your total muscle mass.
2. Monitor your beer consumption
This may not sound like fun, but if you really want to burn off that beer gut, you’re going to have to cut back. Come up with a plan that works for your lifestyle. One option is to pick just 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 desire on the seventh day. This option works great if you have a weekly guys night or don’t want to be limited on game day. Another option is to drink as you regularly do, but to control your consumption byhaving 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
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 those beer calories do anaerobic cardio like sprints or interval training, which involve intense bursts of energy followed by a short rest period. 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 10-15 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.
4. Prioritize sleep
This may literally be the easiest way to beat the bulge. 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
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.