As any man with a beer belly can tell you, you’ll never get that six pack by drinking too many six-packs. Now, with the new year in full swing, we say it’s time to ditch the beer gut and get yourself some abs you can be proud of. Sure, it might entail cutting down on those delicious suds and unhealthy snacks, but think of all the extra perks that will come your way. You’ll look great, feel great, and maybe even score some sober points with the opposite sex for once. Plus, if you find yourself pining for your flabby old beer gut instead of your newly chiseled physique, you can always reverse course. After all, growing a beer belly is much easier than losing one. Here are eight essential pointers on how to lose your beer gut. Let’s make it happen in 2018, mates!
This story is part of our “Better You” series.
Cut Down on the Beer Consumption
File this one under, “well, duh!” However, you’d be surprised at just how many men out there think they can maintain their beer guzzling habits and still develop washboard abs. Such a notion is of course not beyond the realm of possibility, but why make a hard thing even harder? Bear in mind we’re not saying you need to eliminate beer from your diet, rather that you should measure how much beer you drink per week and then drastically reduce that number. Ultimately, you should be aiming for no more than one beer a week if you’re really trying to get rid of your beer belly. Another quick pointer is to drink a full glass of water after every beer, which will help keep you full and hydrated without adding long-term weight to your bottom line.
Substitute Carbs for Proteins
Beer is essentially nothing but carbs, and modern science can tell you all about how your body processes those carbs Or, if you want to skip the lecture, just look down at your beer gut and you’ll have all the proof you need. Of course, beer is just one among many sources for carbs, and processed sugars can be just as harmful. We say put down the white bread and pick up a healthy supply of beans, nuts, fish and lean meats. And if it’s carbs you’re craving, aim for unprocessed foods like brown rice, quinoa, oats, fruits and vegetables.
Establish a Full Body Workout Routine
When figuring out how to lose your beer belly, your first instinct might be to hit the floor and pop out 200 crunches a day. Meanwhile, some fitness experts would argue you’re not doing nearly enough, and potentially hurting your back in the process. What you should be doing is building muscle mass and strengthening your entire body. Think exercises like squats and deadlifts, which work the abs in addition to all the other muscles. Pair that with stomach exercises (being mindful of posture) and a quality cardio regimen and you’re on your way to chisel town.
Eat Frequently and Healthily
What, you thought your beer gut was strictly due to the beer? Odds are you’re making poor dietary choices in addition to your over-drinking. But that doesn’t mean you should starve yourself, which isn’t necessarily a wise or healthy move. Start your day with a big, nutritional breakfast and remember to snack regularly. Try not to overeat at night, especially after 6PM. Ultimately, you should be burning more calories than you’re consuming without ever feeling too hungry.
Find Excuses to Move Around More
Do you live within a mile of the nearest grocery store? If so, walk there instead of driving there. Are you located on the second or third floor of an apartment building? Next time, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Finding extra reasons to move around is a great way to sneak in some extra fitness, not to mention reduce your dependence on automation or convenience. This is not just how to lose your beer belly, but how to recondition yourself for a healthier lifestyle in general.
Keep the Fitness Going Even When You’re At Rest
It’s the 21st century and that means spending a lot of time sitting down in front of a computer. Don’t let the prolonged lack of mobility disrupt your fitness flow. In other words, raise those legs for some impromptu crunches on a regular basis, and don’t forget to stand up and walk around every now and then.
Try Going Cold Turkey
As much as you love reading reports that beer is “good” for you in moderation, you should consider going cold turkey for a week or two when trying to lose your beer belly. Set a deadline and tell you yourself that you will not drink any beer until that deadline. When the deadline arrives, you might find that your cravings have greatly subsided, allowing for moderate consumption moving forward.
Stay on Top of Your Metrics
As purveyors of lifestyle content, we can assure you that you’re never too far away from a fitness tracker. Seriously, you’d be amazed at how easy it is to stay on top of things like heart rate, weight, steps, and BMI. Find the gadget that works for you, or just kick it old school with a bathroom scale and mirror. What’s important is that you stay on top of your progress every day. Treat losing your beer gut like a mountain you’re climbing and don’t stop until you’ve reached the top.
This story is part of our “Better You” series.