After reading this, be sure to read our advice page about losing belly fat.
OK, this is an article aimed at our male readers, although the rules do still apply to all. As we all know, once you get past your teenage years and start enjoying life a little more, the dreaded beer gut starts to make an appearance. If not kept in check, then soon it literally takes center stage and becomes the focus of all attention, both your own and that of colleagues and partners.
To understand how to lose your beer gut, you first need to know what it is and how you managed to get it in the first place.
What Is A Beer Gut?
Unlike the extra fat that many women carry on their hips and buttocks, a man’s beer gut is often almost solid to the touch. This is because rather than consisting of surface fat (subcutaneous fat) it consists of fat that surrounds the internal organs (visceral fat). This type of fat creates a near solid lump where your internal organs are and is therefore firm to the touch.
This type of fat is also extremely unhealthy, it literally strangles your organs, depriving them of the freedom they deserve to move and breathe (for want of a better word without delving into human biology). It basically leads to disease, including heart disease. So, beer bellies are not good.
What is the Best Way to Lose Your Beer Gut?
Many people will say – EXERCISE! But think logically – how did you get your big stomach? Was it because you stopped playing football 3 times a week? Or was it because you started drinking 6 pints of beer 3 nights a week? The reason for putting on fat around the internal organs is mostly due to diet, and not so much due to lack of exercise. This is why you need to do a diet plan as well as exercise.
Although exercise keeps you fit, exercise alone will not lose fat. Athletes and sportspersons have to follow strict diets to maintain their optimum weight. Being slim gives them a competitive advantage, and is not always a byproduct of working out. Although obviously exercise does help to increase a calorie deficit, diet is most important.
Our MCD Weight Loss plan is also designed to help burn off fat with a combination of healthy eating and highly intensive exercise. The first rule of exercise for weight loss is that it must be done with intensity.
But before you start exercising you need to stop drinking so much beer. This is the fist vital step to get rid of your beer gut. You do not need to give up, but cut back big time.
If you down 8 pints on a Saturday night, then you are consuming over 1500 kcal (calories) in one evening, on top of all the food you ate during the day, plus the junk food you eat afterwards, and the breakfast you eat the following day to get over the hangover. This means your Saturday night is adding about 3000 calories to your weekly diet. Do this twice a week and that beer gut will be ballooning in no time.
Diet Your Beer Gut Away
Remember, it is not just the beer that you have been drinking that has given you a beer gut, but also all the junk food that you eat at the same time. Salted peanuts, chips, pork scratchings, kebabs and baltis all add thousands of extra calories to your weekly diet.
Follow these diet rules to lose your gut:
- For fastest results, stop drinking beer completely. Otherwise, cut back just a few pints each week
- Cut back on calories generally. Eat less, eat smaller portions
- Cut out bread and pasta. Replace with healthy vegetables, fruits and salads
- Stop drinking fruit juice (it contains fructose, a form of sugar high in calories)
- Eat more proteins and healthy fats, and less carbohydrates
- Eggs are your friends at breakfast, chicken for lunch, fish for dinner
- Chose low GI foods (GI essentially being a measure of sugar content in food, including healthy vegetables)
- Eat soup every day for one meal
- Eat a salad every day as part of a highly nutritious meal – hold the salad dressing, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Replace all daytime drinks except black coffee with water.
Get Fit and Build Muscle to Help Lose Your Beer Gut
If you are going to exercise, which you really should, then make it count. Men have an advantage over women when it comes to losing fat – testosterone. The natural levels of testosterone in the body mean that it is easier to build muscle, and this means that with weight training you can not only burn calories while exercising, you can build lean muscle to help boost your metabolism.
Studies have shown that the best way to lose fat is to shock the body. There are two ways of doing this, and you must do both:
- HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training. You need to work hard, work up a sweat, and be out of breath. If you can hold a conversation while exercising, you are not working hard enough.
- Compound Weight Training Exercises – Big lifts, including Deadlift, Squat, Bench Press, Shoulder Press, Bent Over Row, Barbell Curls. Work the muscles hard to burn fat and build more fat burning muscle!
Although we said above that exercise alone is not the route to losing your gut, it does help a great deal. Some people hit the treadmill in the gym for 30 minutes a day, plodding along, and then head straight back to the bar and order beer and fries. This does not work. But a rigorous exercise regime will help a great deal. There are some really intensive fitness plans available online.
The solution is really simple – eat less and exercise more. The application is often harder! But you can do it.