Readers and clients often ask me about how they can lose weight around their mid-section. For most people, that is consistently a problematic area that doesn't seem to go away despite efforts with diet and exercise. Oftentimes, this extra weight comes from what we all know as the "beer belly." That unsightly pudge that comes from drinking too much alcohol, eating a variety of unhealthy/fatty foods, such as processed white flour, sugar and foods low in fiber. The average can of beer contains 140 calories, and the averaged mixed-drink has over 600 calories. These can accurately be called "empty-calories" since your body gets no vital nutrients, vitamins or minerals. Regular intake of these empty calories can pave the way to weight gain. Alcohol has been shown to interfere with the body's ability to metabolize fats, causing it to store fat much easier. This combined effect can lead to the beer belly.
4 Ways to Get Rid of a Beer Belly
The Obvious One: Stop Drinking Alcohol
Not consuming alcohol will completely eliminate any problems. Many people do imbibe occasionally and responsibly though; if you truly enjoy a cold beer, enjoy in moderation. Limit yourself to one or two alcoholic drinks per week. Reducing the amount of alcohol you consume can lead to a dramatic reduction in your total calorie intake. Not drinking alcohol, or sodas, you quickly notice a drop in weight.
Take Action Against Alcohol: Exercise!
The more we move, the more we enhance our lives. Burning fat and keeping our cardiovascular system in optimal shape will help us rid our body of excess fat and toxins. Regular cardiovascular exercise will increase your heart rate, add strength, and tone your muscles. Don't focus on sit-ups and "belly-related" exercises, thinking that this will tone your flabby gut. The excess fat around your belly is the issue, and until you lose that fat, the weight will cover any of the muscles you are building.
Eat Like You Love Your Body
Over-consumption of alcohol is often cited as causing the body to crave detrimental foods. The classic example of fried foods and snacks always accompany drinks for a reason. Healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, raw seeds and raw nuts aid the body in detoxifying itself from the harmful residues left behind by the over-consumption of alcohol. They also boost energy levels, increasing overall well-being, and over time, help to reduce or eliminate alcohol cravings.
Drink Purified Water
Drinking enough water will help to make the process of eliminating extra fat from the body easier. Try to drink half your body weight in ounces per day (body-weight in lbs/2). I recommend distilled water.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.