If you haven't heard at least five promises this year on how to lose your beer belly with minimal to no effort, we seriously doubt you've been on the planet! There are so many "experts" and "fitness gurus" out there talking about getting a lean middle by doing nothing more than binge-watching The Walking Dead that it's become harder than ever to dismiss these promises. We get that. We also get that you want results and not just empty promises. But results almost inevitably mean expending effort and that's where most people fall off the wagon. Armed with these simple tips, you'll lose that beer belly and keep it off.
Beer-Belly Buster #1: Lift heavy weights, do total-body exercises
According to Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, you need to build muscle under your fat to even think of getting leaner in the middle. He advises "doing squats, deadlifts, chest presses, and rows to add more muscle and increase your metabolism." By adding muscle, you'll be losing fat and literally melting the fat from the inside!
Beer-Belly Buster #2: Use timed circuits
If you want to get a flat tummy, you can't expect it to happen by endless hours of steady-state cardio. Yeung told us that you can "get a massive fat-burning effect by exercising for 30 seconds and resting for 30 seconds over and over again." Bonus: These interval-type workouts burn more calories both during and after exercise.
Beer-Belly Buster #3: Do more aerobic exercise
"While interval training is great for fat loss, you still need to improve your aerobic conditioning so you can exercise harder and more frequently while training your body to use fat as fuel," said Yeung. He advises doing one to two 30-minute aerobic workouts each week. He advises that you "keep your heart rate between 130 to 150 beats per minute," for optimal results.
Beer-Belly Buster #4: Eat smart every day
Skipping meals and starving yourself isn't a real solution. For actual fat loss around your middle, Keith Cormican, a UK-based registered dietitian, told us that "those who skip meals tend to feel hungrier later on and eat more than they normally would. Skipping or delaying meals increases the release of the hunger hormone called ghrelin, and it makes you emotionally hungry, leading to craving high-calorie junk foods." The best advice: eat balanced meals with high-quality lean protein, complex carbs, and vegetables. The real trick to leaning out your gut, according to Cormican, is that you follow this advice and eat every three hours.
Beer-Belly Buster #5: Stop drinking beer
You must have seen this coming. According to Cormican "drinking moderate to high intakes of alcohol can affect body fat distribution because when the body is fed alcohol and fat, it will get rid of the alcohol first by using it as the preferred source of energy." If your body is using the alcohol as energy, what do you think it's doing with the fat in your system? You guessed it: "The body will store the fat, especially around the abdominal area, causing the beer belly." Want more reasons to stop drinking? Cormican told us that "drinking alcohol stops fat metabolism in the liver causing it to build up especially around the abs."
With these five tips, you're sure to ditch that beer belly, but don't expect results overnight. These are life-changing tips, but only if you make a commitment to a real change in your life. Your best bet is to take baby steps. It's rare for anyone to suddenly take up healthy habits and reinvent themselves overnight, so don't put that kind of pressure on yourself. Slow your intake of alcohol, start eating better gradually, and make a habit of working out with steady progression and that beer belly will be a memory in less time than you'd think!