Beer belly, pot belly, whiskey paunch, middle aged spread, whatever you want to call it a big, protruding tummy is not an attractive thing and it’s not a healthy one either (unless you happen to be a Mom to be or new mom  but that’s a different story..)

As easy as it seems to be to gain a beer belly (even if you don’t actually drink beer) it’s much harder to lose it. But it can be done.

Beer Bellies and Health

An oversized tummy is more than just an eyesore on the beach; it can be hazardous to your overall health and well-being as well. Recent research has found that those with excess abdominal fat are at a higher risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and the development of Type 2 Diabetes. There is even some developing science linking excessive abdominal fat with early onset dementia. And of course, there is a mental health aspect associated with beer bellies as well as they do tend to lead to lower self- esteem and a negative body image.

How to Lose a Beer Belly

Losing that tummy is not going to be an easy task. No matter what those flashy online ads say there is no magic pill/formula/elixir that will do it for you and the fact is that you could crunch yourself into a coma and that alone is not going to give you a flatter tum.

Losing a beer belly calls for a concerted plan of attack (sounds rather dramatic but it’s true) and more than a little dedication. Here are some tips and ‘tricks’ to get you started though.

Diet – Again, contrary to what you might read online there is no such thing as an effective ‘tummy specific’ diet plan. And a crash diet won’t help either. If you make a mindful decision to change the way you eat for good though then it most certainly will.

Obviously cutting down – or cutting it out completely – junk food from your diet is a must. But you don’t have to starve. Spend a day or two writing down everything you eat and looking up just how many calories that translated into (there are some great smartphone apps to help do that by the way)Then, find ways to cut around 300-350 calories daily initially, which may not be as hard as you think. And yes, if you are a beer drinker consumption of that should be cut as well, since the average cold one is packed full of them.

Finally, on the diet front, consider changing the way you eat. Many, including medical researchers, are now finding it’s better to eat five or six small meals a day rather than three big ones. This, it is believed, is because eating these small meals throughout the day forces the digestive system to work continuously, leading to more burned calories.

Exercise – The best diet in the world won’t result in a more beautiful you if you don’t add some extra exercise as well and it needs to be all over exercise, not just exercises that supposedly target the tummy. Exercises like crunches can help tone the muscles in the abdominal area but fat cannot be toned, so you have to get rid of that first!

Any form of extra exercise is a bonus, even walking which can actually be rather good. Many people do find that a combination of aerobic exercise – walking, running, swimming etc. – and light weight training is most effective but what is most important is that whatever you choose to do you commit to doing it for at least 20-30 minutes a day.

A beer belly won’t become a flat tummy overnight and you may never get washboard abs as some people just aren’t genetically predisposed to that. You can however get a midsection that you’ll be prouder to bare on the beach and you’ll be a lot healthier to boot.

     © 2016 The Fitness Center of Lilburn.

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