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Best Ways to Get Rid of a Beer Belly

A Personal Guide on Shrinking Your Beer Gut

Best Ways to Get Rid of a Beer Belly

The scourge of many beer drinkers is that pesky extra weight added, especially around the midsection. It is not easy to lose a beer belly, especially as your age creeps up.

The good news is: if you have a bit of a beer belly, not all is lost. While the best option is to stop drinking beer – at least for a period of time – most beer fans will not be happy about that choice, and it is certainly not necessary.

I’m by no means an expert: I don’t have a college degree in nutrition or exercise. But for most of my adult life, I’ve worked around food and beverage, whether it was at a pizzeria and brewery or as a food and beverage writer. As such, I’ve had to find a balance in my life and figure out how to maintain my weight, otherwise I’d be fighting constant weight gain.

This year has particularly been a fight of sorts. In fall 2020, I proposed to my wife. I immediately set out to get down to the weight I was in college, roughly a decade ago. Somehow, between when I was fitted for my wedding suit to the wedding, I gained ten pounds. I added another ten in celebration following the wedding in September.

This story is almost a way to remind myself how to get back to my fighting weight – and how I’ve done it in the past. It does take some mental fortitude, but I’ve structured it the best I can, so definitely read this is a suggestion list and then find what works best for you. If you’re serious about wanting to lose that beer belly and struggle mightily, reach out to a trained professional, whether it be a personal trainer or nutritionist, and read plenty of men’s magazines and websites that help guide weight loss and fitness.

The Biggest Key to Losing Your Beer Belly?

For weight loss, let’s remember that age-old saying, “you can’t outrun a bad diet,” or perhaps more apt in this case, “you can’t outrun an open tap handle.”

The idea here is that while fitness is an incredibly important piece of an overall weight loss journey, it’s not going to push you across the finish line.

The key piece here is moderation. Oftentimes, overconsumption of booze can lead to over-indulging in food. Those calories stack up, which leads to piling on the pounds.

So as hard as it might be, and if it’s too hard, look deep inside yourself about your relationship with alcohol. But try to limit beer consumption to one or two beers a few nights a week and abstain a few as well.

At that point, make sure the diet is balanced. Plenty of fruits and vegetables. Drink lots and lots of water. Restrictive caloric diets fail. They might work in the short-term, but it’s unsustainable.

Speaking of diet, a keto diet is often the most effective way to shed lots of weight fast. While the state of ketosis can be quite taxing physically and mentally, this list of 20 Low-Carb Beers for Keto Diets means you can still enjoy your favorite beverage while dropping those pesky beer belly pounds.

Don’t cut out beer. Maybe try to go a week or two, then maybe a month, without beer. First of all, this helps ensure you have a healthy relationship with booze. Second, it cuts down on excess calories that pile up.

You can substitute out lower-calorie beverages on some drinking occasions, too, but the nights of drinking while watching reruns of Seinfeld should be done. Mindless consumption adds to the belly. Make time for a drink on occasion, whether it’s sharing that awesome bourbon-barrel-aged stout with friends or drinking those delightful lagers during a tailgate at the big game.

Two cyclers pause to enjoy a functional beer, not a beer belly in sight

Stay Active

Another major factor in how beer bellies emerge is beer drinkers tend to stop moving eventually. Work gets in the way, consuming all the hours of the day and mental capacity to keep moving. But activity is good for everything, from physical health to mental health.

Find an activity that works for you.

When I worked at a brewery, The Mitten Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, Michigan, one of the lead brewers loved rock climbing. So, a group of us from the brewery went to a climbing gym a few times a week and spent a few hours bouldering. Not only does it work muscles you forgot you had, but your heart rate also jumps up and it keeps the brain stimulated. On weekends, that brewer took his dogs out for long hikes in the forests.

Elsewhere in West Michigan, one of the owners of Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. in Muskegon, Michigan, has turned into an ultra-distance runner.

For some, long-distance running is a drag. For me, that was how I ended up getting into my biggest groove. I hated running but started running a treadmill with an iFit program that takes you through runs, starting small and working into long, in beautiful landscapes and historic towns. The guide teaches proper running techniques while narrating the run and giving history and geography lessons. Peloton, and other bike-connected fitness, does a similar path to start this habit. The recent surge in at-home fitness truly is great for the gym-shy out there.

The treadmill burnt out after a few months and I took my runs outside, finding a meditative state in runs of six-plus miles I never thought I’d do.

Beyond the runs, I’ve found a solid mixture of different activities is the best way to stay interested in the workouts. While that will make it hard to ever become elite, or even really good, at a single activity – it makes it hard to improve mile times too quickly if you’re not sticking to a special running plan – at least you’re staying active and not burning out on a single thing.

Each week, go to a cycling class or two, take long walks in a park or around a lake most days and work in some bodyweight or weight workouts a few times a week. On top of that, throw in some mobility work or simple stretches to stay limber as you grow older.

Altogether, these things can help you lose a beer belly, but remember it does not happen overnight, so don’t expect it to.