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Who would have thought that a 6-pack of beer would tarnish your dreams of achieving 6-pack abs? A beer belly, also known as a beer gut, is abdominal fat that individuals claim is caused by their alcohol drinking habits.

Now while you may not be concerned with appearances, a beer belly can harm your health. According to a study published in PLoS One, visceral fat, which is stored in and around the belly, can significantly increase the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

So perhaps 2022 is the perfect time to say goodbye to your beer belly?

Does alcohol really cause a beer belly?

Yes, and no.

For one, beer is high in calories and this can contribute to weight gain, but it’s not the sole reason behind your beer belly.

Research has found that alcohol can increase our cravings and we often feed these cravings by indulging in sugary, salty, and carb-rich foods. This then also contributes to a bigger waistline. Add this to the fact that men are more likely to store fat in their stomach region, it’s not long before you find yourself dealing with a beer belly.

How Can I Get Rid Of My Beer Belly?

1. Eat more protein

protein
Photo by Sam Moqadam on Unsplash

If you’re looking to target your beer belly, then increasing your intake of protein is a great place way to start. A high-protein diet won’t only speed up your metabolism, but it can also leave you satiated and it also helps you burn more calories.

You can get more protein in your diet by eating more legumes, fatty fish, and chicken breast.

2. Eat Whole Foods

Processed foods are rich in sugar and fats, which can contribute to your beer belly. Therefore, if you want to combat this, then you need to choose whole foods.

Not only are these foods rich in nutrients, but they also contain fiber which can help to combat abdominal fat.

3. Stay active

The fact of the matter is that you can’t lose your beer belly without doing some exercise. Now before you get on the floor to do some crunches, remember that sit-ups will only strengthen the muscles in your abdomen, but they won’t actually burn the fat.

exercise
Photo by Fortune Vieyra on Unsplash

If you really want to put a dent in your beer gut, then you’ll need to do some cardio. Cardio exercises that can help with your beer gut include running, hiking, or playing a sport like basketball.

4. Get HIIT

A study published in Sports Medicine revealed that HIIT helped to significantly reduce total abdominal and visceral fat in both men and women.

For those who don’t know, HIIT refers to a form of exercise that involves short bursts of intense exercise alternated with recovery periods. This form of workout is incredibly effective, and it’s also been found to improve both metabolism and endurance.

5. Get enough sleep

You’d be surprised how getting enough rest can help you in your journey to lose your beer belly.

Various studies have found that getting enough sleep can help target abdominal fat by regulating your appetite, bettering your food choices, and preventing late-night snacking.

If you’re having trouble getting enough sleep, might we suggest essential oils or meditation?

beer
Photo by Nicolas Postiglioni from Pexels

6. Have ONE beer a week

It may be hard for some to go completely cold-turkey and say goodbye to beer, so might we suggest only having it once a week?

Drinking alcohol in moderation is a far healthier choice for beer lovers, and it’s better for your health, so why not make that your 2022 resolution?

7. Replace beer with another favorite

In addition to cutting back on your drinking habits, you can also find another alcoholic beverage that’s kinder on your waistline.

As mentioned, beer is high in calories, so it would be advisable to avoid it, or to at least switch to a lighter beer?

Additionally, make sure to stay clear of mixed drinks, as cocktails are usually laden with sugar.

Mindful drinking
Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels

Want to know more?

Last year, model Chrissy Teigen gave up alcohol. The model recently gave an update on her sobriety journey, six months after quitting alcohol, and it’s clear that giving up alcohol was the best choice for her health.

References

Elffers, T. W., de Mutsert, R., Lamb, H. J., de Roos, A., Willems van Dijk, K., Rosendaal, F. R., Jukema, J. W., & Trompet, S. (2017). Body fat distribution, in particular visceral fat, is associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in obese women. PloS one, 12(9), e0185403. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185403

Maillard, F., Pereira, B. & Boisseau, N. Effect of High-Intensity Interval Training on Total, Abdominal and Visceral Fat Mass: A Meta-Analysis. Sports Med 48, 269–288 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-017-0807-y

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer who has a passion for poetry, equality, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.