With barbecue season in full swing and tailgating parties coming fast, it’ll be all too easy to pop open a beer—or six. And sure, enjoying a brewski or two might be fun in the short term, but all those beers can wreak havoc on a guy’s physique over time.
If you’ve accumulated that dreaded beer belly, use these 6 tips to blast that flab and get back on track to a six-pack (of the abdominal variety.)
1. Drink one glass of water per beer
For most guys, going cold turkey and shutting the beer tap may be asking too much. You enjoy yourself without going cold sober—you just need to control your consumption. Try this tip: For every beer you drink, take a break and have a glass of water. (Soda doesn’t count, since the extra sugar will just plump you up even more). Spacing out your drinks will help control the volume of beer you drink, and it’ll keep you better hydrated.
2. Try intermittent fasting
Various methods of fasting can be beneficial when trying to lose fat. By fasting for a period of time, you control the “hunger hormone” ghrelin, control your body’s insulin sensitivity, and reduce overall calories to help aid in fat loss. (Note: Fasting is not the same as starving yourself—going without food altogether will just slow down your metabolism and make it tougher to shed fat.)
Some good fasting methods are the Warrior Diet (20 hour fast/4 hour feed), Leangains Method (16 hour fast/8 hour feed) and the 5/2 method (eat regularly 5 days a week and 2 days a week only eat 400-800 calories).
3. Increase protein, reduce carbs
Beer has a lot of sugar from alcohol and carbohydrates, and consuming too much of both is sure to put fat loss at a halt. By increasing your protein intake to at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight and decreasing your carbohydrate intake to 1 gram of carbs per pound of body weight, you’ll help accelerate some fat loss.
By reducing your carbs, you will help burn fat as fuel and reduce the amount of water you may be holding from all of the beer consumption. Increasing your protein intake will have a more thermic affect on your metabolism, helping you reduce hunger and improve your ability to build muscle, which in turn aids in fat loss.
4. Only drink beer once a week
As mentioned in tip No. 1, it’s often hard for most guys to quit beer altogether. If you’re in that camp, then try picking one day a week to enjoy beer. It’s a good motivational way to control your intake while also ensuring you can enjoy yourself at a summer outing or holiday party. This helps you mentally by having something to look forward to and reduces the urge to cheat more often. Just remember to drink responsibly and not overdo it—drinking a ton of beers on one day won’t exactly do you too much good.
5. Put in some extra work
Sneaking in some extra movement in each day can add up to a lot of caloric burn and increased metabolism over time. If you’re already getting in 3-5 solid workouts in each week—hitting the weights hard and a doing little metabolic work—it’s time to do a little extra.
Take 10 minutes each day and perform a mini-workout at any time during the day. One great pick is a combo of kettlebell swings and burpees. This mini-workout won’t tax your muscles so much that it hinders your recovery, but it will ramp up your metabolism hard and help improve work capacity and conditioning.
Try this: Do a set of 10 kettlebell swings followed by 5 burpees. Try to do as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) for 10 minutes. Rest as needed.
6. Ditch the beer for two weeks
If you’ve had success sticking to tips 1 and 4, your body and mind should be ready to take it to the next level. If you commit to taking 2 weeks off from drinking any beer or alcohol, your body will dramatically improve—and fast. By not drinking, you’ll increase fat mobilization, improve insulin sensitivity, and increase the natural production of hormones like testosterone and growth hormone. In a sense, you’ll be pushing the “reset” button for your body and metabolism and your will prime your body to go to the next level.
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