Have you noticed a bit of a paunch that did not used to be there? Have you been drinking a little extra beer and seeing the effects? Are you worried about the health risks of having a spare tire or muffin top?
And now…are you looking to get rid of your beer belly? The great news is that you can start to make a beer belly smaller without totally giving up beer or passing up good times. Lark can help with simple steps to flatten your stomach and improve health.
What Is a Beer Belly?
A beer belly is a term used to describe a flabby, oversized stomach that often develops in chronic beer drinkers. You may think of men being more likely to have beer bellies, and that is often the case since men are more prone to accumulating excess fat in the midsection. However, women can develop beer bellies, too.
While components in beer, such as phytoestrogens, may play a role in creating a beer belly, the major factor is taking in excessive calories. Those calories can come from beer, from other alcoholic beverages, or from anywhere else.
Beer bellies can be more problematic than simply making you loosen your belt. They come with risk factors. For example, having a larger waist is linked to greater risk for diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which can include high cholesterol and hypertension.
Reducing Beer to Get Rid of a Beer Belly
A 12-ounce bottle of beer has 150 calories. That may not sound like much, but consider what the effects can be for a man who stays within the recommended daily alcohol limit of 2 drinks per day. This amount of beer would contribute 300 calories per day, or the equivalent of about 2.5 lb. of body fat per month. Even drinking, say, 4 or 5 beers a week could be enough to cause about a pound of weight gain a month if those calories are not compensated for by exercising or by consuming fewer calories from other foods.
A simple strategy for getting rid of a beer belly is to drink less beer or, for that matter, any type of alcoholic beverage. A 5-oz. glass of wine has about 120 calories, a shot of liquor can have about 100 calories, and cocktails and mixed drinks can have 100 to 500 calories per serving.
You do not have to eliminate alcohol to get rid of a beer belly. There are many ways to limit alcohol. For example:
- Have one instead of two or more drinks.
- Drink water along with the alcoholic beverage to drink more slowly.
- Have only one type of drink at a meal, such as wine with the main course or an after-dinner drink, not both.
- Set a limit before you start drinking if you tend to get out of control and drink more than you had intended.
It also helps to take note of what you are eating while you drink and to prepare lower-calorie, higher-nutrient alternatives. For example, snacking on vegetables instead of nuts and chips while drinking beer, including vegetables and lean protein as you drink wine at dinner, and choosing fruit for dessert with an after-dinner drink can limit unneeded calories.
More Strategies for Getting Rid of Beer Bellies
Anything that can help with weight loss can help reduce a beer belly, which can lower the risk of developing diabetes. Weight loss plans do not need to be complicated or make you feel deprived. Instead, simple choices can help with weight loss. Do you think you might be able to…
- Ask for dressing on the side?
- Trim skin from poultry before eating it?
- Switch to water or unsweetened tea or coffee instead of having sweetened beverages?
- Swap cauliflower for half the potatoes in mashed potatoes and potato salad?
- Make whole-grain spaghetti with lean turkey meatballs instead of white pasta with full-fat ground beef meatballs?
- Serve vegetables first at most meals?
These and other small changes can cut calories and lead to weight loss.
Physical activity or exercise is not absolutely necessary for weight loss, but it can certainly help. It is especially important for preventing regain, and who wouldn’t want to maintain the benefits of their efforts to lose weight? Physical activity lowers blood sugar and reduces the risk of prediabetes and diabetes. Plus, exercise can tone your muscles, including those abs that may have been buried deep within a beer belly.
Help with Weight Loss and Getting Rid of Beer Bellies
Lark is an empathetic coach that can deliver personalized coaching for weight loss. Lark Diabetes Prevention Program is available 24/7 for help with food choices, weight tracking, and tips on physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. With a few daily changes that can become habits, you can be on your way to having a smaller waistline and lower disease risk.