Drinking alcohol has many effects on your body. Most of them are health-related while others are largely tied to your appearance.
Alcohol also brings your metabolism to a screeching halt. The liver burns both fat and alcohol. If you drink, your liver burns less fat for energy and instead concentrates on metabolizing the alcohol. The result is more fat accumulation around your waistline.
In other instances, you may get a beer gut from general weight gain. As the fat is distributed, it may settle in your abdomen.
Men are prone to belly fat from drinking alcohol because they are less likely to store fat in their hips or thighs. Fortunately, there are ways to fight this abdominal bulge.
How to Lose Belly Fat from Drinking Alcohol
1. Consider quitting
Since you already know that you have belly fat from drinking alcohol, then the safest way to lose it is to eliminate the source; alcohol.
It will take a lot of work and commitment to become sober. However, the benefits are enormous.
You would look better and your cholesterol would decline. Your mind and emotions would work normally and you would become more productive.
To quit effectively, focus on your why, avoid your drinking buddies, make your goals public, and set rules for sobriety. Stick to these rules no matter what.
Get support from group meetings and seek professional help if you have tried quitting before and failed.
2. If quitting is not an option, reduce the quantity you consume
One bottle of beer often contains about 150 calories. If you take about 8 bottles, you will have consumed 1,200 calories, which is almost what a female should take for an entire day.
If going cold turkey scares you, consider making incremental changes. Reduce the bottles you were taking by half then reduce that quantity by another half.
Additionally, change your frequency of drinking. If you were drinking daily, it may be a good idea to cut it done to a weekly habit. Taking water in between significantly helps to reduce the amount of alcohol you take.
3. Skip the accompaniments and snacks
More often than not, you rarely drink beer unaccompanied. Most times you may combine it with chips and dips or sliders. Nachos, French fries, chicken wings, and sausages are some of the bar snacks that you might crunch on as you drink.
The problem with these treats is that they are packed with fat and calories. So not only are you getting belly fat from drinking alcohol, but you are also getting it from eating calorie-rich food alongside it.
4. Reduce the food you eat
If you want to lose any type of fat especially the one in your belly, you need to eat fewer calories than before.
Since most people find it difficult to count calories, consider using your eyeballs to estimate sizes. Take two fistfuls of starch, two fistfuls of protein and lots of vegetables in all your meals.
With time, your body will be getting less than it needs, so it will turn to your stored belly fat as a source of energy. The result is a reduction in your beer gut.
5. Swap the food you eat
When you eat highly processed food, it causes an increase in blood sugar. This makes you susceptible to a sugar crash, which is characterized by body weakness and hunger.
Chances are you’ll eat again when you have these feelings and repeat the cycle. To eliminate this vicious cycle, replace processed starches with whole grains.
Boiled eggs, corn on cob, legumes, and whole grains are excellent for curbing hunger. Eating vegetables and fruits increases your fiber intake, suppressing your appetite. The overall result is shrinkage in your mid-section.
6. Eat plenty of lean protein
Protein is essential in weight loss because of its ability to keep you satiated. In this study, it was shown that people felt full for longer when they ate protein than when they ate fat or starch.
Some excellent sources include black beans, lentils, peanut butter hemp seed, skinless chicken, salmon, soybeans, sardines and tuna.
7. Avoid quick fixes
Most people are tempted to get on a diet bandwagon in order to see fast results. You might choose to take nothing but juices for an entire month.
You could see minor results from these diets but as soon as they end, you’ll go back to the habits that caused the belly fat in the first place. The result is weight-regain and feelings of guilt.
Instead of yo-yo dieting, make all the above lifestyle choices. This will ensure that the belly fat from drinking alcohol is gone for good.
8. Do cardio exercise
Cardio is critical for you if you want to eliminate that belly fat from drinking. You can do these indoor cardio exercises when the weather is bad.
However, don’t engage in long cardio sessions as they may strain your body and increase your appetite. Limit your cardio workouts to a maximum of 30 minutes per session.
9. Combine cardio with strength training
The biggest advantage of strength training is it helps increase muscle mass. As you may know, the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism.
Additionally, strength training makes you stronger and lower the risk of conditions like osteoporosis as you age.
Now, you don’t have to go to the gym if you don’t want to or simply don’t have the time. You can enjoy all the benefits of strength training using these 15-minute home workouts.
10. Spot reduction is a myth
The easiest temptation for people with a beer belly is to do thousands of sit-ups and other ab exercises.
Before you start torturing yourself with 1000s of sit-ups realize they won’t reduce your belly. Ab exercises won’t burn your belly, they’ll only build your abdominal muscles. Focus on losing weight all over your body instead of just your gut.
11. Get quality shut-eye
Sleep is critical for fast weight loss because it allows your metabolic hormones to get restored.
The hormone cortisol is responsible for stimulating fat and carbohydrate metabolism. It also helps manage insulin, which regulates blood sugar. At night, your body restores these hormones.
If you don’t get enough sleep, the hormones will be out of whack. That means that your body is more likely to hold on to your belly fat from drinking alcohol.
12. Manage stress
Stress increases the accumulation of belly fat by increasing appetite and messing your hormones. Even worse, some people deal with stress by drinking, which expands the waistline fast.
Find healthy ways of easing stress such as walking, meditation, looking at happy pictures of yourself, and building quality relationships.
The Bottom Line
Belly fat from drinking alcohol is a combination of slow metabolism and excess calories from the actual drink as well as the food you eat with it.
Get rid of your beer gut by removing high-calorie foods from your diet. Eat more natural foods and exercise. You might also want to adopt habits that promote weight loss like exercise and quality sleep.