Summertime barbecues and get-togethers typically give way to guilty pleasures, like over-indulging in tasty treats, such as cheeseburgers and potato chips, but they also have a tendency to increase the average beer drinker's habit of gulping back frosty brews. If you've added a "Freshman 15" at the age of 40, it might be time to reconsider your drinking habits and begin work on taming your beer belly. You don't need to train like a marathon runner or completely give up drinking in order to slim down your stomach, but you will need to put forth a valiant effort in trying to reshape your body by altering lifestyle habits.
The average beer ranges between 120 and 180 calories, which means a casual summer afternoon sipping beer at a friend's backyard barbecue can pump more than 900 calories into your gut, excluding food intake. Consider this: The USDA recommends the average, moderately active 40-year-old male consume no more than 2,600 calories per day. This means if you drink five or six 12-ounce beers at a summer get-together, you'll be consuming nearly 35 percent of your daily diet in the form of alcoholic beverages. While cutting loose every now and then won't turn your gut into a "boiler," it's wise to drink in moderation for the sake of maintaining an athletic form.
Sleep More, Eat Less
It might sound unconventional, but the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recommends getting eight and a half hours of sleep per night in order to decrease time spent snacking. For some, getting a full night of rest is difficult, but the concept of snacking less will help you avoid weight gain from drinking beer. In essence, sleeping more naturally causes decreased calorie intake. If you're casually sipping beer for an extended period of time during a warm summer night, make a conscious effort to lay off the chips and dip.
Eating a meal after waking up has been scientifically proven to boost metabolism throughout the day. This means you're able to burn more calories by eating breakfast than if you were to skip the "most important meal." Neglecting to eat breakfast, whether it be yogurt, granola, or steak and eggs, can cause hunger pangs throughout the day, which force you to snack more often than you usually would. If you consider yourself a regular beer drinker, eating breakfast is your first step toward avoiding weight gain.
While altering your lifestyle habits is an important aspect of working off your beer belly, the biggest component of slimming down is exercise. You need to maintain an active workout regimen in order to see steady results. Weightlifting is the most efficient method of strengthening your muscles and boosting your metabolism. Lean muscle mass causes the body to burn more calories throughout the day, which will allow you to casually drink from time to time without feeling the guilt of a flabby stomach. You don't need to bulk up to the brink of becoming magazine cover worthy, but you will need to spend at least 30 to 45 minutes in the weight room four to five times per week. Consult a personal trainer if you're unsure of how to formulate a constructive workout plan.
John Shea is a team sports fanatic and fitness aficionado. His work has been published across a wide platform of online audiences in the realm of health and fitness. His passion for fitness is exemplified in his writing, as he aims to help readers improve their overall well-being.