Author’s definition of a ‘beer gut’ – “a classic fat bulge, centred around the tummy region. Often mistaken for hiding a footie, or a 6 pack (or more) of beers.” Nutritionist Mark Surdut on the relationship between alcohol and a beer gut and his top tips on how to get rid of a Beer Gut and lose weight.
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So, many blokes will notice the buildup of fatty tissue around the tum-tum, sometimes behind a solid wall of muscle. This beer gut can also be referred to as visceral fat. It’s perhaps the most dangerous form of fat and surrounds the vital organs.
What exactly is the relationship between alcohol and beer-guts?
Essentially, alcohol calories – unlike other calories – are tricky to store in the body, they’re a foreign substance, not a food group (surprise!) and when we ingest alcohol, the body is forced to deal with it right away as it has no real capacity to store it.
That’s a problem, because all the other calories, from fats and carbs, don’t get the attention they need and may get stored in, and on, our belly!
A number of blogs out there may list the calorie content of beers, but we warned: This bloke believes it’s not simply about calories being less or more, rather pay sharp attention to the number of carbs in a beer, and the number of beers you consume.
How else do we get it off? Through adjusting what we eat and how we exercise. Let’s focus on the food aspect here.
Top tips on how to get rid of a Beer Gut
Regulate your meals – eating erratically does not help your weight. The body is like a machine that needs to be periodically fueled, with the right type of fuel, and cannot go for too long a period without nourishment (fuel). Pick your mealtimes, and try to keep to them. I like to grab lunch between 1 and 2 pm, and dinner between 6 and 7 pm.
Watch for emotional eating – Don’t turn to food for comfort or in order to deal with frustration or boredom, or stress. Turn to food for nourishment. If food becomes your outlet for all those backed up frustrations, you’re gonna become huge.
Slow down – Many of us have a habit of eating way too fast, without even tasting the food. Slow it down, guys. Allow for at least 20 minutes to consume a meal. If you do so, your gut will thank you too. Speed-eating upsets the function of our guts. Try this: Fork into food – food into the mouth – stop – chew well – swallow – fork into food. And you get the drill.
Don’t replace real meals with grazing like animals – My experience as a dietitian has taught me that guys do better when eating a few meals, not snacking continuously and mindlessly.
Beware of social overeating – Social, business and other activities are often associated with eating. If that applies to you, give some prior thought to what you will eat (and drink!) when in these social situations. Spontaneity in eating often results in bad choices. A little planning before heading out goes a long way.
Limit your intake of alcohol – alcohol affects your body’s ability to run efficiently and deal with the food we eat the way it should. Alcohol in moderation, when your weight is under better control, is a more sensible way to enjoy a drink (or two).
Choose your carbs wisely – Be careful with how you load yourself up with carbohydrates like bread and rice and pasta etc. A big dose at mealtimes may be called for if you’re about to embark on a leg of the Tour de France tomorrow! But if you not going through that kind of exercise drill, you need only a moderate amount of carbs. Take a dinner place. Fill a quarter of that plate with rice – that’s likely enough for the average bloke.
Remember to sip on water through the day – You see, if you are under-hydrated (and it’s not always easy to tell), you may in fact eat more than you would have if you had started your meal with a little more water in the tank.
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