A beer gut is something that accumulates over time. You may not realize it’s happening to your body, but then slowly but surely, you start to notice your clothes are a lot tighter, and your belly is hanging over your jeans. Whether you just started to notice a beer gut creeping in or you’ve had one for a while, you may be wondering how to get rid of your beer belly fast. You’ve come to the right place, because we spoke with the experts and have some of the best tips you need to start a beer belly-melting journey.
First, it’s important to know that it’s never too late to start losing belly fat. Not only will you look much better, but you will feel better, too. According to Harvard Health, belly fat that encompasses your liver and other organs in your abdomen is “metabolically active.” This kind of belly fat—also known as visceral fat—is extremely unhealthy—even life-threatening. It can put you at a greater risk of suffering from ailments like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, higher LDL cholesterol, and liver issues.
Eat This, Not That! spoke with The Nutrition Twins®, Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, CDN, CFT, and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT, members of our Medical Expert Board. Ahead, they break down exactly how to get rid of your beer gut fast. Keep reading to learn more, and next up, don’t miss these 6 Simple Exercises to Shrink Your Waistline After 40.
When you think of starchy carbs, they’re usually doughy, processed, and refined carbs that are jam-packed with calories. By cutting them out of your diet, you’ll reduce a substantial amount of calories, helping speed up your weight loss efforts, including trimming down unwanted belly fat.
“[In addition,] since fiber has been stripped out of these starchy carbs, there is nothing to slow down their digestion, so they cause an energy spike followed by a crash; when the crash hits, your brain looks for the fastest source of energy it can find—sugar,” The Nutrition Twins say. “By cutting out these fiber and nutrient-stripped starchy carbs, you also slash sugar cravings that lead to overeating.”
Adding high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to your routine is effective in decreasing subcutaneous fat and belly fat—research says so. “This is really encouraging for people who want to keep their workouts short, since HIIT training can also provide the same benefits as other [forms of] exercise, but in less time,” The Nutrition Twins say. “It can even reduce heart rate and blood pressure while improving blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.”
The Nutrition Twins recommend consuming a minimum of 25 to 30 grams of protein in each meal. The best part about eating protein? It’s satisfying and will help fill you up, which in turn helps you consume fewer calories. “It also helps to stabilize blood sugar, preventing energy crashes and the cravings that come with it,” The Nutrition Twins add. “Research shows that getting adequate protein increases weight loss and fat mass loss and preserves lean muscle tissue.”
“Reducing alcohol intake may be obvious—after all, they call it a beer gut for a reason! But cutting back on alcohol by choosing a non-alcoholic calorie-free beverage in between every alcoholic beverage can help you to lose a beer belly quickly,” The Nutrition Twins tell us.
Alcoholic beverages are caloric, make you thirstier, and support food cravings. This is a recipe for disaster if you want to lose belly fat. Your body classifies alcohol as a toxin and completely stops its fat-burning mode in order to prioritize metabolizing the wine, beer, or cocktails you drink. “Add that the brain doesn’t compensate for calories that you drink, so you still eat just as much after you drink them, and that alcohol favors weight gain around the middle, and it’s clear that using the ‘every other method’ can help your waistline to take less of a hit when you drink alcohol,” The Nutrition Twins say.
Staying hydrated is the name of the game if you want to melt belly fat. Sometimes, your brain thinks you’re hungry when you’re actually thirsty, which can result in consuming excess calories. “You can prevent this from happening if you drink water throughout the day,” The Nutrition Twins say. “Also, water helps fill your stomach and can help to take an edge off hunger and prevent you from overeating. Plus, it fuels every process in your body, including an efficient metabolism.”
The last of The Nutrition Twins’ tips to get rid of your beer gut fast: Save your carbs for the end of your meal. By doing so, you won’t have as much room for them and other heavier side dishes if you get your fill of protein and veggies first. “Like fiber-filled veggies, protein stabilizes blood sugar,” The Nutrition Twins explain. “Carbs will have a much more difficult time spiking your blood sugar if it’s already very steady, and they can’t be digested as quickly.”