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Beer bellies aren't just for men


June 2011

beer belliesBeer bellies are more noticeable in summer – those large protruding stomachs hanging out over shorts or swimmers. Definitely not attractive!!! But beer bellies aren’t necessarily caused by beer – although excess drinking does bring in a lot of extra calories. While women generally tend to put on weight around their thighs, men have more of a tendency to put on weight around their middles, so any man whose intake of food is well above his output in energy can be at risk of gaining a beer belly.

And beer bellies don’t discriminate according to sex. Women can have them as well.

Beer bellies also come with age – many of us gain stomach flab as we get older and to get rid of it needs determination and effort.

There are good medical reasons for people to get rid of that additional “spare tyre” around their middle. Carrying excess weight in this region is thought to make people more prone to certain medical conditions including back problems and diabetes.

The solution is not as simple as simply tightening up the stomach muscles! For a start, there isn’t a specific stomach muscle as such; and secondly most beer bellies are due to excess fat as much as over stretched or lose muscles in that region.
So the answer has to be a combined regime of diet and exercise. It doesn’t sound much fun but it doesn’t have to be over strenuous; just a few basic adjustments to your lifestyle and there is still time to make a dramatic difference to that beer belly before you go on your summer beach holiday.

Cutting down on beer – or any alcohol – is of course useful as alcohol contains a high number of empty calories, calories that have no food value at all. But any basic weight loss diet will assist in getting rid of that stomach fat and the thought of a really flat stomach is a terrific incentive to keep at it.

Along with diet, exercise is key to getting that flat tummy. All exercise is good of course as it will burn calories and increase your metabolism and general fitness. Sit ups is the exercise most people think of when they want a flat stomach, but it is not as simple as that – some runners have the flattest firmest stomachs you can imagine and may never have done a sit up in their life!

To work on that stomach, many recommend a combination of cardiovascular and abdominal exercises. Abdominal muscles, or abs, are often referred to in connection with fitness regimes. These “abs” cover a number of main muscle groups that cover our internal organs. Again there is not just one of these that we need to exercise for a flat toned stomach.

By far the best way to get rid of that beer belly is to undertake a general fitness programme with a variety of exercises. Some advocate interval training (mixing a period of high intensity work with slow intensity work) and say this is the best way to burn fat faster. Whatever exercise you choose, consistency is the key. If you work out three times a week plus introduce a carefully planned diet, you might be very surprised how quickly you begin to lose that “stomach”.


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