14 Aug The Ultimate Guide to Losing Your Beer Gut
Ah! There’s nothing quite like the magical sound of a can of beer opening on a sizzling summer afternoon by the pool. Or maybe it happens during a gluttonous Saturday backyard barbeque with your family and friends, or even during a business dinner with a prospective client.
The “pop” sound is just the beginning. Your taste buds are primed. You look forward to savoring every drop.
And that’s when the trouble starts. One beer turns into an entire six pack down the hatch. But you try to convince yourself it’s fine. You had a stressful week and you deserve to live a little. No big deal. You’ll be better next week.
Soon, you develop a habit of crushing a six pack two or three times each week. It’s fine, right? Your boss is micromanaging the shit out of you. You didn’t close that huge sale you were counting on. A couple of six packs during the week won’t hurt.
Five months later, you develop a habit of crushing a six pack each night. You have no energy and your stomach has ballooned into a beach ball.
You have a beer gut. I had one too, until I decided to do something about it.
Losing your beer gut can be simple. All you need is a guide. The JP Fitness Coaching Program has built you a step by step process to go from beer gut to lying by the pool shirtless with a six pack (your abs, not beer).
Let’s get started.
Step #1: Admit You’re the Problem
I don’t know from personal experience and I’m not saying you should go to a meeting, but the first step in Alcoholics Anonymous states:
“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.”
To solve a problem, you must first admit there is a problem. Your reliance on alcohol is swelling your gut, zapping your energy, and eliminating any chance you have at becoming the best version of yourself to dominate each day.
If you want a six pack, you can’t continue to crush six packs. Step up, get yourself together, and be decisive about improving your health.
Step #2: Eliminate Beer and Crappy Food from Your Home
“If a food is in your possession or located in your residence, either you, someone you love, or someone you marginally tolerate, will eventually eat it.”
-John Berardi, Precision Nutrition
Imagine this: you’ve fully committed to losing your beer gut. You realize you have a problem. It’s time to take massive action.
It’s Day 1 of your new diet and you’re excited about transforming your body and life. After an exhausting day at the office full of reports and unnecessary meetings, you’re stressed. You get home and need to relax.
The only foods in your home should be those that put you in position to losing your beer gut. You must consume things that help you create a caloric deficit and contribute to your body shedding stubborn belly fat.
Use a low-calorie density diet. Calorie density is the number of calories a food holds per gram. There are foods that contain more calories per gram than others which makes it easier to overeat daily.
Think about this: A slice of medium pepperoni pizza is a bit more than 100g of food. That single slice contains almost 10x more calories per gram than 100g of strawberries.
Selecting foods with a low-calorie density can help you lose your beer gut in no time. You’ll instantly eat fewer calories while eating filling portions.
Counting calories isn’t essential at first. Implementing a low-calorie density diet limits you to healthy and nutrient dense foods (foods low in calories, but high in nutrients like vitamins and minerals). You’ll get away with eating without tracking calories which can lead to building sustainable habits after you’ve eliminated your beer gut.
90% of your food and drink consumption should come from the following sources:
- White Fish
- Lean Beef (93% or more)
- Greek yogurt
- Whey or Casein protein powder
- Potatoes (white, sweet, or red)
- Jasmine or Basmati rice
- Green beans
- Any vegetables (For example: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc.)
- Steel Cut Oats
- Ezekiel bread or Organic Bread (For example: Dave’s Bread)
Healthy Fats (Limited amounts)
- Extra virgin olive oil
Step #3: Spend 90% of Your Workouts on Compound Lifts
Remember the movie Training Day? If not, it’s fine. I’ll spoil the ending for you.
On his first day on the job as a L.A. narcotics officer, Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke), is shown the inner workings of the L.A.P.D. narcotics division and how to conduct himself on the streets by veteran and rogue detective, Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington).
Right now, I want you to imagine yourself as Jake. I’m Alonzo. Instead of the violent streets of L.A., I’m taking you on a tour of the gym so you know what to do when I’m not around to help. The difference is I’m not trying to use you in a plot to kill a drug dealer so I can steal his money, pay back Russian mobsters, and attempt to kill you in the process. Also, I don’t die at the end of the movie. Let’s continue.
You’re busy and probably stressed. You don’t have time for ineffective workouts. You must spend your time performing the biggest bang- for- your- buck exercises. Hit the gym and dominate that time with compound exercises 3-4 times each week. Instead of wasting your valuable time in front of a mirror doing isolation exercises like endless sets of dumbbell curls and calf raises, performing compound exercises allow you to train multiple muscles at once.
Remember, creating a caloric deficit brings you closer to a flatter stomach. If you want a leaner, muscular body, and more energy, compound exercises get the job done. Compound exercises burn more calories than isolation exercises.
What equipment should you use? Barbells, dumbbells, cables, and a trap bar will be the major tools in your toolbox.
What are the best compound exercises? Squat, deadlift, press, row, and lunge variations will fill the bulk of your training. The combination of your new diet and these exercises puts you on the fast track to leaving your beer gut in the dust.
Below is not an all-encompassing list, but it’s a damn good place to begin:
- Incline Bench Press
- Flat Bench Press
- Decline Bench Press
- Push Ups
- Chest Flyes
- Pull ups
- Single arm rows
- Cable rows
- Inverted rows
- Chest supported or T-Bar rows
- Bent over rows
- Lat Pulldowns
- Standing overhead press
- Seated overhead press
- Arnold Press
- Clean and Press
- Landmine Press
- Front squats
- Back squats
- Zercher squats
- Conventional deadlifts
- Romanian deadlifts
- Trap bar deadlifts
- Walking lunges
- Split squats
- Bulgarian split squats
- Front foot elevated split squats
- Goblet squats
- Glute ham raises
- Back extensions
- Hip Thrusts
- Leg press
- Kettlebell swings
If you really want to include isolation exercises, toss them in at the end of your workout.
Step #4: Get Off Your Ass, Be Active
Naturally lean individuals tend to have active jobs and work out on top of it or increase their activity level to make up for the time their butts are glued to their seats.
NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) accounts for anywhere from 15-50% of your daily caloric expenditure (closer to 15% for sedentary individuals and up to 50% for those who are very active.) It refers to activities such as walking, standing, or any type of movement not directly related to exercise.
Increasing your daily movement can help you burn up to an extra 500 calories without breaking a sweat. Slow, boring, ineffective cardio on a treadmill as in the “hamster wheel” for 30 minutes after a long day of sitting on your ass burns about 250 calories.
Begin or end your day with a 40-minute walk. It trains your body to utilize fat as fuel. If you don’t suffer from knee, hip, or ankle pain, go fast a couple of times each week. Set a goal of 10,000 steps per day. And don’t leave it to chance. Set your daily walk as an appointment in your calendar.
Also, consider scheduling 15-20 minute walks during the day on top of lifting weights. The extra activity can help you eviscerate stubborn fat.
Step #5: Incorporate HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
The number one goal of cardio should be to Improve your heart health and lose fat without sacrificing muscle and strength. Cardio for fat loss should be slow or at a high intensity, not moderate. In the previous step, we nailed the slow portion. Now, let’s talk about HIIT.
The high-intensity work will increase what’s called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This means that post workout, your body will be burning more calories to help you recover from the training. Cardio should be used as an add-on to help accelerate additional fat loss.
Create a caloric deficit by consuming less calories, lifting 3-4 times per week, and increasing activity first. Introducing HIIT too early gives your body zero reason to adapt. If you’ve been torching stubborn body fat for 4-6 weeks, then it comes to a sudden halt, try reducing your food intake first. After 2-3 weeks of no progress, that’s when you should begin incorporating some HIIT.
Here are a few examples of what you can do to accelerate fat loss. Choose one of the options below (whatever you have access to) and make it an entire session:
- Airdyne (Assault Bike) Sprints: 10 sets of 20-second sprints (GO HARD AND FAST!), rest for 60-90 seconds between sets
- Sled/Prowler Pull and Push: 5-8 sets of 35 to 50 yards, rest for 15 to 20 seconds between sets
- Incline treadmill sprints: 10-12 sets of 20 seconds, rest for 90 to 120 seconds
- Hill sprints: Sprint up to the top of a hill and walk back down 10-15 times
- Rower: 10 sets of rowing for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.
- Farmer’s Carries: 6-8 sets of heavy carries for 30-45 seconds, rest for 45-60 seconds between sets.
Start with one of these sessions each week. The fat should begin to fall again.
Remember, this is all about you. This all about you leaving the stress-filled, low- energy, sloppy beer gut in your past. The purpose of this simple guide is to move into action mode. Your beer gut isn’t doing you any favors at this point. Take heed and eliminate the thought a beer will make everything better.
Clients in the JP Fitness Coaching Program live by a standard that improving their health will make everything better. We even think it’s fine to include a couple of beers or cocktails during the week if you keep your caloric intake under control. If you want help in creating a plan that allows you to lose your beer gut and still enjoy a nice cold brew each week, apply here.