Exercise of the Week
Losing your "beer-gut" for beach season
With summer just around the corner, many of us will be looking at ways to improve our unflattering man-shape before we hit the beaches at home or abroad.
By Frank McCann
Although envious of those lean, mean maximuscle models we see in increasing numbers today, some of us will just be happy to lose that all-too noticeable “pot belly” that makes every t-shirt we own look that bit tighter.
So with that in mind, JOE has decided to help you in your hour of need. We look through methods of losing your beer-gut, while also offering helpful tips on how to tone up that mid-section (we can’t promise washboard abs, but hey, it’s a start!)
Now, before you decide to work on your abs, you must lose the excess fat around your stomach. Sit-ups and abdominal work is all well and good, however, these exercises won’t make you lose your belly. What you need is proper dieting and exercise.
We know what you’re thinking: “aww...a diet? That means I have to stop eating everything I like!”
Actually, that’s not true. You can still eat most of the foods you like, it’s just a matter of doing it in moderation, while putting in the effort to burn it off.
Here is a good method of cutting back on your calorie intake gradually:
- Start your diet on a Monday, or whenever you consider the start of your week.
- For the first week, eat six meals, all of which contain no more than 400 calories (Kcal)
- Make sure you don’t exceed a calorie intake of 2400 for week one. That’s not that hard, you still get to eat a LOT!
- Try to space your eating into infrequent intervals over the day, maybe every three to four hours. This will help build your metabolism, which will result in you being able to burn calories quicker.
- When you start week two, you should try to drop one of the six meals, reducing your intake to 2000 Kcal for the week. Considering its only one meal, you shouldn’t miss it too much.
- Once again, don’t exceed the set amount of calories and eat at set intervals.
- Drop another meal at the start of week three, bringing you down to 1600Kcal. This is quite a low intake considering a man’s daily allowance is 2500Kcal.
With your calorie intake cut down substantially, you will now have a great chance of burning away the fat providing you exercise regularly.
As your amount of meals goes down, so will your gut. So how can you take full advantage of your diet?
Here are JOE’s tips on exercise and training methods to beat the bulge:
- First of all, it’s important to stick to eating a few hours apart to keep the metabolism ticking over.
- Ideally, you should be trying to exercise between 60 and 90 minutes a day, however if that’s not possible, you can get an intense 30 minute work-out in at some stage during your day.
- Working your abdominal region with sit-ups is a good toning exercise; however, it’s not a brilliant method for losing fat deposits around your stomach and other areas of your body.
- You should be aiming towards working all areas of your body, as it’s another good way of building your metabolism. You should find a total muscular routine that you feel comfortable with, upper and lower body.
- The best way to get rid of your belly is by working the transverse abdominus (muscle behind your abs) instead of the rectus abdominus (six-pack region).
- An easy exercise that works the transverse area is when you suck in your stomach. Seems too easy, but it works!
- Suck in your belly without taking a breath. You will feel tightness in the area. Do this regularly for five second intervals.
- When focusing on your stomach, you should work the transverse area more than the six-pack region. However, it's good to combine both, so after you work on the transverse you can then perform some short sit-up exercises to maximise your workout.
With the summer getting closer with each day that passes, don’t fool yourself by trying different methods and cheating your diet. It won’t work.
If you stick to this relatively easy method, you should see your results improve week after week. So stick to it and you’ll be rocking the beaches come your time in the sun.
If you’re not totally sure about calories and how they are measured, you can find out at the Calorie Counter.
Also, if you feel like getting technical, this fine chap gives you a rundown on calories and the best methods of balancing them: