How do you get a beer belly? You will be surprised to know that it is just not the beer that is making you gain that belly fat. Any alcoholic drink consumed with food will add inches to your waistline.
The body tends to metabolise these calories by making the liver burn alcohol, causing all the calories being consumed at that time to be stored as fat. Unfortunately, this kind of fat only gets settled directly on your midsection.
Besides, as you age the gradual decline in hormones over the years make you more prone to developing a beer belly, especially in your late 20s and early 30s.
If a growing beer belly is keeping you awake at night then there is no magical way to tackle it other than the tried-and-tested method of dropping calories through physical activity.
These 5 exercises can help you get rid of the belly and still enjoy your beer, but of course in moderation.
Donkey kickbacks: Start on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Keep your right knee at a 90-degree angle as you slowly raise your leg behind you until your thigh is almost parallel to the floor. Push your flexed foot toward the ceiling by squeezing your glutes. Your back should remain perfectly still in a neutral spine. The motion should be small and controlled with the muscle doing the work and not momentum. Return to start position to complete one rep. Repeat on the other side. Do 3 sets of with 25 repetitions on each side.
Mountain climber: Mountain climber exercises are among those few ab-workouts which provide a complete abdominal and cardio training. Mountain climbers require you to engage your upper arms muscles, as well as your core and your legs. Begin with a push up position, then bring your knees toward your chest. Keep your lower back straight during the motion, and bring your knees forward as much as you can stretch. Do sets of 3 with 25 repetitions on each side.
Push up: A push up not only helps you get a stronger upper body, but also a stronger midsection. It incorporates the stabilisation muscles of your core, combining an upper body pushing movement with a plank. It is, in fact, one of the best and most basic exercises for your midsection. Do sets of 3 with maximum push ups within 1 ½ minutes.
Plank: Did you know planks burn more calories than sit-ups or crunches because they engage more muscles in the legs, arms, and rear too? It is voted as the most effective core exercise. It can help reduce back pain, and improve posture. Do a set of 3. Hold the plank for at least 1 minute.
Bicycle crunch: You can do this work out by lying flat on your back with your hands behind your head. Lift your knees off the floor towards your chest. First rotate to the right and try to meet the left knee with the right elbow while you extend the right leg straight out and vice versa. Do a set of 3 with 20 repetitions on each side.
*Beer lovers should switch to light beers with 100 calorie or less, and limit the number of drinks per day. Another option is to drink alcohol only on weekends.
*You can ward off excess calories by grabbing a quick healthy meal before you head out to drink to help you resist the temptation of binging on the high-calorie bar food.
(Dhruv Gupta is the founder of the online weight loss programme Fitho ( www.fitho.in ) and the author of popular book on weight loss, Losing It- Making Weight Loss Simple).