When you spend too many nights indulging in the delights of happy hour, the result can be an unsightly beer belly. You don't have to change your lifestyle altogether -- but you should take some steps to incorporate healthier habits that can help you reduce that bulging belly.
Slow Down on the Beer
You got that beer belly from drinking beer, so one big way to start losing it is to stop drinking so much of it. The first way to do that: Cut down on the number of beers you're drinking each night. Another way: Change the type of beer you're drinking. An imperial IPA can contain 260 to 360 calories per pint; a light beer, meanwhile, may have between 95 and 139 calories.
Track Overall Calories
Losing fat involves reducing overall calories. To lose one pound of fat, you have to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories. Drinking fewer pints of beer is one way, but you can also look to reduce your total caloric intake. If you have a smartphone, try downloading a weight-loss app that tracks calories and lets you know when you've consumed more than your daily goal. If you don't have a smartphone, numerous websites, such as FitDay and MyFitnessPal, can help you track calories and monitor your progress for free (see links in Resources).
Do Fat-Burning Exercise
Reducing calories is beneficial, but exercise is also key to a successful weight-loss plan. Thus, the best way to lose your beer belly is to reduce calories and exercise on a regular basis. If you're currently sedentary, start out easy and try walking for 15 minutes a day. Add more time as you get in better shape. If you're ready to try something more intense, choose exercises that you enjoy, so you'll keep doing them day after day. Running, skating, swimming, aerobics, cycling or jumping rope are all viable forms of exercise that burn a lot of calories -- but anything that gets your body moving is going to help your cause.
Do Ab-Strengthening Exercises
It's a known fact that in order to trim down your waist, you have to do exercises that burn overall body fat. However, a few abdominal exercises will help you tighten your abdominals and build the muscles that can lead to a "six-pack" look. Some of the most effective abdominal exercises include the bicycle crunch, leg lifts on a captain's chair, reverse crunches and crunches on an exercise ball, according to the American Council on Exercise. Do abdominal exercises at least two days a week, performing one to two sets of 10 to 20 repetitions of each exercise.