Getting Rid of My Beer Belly

OK, I’m a couple of years out of the Army. 6 ft 2 in. 215 lbs. with a beer belly. Completely new to the whole gym experience. I’ve just started an elliptical workout 30 minutes high intensity in the morning and another 30 afterwork.

I’ve been doing this with a fat burner and greatly reducing my meals. What effect will this have. Running is out of the question because of metal pins in my knees and ankles. How can I get rid of this gut?

lay off the beer!

There is more to reshaping your body than simply lowering calories and adding in exercise.

Every calorie is not equal. Calories from protein and good fats are generally superior to those from carbs. They bring added benefits with them (eg the inflammation fighting benefits of omega-3s, or the muscle building quality of protein) which are generally not associated with carbs. Carbs in excess, or combined excessively with fat can contribute greatly to health problems too. That said I do not mean to demonize carbs.

Breakfast time and post-workout especially are important times when carb-centric meals are beneficial. It is also important to choose quality calories (think basic, natural, whole foods) that bring with them vitamins and minerals, as opposed to empty calories (generally sugar, junk fats, and processed wheat which figure prominently in most junk foods).

If you have any food allergies, even a suspected one, try avoiding those foods while dieting.

Do not cut calories too low or you may hurt your metabolism and hormone profile.

Rather than cutting your diet, the more important point, especially for someone without too much to lose (you do not sound like a porker) is to reconfigure what makes up your diet. Cutting total calories probably will be neccesary but perhaps not the extent you are (though you did not give particulars).

You mentioned cardio, which is important for burning calories, but as much or more important is weight training. Do you lift any weights? Have you done so in the past? Is there any reason you cannot in the future? (you mention pins in your legs/ankles)

Cardio is like a short term investment that gives a quick lump yield. Weight training is like a long term investment which yields dividends over time which add up to a higher yield. The best route would employ some of each, though probably with a heavier lean on weight training (something like a 40/60 split of your time, though not neccesarily all in one workout session).

I personally like to keep my cardio (except for a little warm-up) away from my weight-training. Stick the cardio in on off days from weights, or do it in a separate workout session (cardio in the morning, weights in the afternoon) if you feel up to that kind of work capacity.

Definitely give yourself one or two days completely off per week to recover, and plan for a back-off week every month or two.

What kind of fat burner are you using? I would strongly recommend HOT-ROX. I am familiar with the ingredients in many of the other products out there, and have in fact tried a couple other products in the past and never found the results and experience as satisfying as with HOT-ROX.

HOT-ROX is effective and does not leave me feeling like crap. Other products at best fail to deliver equal results. Some are downright harmful (loads of caffeine and diuretics, no thanks).

Get some whey protein if you do not have some already. It makes getting a healthy macronutrient balance easier, and is great for muscle building and the immune system.

Also get yourself a quality multi-vitamin and strongly consider some fish oil, especially if you do not eat fish regularly. ZMA is a very good product too, and dirt cheap. It really helps me keep my minerals and indirectly my testosterone up. It also is a great sleep aid, which can be important while dieting especially.

There are plenty of other supplements that would be useful, but are far from neccesary, and are not so much targeted at weight loss or general health so I will leave them out for now.

Final Thoughts
Are you stressed much? I can only imagine that coming back from war (apparently wounded?) would be extremely stressful on top of whatever stress you have in your life now otherwise. There are any number of environmental stressors and dietary ones as well. Hard exercise causes a kind of stress too, especially if done excessively.

It would be good for your health to set aside some part of the day to meditate, or to at least sit quietly and relax. Soothing music and aromatherapy can be useful for this as well. Stretching, if done calmly, is another good opportunity to relax, and to get a little extra exercise in.

I hope this was helpful.

You should really read some of the articles on here about Fat Loss and Nutrition.

I don’t think elliptical machines will help you much in the calorie burning department.

You don’t really need to change how much food your eating in order to alter how many calories you’re getting. What you need to do is change how you eat. If you eat wholesome foods you’ll lose weight.

  1. Diet
  2. Basic Compound Lifts
  3. High Intensity Cardio
  4. High Water Intake

These things will make you lose weight. Your cardio plan will, in my opinion, be fine if you trade out elliptical for running, swimming, rowing, or a sport where you’re almost constantly moving (water polo, soccer, tennis, whatever).

Moon Knight. Thanks for the detailed response. I took away that I should start with the Whey Protein shakes and a fish oil. I already take what I consider to be a good multi vitamin. You’re right, I’m not a porker. hahah Thanks.

And yes, I have lifted weights in the recent past and that actually why I stopped so I would get the look with big arms and a belly. The problem arose when I was feeling good with my workouts but my waist had gone up to a tight 38. In fact I get complimented randomly but they don’t realize I have a gut.

It doesn’t completely show through my clothes. And yes I quit beer. Right now I’d like to get lean ie rid of belly then go back to the weights which I really enjoy. Something like wide receiver shape. That’s my natural build. Also, Fighting Scott mentioned trading elliptical for something else. Is it that ineffective?

I already explained why running is out of the question but I do have a pool at home. What would be the equivalent workout between elliptical and swimming. So I can vary workouts which I know is good. Thanks.

Elliptical machines are alright for light cardio, but you want high intensity.

Use the T-Nation search for “Tabata”. It will get you in shape quick (along with packing on muscle and making you stronger).

A great substitute for running is Kettlebell swings. If you dont want to fork out the cash for one, just use a heavy DB. Swings will help you lose that extra fat around the waist and lower back.