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The Beer Belly Conversation…

A couple of months ago I was chatting with an old friend who I’d not seen for many years.

He was telling me all about his life, and particularly the problems and misfortune he’d encountered.

It turns out he’d been through a messy divorce, just over 3 years ago, after 8 years of marriage, and it had hit him pretty damn hard!

Recently he’d finally built up the courage to try the ‘dating scene’, but was finding this difficult, frustrating and it was really knocking his already low self-confidence!

And he pulled no punches when talking about his weight issues!

It was evident he was extremely disappointed at how his life was panning out, and that his health and fitness was in a poor place, both physically and mentally!

He knew he needed to change, but wasn’t sure how!

Let me ‘cut to the chase’, he wanted me to help him get rid of his ‘beer belly’ and get his confidence back to the previous ‘high’ it had been in his 20’s!!

After giving his situation thorough consideration, and asking him many questions, here is the overall ‘gist’ of what I told him……….

“Firstly, you’ll need to make some diet changes!”…

At this stage I don’t need him to start thinking about macros splits or Ketogenic diets!

I don’t need him to go overboard either, declaring he’s never eating sugar, chocolate, carbs or touching alcohol ever again!!

What I needed him to do, first and fore-mostly, was focus on creating a daily CALORIE DEFICIT!!

He looked at me blankly at this point, probably wishing he’d never mentioned his woes to me!!

That’s where the support needed to come in! When you are low on self-confidence, overwhelm is usually ‘close at hand’.

The mind focuses on ‘how hard something will be’ rather than logically just doing it!

Health and fitness is not some secret which is extremely difficult to put into action – but many ‘experts’ like to present it that way!! I like to think I’m different!

So that’s what I gave him – a clearer, simpler picture. I went back to basics with him……..

I began to explain that being in a calorie deficit is where the amount of calories (energy) your body is using is higher than the amount of calories you are eating and drinking!

Once you are in ‘calorie deficit’ your body springs into action and starts searching for something to fill this ‘deficit’!

If your diet and workouts are set up correctly, the body will zoom in on your stored body fat, and burn this to fulfil its ‘survival’ needs!

Whilst I didn’t want to baffle him with macro splits, I did feel it was very important to mention protein at this point.

Protein is needed to recover and grow muscles.

A calorie deficit based on ‘junk food’ may still see you lose fat, but is not going to get you fit and healthy!

The key is to have a balanced diet made up of wholefoods (think fruit, vegetables and lean cuts of meat {or vegetarian alternatives]) and high in protein.

I wasn’t going to tell him he had to eat the cabbage he hates or the celery he detests! The “best” diet for losing your ‘beer belly’, or in fact for any goal, is the one that you can sustain and meet every day!

If you have a logical plan to work to, and are hitting it (almost) every day, you have very little to worry about from this perspective!

I arranged to send him some meal examples that would point him in the right direction!

They have been a great success and in his own words “totally changed the way I eat – I certainly don’t miss my old way of snacking on cr#p!”

healthy eater

“Next, I don’t want you to tell anyone what you are doing!”…

For some people I would suggest that they hold themselves accountable by telling everyone who will listen what they are going to achieve!!

However, I realised this was not what my friend needed at this point, particularly given his low self-confidence.

Given his current hang-ups over his physique and his fear of what the opposite sex thought of him, it didn’t seem fair to have him plaster his semi-naked body over social media!!

The way I told him to go about it was like a professional spy on a secret mission!

Do all this work out of the world’s mocking eye, and then announce the results when he is happy and ready!

I also emphasised the importance of taking some action straight away, and instructed him to do just that during our very first chat!

This is often the hardest part and he really didn’t know what to do at this stage.

I provided him some examples such as drinking 3 litres of water each day, setting his alarm clock earlier, going for a walk at lunch-time etc etc.

He decided on setting his alarm clock to 6am the very next morning (he usually sets it for 7am), and to do some light exercises prior to going to work. He started the ball moving…


“Now, let’s address the exercise side!”…

Whether you are a beginner or have previous gym experience, I’d definitely recommend you start lifting weights at least three times per week!

As time goes by you will move up to four, five or even six sessions per week. NOTE: At least one ‘rest day’ per week is always needed!

The misconception is that lifting weights and doing resistance training is only for people wanting to bulk up and gain muscle.

My friend certainly believed this untruth!


Weight training is often considered the best form of fat loss outside of an effective diet.

You see, if your aim is fat loss and you don’t do weight training, a significant amount of the weight you lose will come from muscle loss, not just fat loss!

Weight training will also burn an awful lot of energy – thus dialling into your calorie deficit goals!

So, once we had established he needed to weight train, I made it clear, as I do with all my clients, that good form, technique and range of motion is paramount.

Master the move before you step up to the heavier weights!

It’s no good lifting heavy weights the wrong way – that’s a recipe for injury, unsymmetrical muscle growth and bad posture!

To get him started I provided him with my Workout Blueprints. This great short ebook provides workouts for pretty much all muscle groups with easy to follow diagrams and instructions. (Message me for a FREE copy today).

The workouts are around 45-60 minutes each, and contain many great compound exercises with a scattering of isolation exercises.

He then mentioned cardio!!

My views on cardio are that it is a ‘dessert’ whereas weight training is the ‘main course’.

You don’t have as much for dessert as your main meal (well I hope you don’t) and you don’t have it with every meal!

So many people spend lots of time starting with cardio, then finish with a short period of weight training.

Unless they are training for a marathon or triathlon, they’ve got it the wrong way round!!

And my mate wanted to lose fat, so I wasn’t having him spending hours each week doing steady state cardio on a running machine or bike – his time is too precious for that!!

No, instead I had him do a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session 3 times a week.

These sessions lasted 15 minutes, but saw him ramp up the intensity, and burn the fat much more rapidly than plodding along on the treadmill!!


“Right, now generally just start looking after yourself better!”

I now hit him with a list of things he should be doing on a daily basis.

At this point he actually said, “but what if I have a night out” or “a weekend away”!

Well, when I say daily I don’t mean you can’t have a life and let your hair down now and then – that’s actually a good thing to do!

I am focusing on the ‘normal days’, the 260-330 days of the year that aren’t the exception to the rule!

So I gave him the following………

  • Drink lots of water! Being hydrated is key to a fit and healthy body and will also assist with fat loss. Drink a minimum of 3 litres per day!
  • Get 7-8hours sleep each night! Regular lack of sleep will seriously mess around with your hormones, often resulting in you eating more!
  • Find ways to relax and free your mind! Meditation would be a great starting point!
  • Chew your food well, and don’t rush your meals.
  • Limit your alcohol intake.
  • Limit your tea and coffee intake, particularly after 12 noon.

All these small changes will start to set-up ‘good habits’ in him, and the long-term effects of these will be awesome!

“Then we need to know that things are working!”

Most people get hung up on the weight on the scales (I sent my friend a copy of my article that addresses just that common issue)!

I explained to him that he could weigh the same and not have the ‘beer belly’.

He could also actually weigh less and still have the ‘beer belly’!

Weight is not a very good indicator of progress, particularly if it is not reviewed alongside other data!


Instead focus more on the way you look and feel. Get in front of that mirror, take progress photos and see how those clothes are fitting!

“And last but not least – don’t expect an Overnight Change!”……….

Today’s society seems stacked with people who want a short-cut. They want the results, but don’t want to put the time and effort in!

This falls nicely into many marketing people’s laps as they prey on the cravings for ultra-fast success with a whole range of pills, products and scams that will make you lose just one thing fast – your money!!

You are not going to lose 30 pounds in 30 days. You are not going to get six pack abs in 14 days unless you’re starting point is a five and a half pack already!!

You must realise that we are all individuals, and as a result no two people will react to an identical program or product in the exact same way!

This is common sense, and to take it a step further you must also understand that nobody can predict in advance the exact amount of fat you will lose, muscle you will pack on or strength you will gain!

They cannot know this as they don’t know you and how your body works!!

There are so many variables that they can’t possible cover in a ‘one fits all’ program, product or pill!!

The results in some ways are out of your control. What is in your control is the action you take. And I can guarantee you that if you follow a logical plan, are consistent and determined things will improve for you.

This applies as much too all aspects of your life as it does to health and fitness!

I stressed this to my friend. FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS on what you can control!

  • Focus on what you eat!
  • Focus on how and when you train!
  • Focus on your sleep pattern!

If he does the right things, every day, he can let the results take care of themselves!

And he has! He is now in pretty damn good shape! He is much happier and has a new partner!

Is your health and fitness causing you problems in life? If it is please get in contact with me (either by Facebook Messenger or email ).

As usual, any questions fire them over.

Ian David Worthington | Creator, Owner and Coach at

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