In the real world, it's all too easy for those occasional pints and carbonaras to start adding up around your midriff, especially if your job has you sat down for prolonged periods of time.
But just because you can't be as active as you'd like to be, doesn't mean that you have to accept your fate as a long-term beer belly owner.
Here we break down the simple ways that you can tackle that gut, and trim up for shirtless season.
1 | Tweak Your Diet - Don't Starve Yourself
Of course you're going to have to reduce calories to see any difference in your weight, but it's important that you don't take it to the extreme.
When we stop eating, our bodies kick into survival mode, which means your metabolism slows down and your body will battle to keep hold of every last calorie and ounce of fat. Instead you want to be fueling yourself with decent, natural foods like whole grains, lean meat and green vegetables, so that your metabolism is constantly running and not searching desperately for that next calorie.
Secondly, we tend to gorge after a period of prolonged hunger, so the more you starve yourself, the more likely it is that you'll crumble and end up in a heap, covered in chocolate, crumbs and your own defeated tears.
2 | Keep Lifting Weights
If you're looking to eradicate that beer belly once and for all, it's vital that you don't neglect the weight rack for hours of torturous cardio (there will still be a bit of that, in case you were worried).
To burn fat you're going to need a quick and efficient metabolism; the easiest way of achieving this is to lift weights and put on muscle, as your body will need to burn more calories in order to keep those muscles fed.
Studies have also shown - like this one from Harvard - that your body's metabolism can be increased for up to 48 hours after a weight training workout.
3 | Swap Out The Beer
Beer is a delicious and important social convention for pretty much every British man, but there is a price to pay for that wonderful blend of hops, water, malt and yeast and that is the soft and flabby consequence of the beer belly.
An average pint of beer contains about 180 calories, whereas a vodka and soda contains around 64 calories, which, as frustrating as it may be, is an undeniable difference. You can still enjoy an ale or three here and there, but if you really want to ditch that belly you're going to need to find a new signature drink.
Just don't have it with a straw, please.
4 | Have A Cheat Meal Once A Week
This might go against all logic surrounding losing fat around your belly, but falling off the wagon can actually be a good thing for your weight loss progress.
The theory behind the 'cheat meal' is that by occasionally increasing your calorific intake for a day or two per week, you're making sure that your body doesn't get used to a standard food routine, which can result in a metabolism plateau.
An added benefit of a cheat meal is that no sane man can swear off sugar, carbs and booze for eternity, so by allowing yourself a chance to indulge, you're taking away some of the mental strain that's required of a strict diet, thus making it less likely that you'll crumble and begin gorging.
5 | Learn The Power Of High Intensity
Another aspect of fitness that can take a while to grasp is that the amount of time spent exercising doesn't necessarily correlate with the best results.
This is where HIIT comes in, or high intensity interval training. A method that sees you work as hard as you can for short periods of time, resulting in better lung-capacity, endurance and an increased metabolism. There's a reason why sprinters are so fit and powerful, even though they typically run very short distances.
A good starting point is the 7 Minute workout - the longest seven minutes of your life - as well as the body-conquering burpee.
And while it might not be that glamorous, finding a flight of steep stairs and sprinting up them - using the walk down as rest - is one of the most effective fat-burning exercises going.