Programming, moreso than many related jobs (e.g. Project and Line Management), involves being sat on your bum for most of the day. What is the best way to avoid getting a beer belly through a programming job? Preferably without cutting out the beer.


Eat less, exercise more.

Read The Hacker's Diet.


Cycle to work. I'm sure I'd pile on the pounds if I didn't.


Ok. Since no one wants to have fun, here's my "serious" answer.

Last year I lost about 50 pounds (227 -> 177). Here is how I did it:

  • Walk to work every day. About 1.5 miles each way.
  • Eat breakfast. Oatmeal.
  • Totally cut out visits to the "snackery" at work. You know, chips, ice cream, etc.
  • Be less of a pig at meals. Don't ask people "Are you going to eat that?"
  • Buy some free weights and exercise with them fifteen minutes each evening

Uhh. That's it. Besides cutting down portions, my actual diet changed very little. I feel great, but I had to buy all new clothes which I hated.


If you don?t drink beer, you won?t get a beer belly.


Technically, programming doesn't cause a beer belly.


Take the stairs.

Eat multiple small meals rather than one big lunch.

Flex your center (abs) while sitting.

Drink water.

Drink tea or coffee rather than soda.

Take on the most challenging bugs (thinking hard burns calories).


Why are you posting on Stackoverflow and not exercising or consulting with a doctor. I mean really what's the point of asking how to stay fit - on an internet forum. If you want to stay fit you have take action. Pretty damn simple.

Oh I get it, you want us to motivate you? err... no you want us to stay fit for you? err... really dude it doesn't take much to go to the gym for an hour after work every day, does it?

This question needs to be closed.


I suggest getting out of the office at lunch time. Walk, run or cycle (to the pub); your choice.


I cycle to work to get keep the pounds off. Cycling is the ultimate fitness regime for a geek.

It's a fast mode of transportation. In cities, it is often much faster than a car.

It's energy efficient. Humanity has yet to build a machine as efficient as the bicycle.

It's cheap. The running cost of fixing my bike is probably less than a hundred pounds a year.

You don't get hot. Sure, you do sweat but the airflow over your body evaporates it quickly. Compared to the kind of sweat you build up running, cycling is much less stinkier.

I also find that regular exercise in the morning makes my brain ready for the day. I can think more clearly in the morning and the ride home at the end of the day resets my brain for my personal projects in the evening.

All, in all, Cycling is as excellent a hobby as it is a fitness regime.


Personally, I do a pushup for every compile error. Keeps me fit ANd I try to avoid the errors at the same time. Works great all around.

Six pack abs FTW!



software which ensures typing breaks + skipping rope = 3 minutes raised heart rate/hour.

(walking up and down stairs is also an option if skipping doesn't fit with your working environment)


I wrote a blog post on this. I'm sure some of it sounds like basic knowledge, but Dale Carnegie was famous for pointing out the obvious too. Just try to make the right decisions (eat right, exercise) and you'll be better for it.



Go running while listening to the Stack Overflow podcast.


German Volume Training

5-6 meals a day totaling 500 calories less than your daily usage = 1lb of fat loss a week


Less stackoverflow per night and more exercise will help


The more you sit, the less you eat and drink. Sometimes this means I have two big meals a day and a snack instead.

If you have a munchie problem, eat lots of fruits and veggies. Go for a walk when you need to do design.


I rock climb twice a week, not only am I much stronger for it which helps to increase metabolism, but I also get to exercise my mind in figuring out how to get up the wall without killing myself.


I'm in shape! Round is a shape!

Seriously I prefer the don't give a **** mentality. Programming as a career is one of the few areas where you are judged on your ability instead of appearance.


It wouldn't hurt to visit t-nation.com and read a couple of articles by Berardi and Waterbury. This one by Chris Shugart ain't bad either

Starting a training and diet log would be nice for this goal too.


For starters, stop drinking all that soda. If you have to sacrafice something, toss the sugar water. Beer is too previous to let go.

Second, implement exercise into your daily routine. I ride my bike to work everyday. And not only does it keep me in shape, it gives me time to decompress after a long day of writing code.

If you don't have a bike, walk to work, or take the bus and get off a few stops early. They main thing is to make sure you are spending time throughout the day doing things that don't involve sitting on your bum.


Fellow dude and dudette programmers,

the simple answer is..., To always drink more beer :), then go work out ;)



I have attempted to squeeze my belly in an attempt to ooze out fat out of my belly.

It works to some degrees.

But the caveat is that, it's hard to get the symmetry of your belly shape right...


Get one of those distorted mirrors and the beer belly vanishes!


Tons of great information, advice, and motivation no matter what your fitness goal can be found at http://www.bodybuilding.com/.


Drink more beer. You'll still have a beer belly, but at least you won't feel so bad about it.


I use an under-the-desk-cycling-machine. The more you program - the more you exercise, and you hardly remember you are doing it. There are some machines that hardly make noise and fit right under your desk. You will not lose weight, but you might not gain as much :)


My own solution to the issue of health and exercise is to always set-aside some special 1-2 hours of involved and dancing-jump-shout session every once in a while (usually on Friday and Saturday night after-hack sessions).

This not only makes me celebrate my code-victories, but it allows me to have fun (i rarely go to club or crowded places) and makes me healthy - dancing is a very serious and fun exercise.

Good thing is that i don't have shit-neighbors to shout back at me, and my metal/rock/techno/trance/new-age collection just keeps growing.

Dancing does it for me :-)