Have too many years of too many beers transformed your flat and ripped six-pack abs into a fat, round keg? What really causes a beer belly, and how can you lose it? It is true that beer drinkers around the world, especially men, tend to grow what is commonly called a “beer belly” if they drink beer frequently enough and long enough.
But is it really the beer that causes the beach ball stomach? You may know someone who has never had a beer or alcoholic beverage in their life, but is still sporting what is usually called a beer belly. How does this happen in a teetotaler?
And more to the point, how do some serious beer drinkers seem to avoid getting this profound paunch?
The Beer Belly Blame Game
As it turns out, too many calories and a sedentary lifestyle can turn your formerly flat and sexy stomach into a beer belly. It can happen with men and women, regardless the amount of beers you actually consume in your lifetime.
In today’s society, food rich in preservatives, saturated fats and other nutritional bad guys are the norm. This leads to fat which generally collects in the midsection, and if you take in more calories than you burn and get little exercise, you too may be sporting a lot of unhealthy belly fat.
Yes, You Can Blame Beer for Giving You a Beer Belly
The reason why beer and alcohol intake is associated with a bigger waistline is because your liver goes to work burning the poison alcohol in your body when you drink, instead of attacking fat. And with a standard beer sporting 150 to 180 calories, five or six in an evening can single-handedly net you half of the calories you should be taking in for an entire day.
So heavy beer consumption can definitely cause a beer belly, but it is certainly not the only culprit. Doctor Michael Jensen is an obesity researcher for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and he says that sugary beverages and over-sized meal portions should get just as much blame for creating beer bellies.
Compound the Beer Belly Problems with the Need to Eat
Of course, since alcohol consumption increases your appetite, you many times have something to eat while you are drinking. And the food offered at many pubs and bars is not the healthiest. Pizza, chicken wings and fattening fried foods often accompany beer drinking, and they are just as responsible for your overhanging belly as are the beers you are washing them down with.
As you age, hormonal and metabolism changes make it harder to burn fat, so the same poor diet your body easily shrugged off when you were young can quickly become the basis for a beer belly now that you are older.
Does above average and consistent alcohol and beer consumption cause a beer belly?
It certainly can, if your overall nutrition and exercise do not compensate for all those extra calories. Because men have less subcutaneous fat than women, they store most of their fat in the midsection. This tends to make the classic beer belly more prevalent among males than females, but women who take in more calories than they burn can also develop this classic beer drinker’s belly.
From type II Diabetes to high blood pressure and multiple heart problems, too much belly fat surrounding your vital organs can be dangerous, and sometimes deadly. Take up a weekly exercise regimen, practice smart nutrition habits, and a few adult beverages after work and on the weekends will have a much smaller chance of cursing you with a beer belly.
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