Beer Belly Facts on How to Enjoy Your Favorite Brew without the Belly
Does drinking beer really cause a beer belly? Here’s what some experts have to say about it and what you can do to still enjoy your favorite brew without the consequence of developing a beer belly.
According to a recent article in The Columbus Dispatch, despite the popular aphorism―he’s got a beer belly―it’s actually a bit of a misnomer in that drinking beer really has little to do with that gain in abdominal fat you see in many middle-aged men.
“Beer can be one cause of a big belly, but just because of the calories in it. It’s easy to over-consume calories in liquid form,” stated Dr. Aaron Clark, a family physician at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.
However, the primary cause of that protruding beer belly likely has more to do with the excess calories from foods like brats, burgers, pizza and ‘dogs that go down so well with a cold chug of Corona from an ice bucket. Unless of course you have more than one or two beers a day where those beer calories add up fast.
But there’s another reason. As it turns out some men are more susceptible to developing an excessive fat deposit around the abdomen because of as-of-yet not understood processes that prevents fat from storing or burning normally in some men; but rather, winds up stored deeper within the abdominal cavity literally choking the liver, pancreas and intestines. Women on the other hand, due to differences in their hormonal milieu, tend to deposit the excess fat in their thighs and hips rather than their gut.
Here's what both men and women can do to get rid of stubborn belly fat that just won't go away.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that excess deep abdominal fat can increase the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, breathing problems, depression and anxiety―as well as a pronounced beer belly.
Beer Belly Prevention Tips
So does this mean we should cut out the beer, or perhaps worse yet—buy into the ol’ “Less Filling, Tastes Great” marketing? Not if you really love your beer. Rather, you can have your beer and drink it too just by following these tips:
Tip #1: Don’t try to beat that belly back into shape with isolated abdominal exercises. It’s been proven that spot fat reduction does not work. Instead, go for full body exercise that includes fat fighting weight training.
Tip #2: Don’t use beer as a way to wash down salty, processed foods like chips and meat. Water will work just as well. If you are a real beer lover, you will understand why savoring that beer with healthier fare like grilled chicken or fish can be more satisfying with fewer calories.
Tip #3: Don’t make it a habit. Drinking beer or anything else can quickly become a mindless activity if it is done on a regular basis. Choose to drink your beer at differing times and conditions, skip a day or two, and preferably stop after one beer.
Tip #4: Every day you have a beer make it a point to commit to taking a brisk 30-minute walk either before or after the beer. After is better as you are likely to burn some of those calories away before it has time to convert to fat.
Tip #5: Don’t lie down after having a beer―but don’t operate heavy machinery, text the opposite sex, or write an e-mail to your boss either. Beer relaxes the body and lying down with the TV on makes it more likely you will move around less than you need to. Find a relaxing and safe activity after the beer to keep you off the couch.
For more about how to prevent or lose that beer belly, here are some selected articles on how to have a flat belly:
Reference: The Columbus Dispatch “Curse of the beer belly” by James Steinbauer
Image courtesy of Pixabay