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Beer Belly: How does a Person Develop It?

By Edited Mar 8, 2016 1 0
Waistline
Credit: Petr Kratochvil

When it comes to beer belly, most people believe that beer is the primary culprit. Although that may seem a viable reason especially when you’re an alcohol drinker, there are other reasons for this physique development. There’s calorie intake, metabolism and of course your physical activities. All of these variables are strongly linked to each other. Meaning, they all play a role when it comes to fat formation. You can actually drink beer and have a well-toned body if you know the specific roles of these variables. With that being said, this article will explain to you how beer causes belly fat. And, if you’re not a beer drinker, you’ll also read about other reasons why a person accumulates fat in their abdominal area. 

A Glass of Beer
Credit: Credit: Yamada Taro

Why beer drinkers develop a beer belly?

The truth is beer can actually cause beer belly. This is not a classic misconception. However, as mentioned earlier, there are other variables involved.

First and foremost, one bottle or can of beer has about 150 calories. This is quite minimal. The problem is, most beer drinkers can consume more than one bottle in one sitting. In addition to that, you’ll most likely consume fried and other high calorie foods while drinking it. So, if you’ll add all the calories, you’ve probably consumed 500 to 1,000 or more calories just in one night. This can easily be resolved if you only drink occasionally. But, if you drink at least twice a week then it will be a major weight problem especially when you’re not an active person. The bottom line is if you drink beer, you have to increase your physical activities. This will guarantee that excess calories are not converted and stored as fat.

Keep in mind that you can develop a beer belly by drinking any kind of alcoholic beverages. A Swiss research lead by Dr. Paolo M. Suter confirmed this statement. However, in their study they pointed out that calories are not the main cause of a beer belly. It was evidently noted that alcohol disrupts your body’s normal fat metabolism. So, instead of burning fat, your body burns alcohol and protein instead. One interesting conclusion they made is in connection to alcohol drinking and an increase in metabolism. They found out that if you drink alcohol without increasing your daily calories, you can burn more compared to non-alcohol drinkers. Primarily because, even though fat metabolism doesn’t occur, still there’s protein metabolism. This is actually an acceptable explanation why most alcoholics are thin.

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Other reasons why a person develops belly fat

You’re probably wondering why you have belly fat when you’re not an alcohol drinker. There are several reasons for that. Nonetheless, it  is still due to high calorie intake, low metabolism and less physical activities. However, people have different modes on how they store fats. Some people may gain weight without developing beer bellies. Others don’t gain weight but they look bloated. This will actually depend on several factors. To give you a more concise explanation, here are factors that may cause belly fat formation.

  • Gender – As you know, men are prone to beer bellies compared to women. This is because women have more subcutaneous fats. Meaning, when a woman gains weight, fats will most likely be distributed to their thighs, arms and hips. Men, on the other hand have lesser subcutaneous fats. So, instead of an even distribution throughout their body, it is build-up in their abdomens.
  • Physique – People gain weight in different ways. Your body structure plays a vital role in this. Depending on your physique, you may or may not have waistline problems. Take an hourglass shaped body or example. People with this specific body type have an even distribution of fats. In comparison to that, people with banana shaped body are more prone to developing love handles because of their straight body structure.
  • Age – Your age is another factor. Basically, as you get older, your metabolism decreases. With low metabolism, you burn less calories even if you're physically active. This is the main reason most people beyond their menopausal and andropausal stage are prone to developing love handles or broad waistlines even though they don’t drink alcoholic beverages.

Overview

With that, one may conclude that beer is not the primary culprit of beer bellies. But, it can definitely cause it especially when you drink too much and workout less. If you’re a beer fan, just drink moderately and try to increase your physical activities. For people who are trying to resolve this type of physique issue, you might want to check this article entitled “Healthy Ways to Lose Your Belly Fats”. And, like most weight loss regimens would advice, the best way to keep a well-toned body is to keep an eye on your calorie intake and increase your physical activities. 

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Bibliography

  1. Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD "The Truth about Beer and Your Belly." Web MD. 7/12/2012 <Web >
  2. "Beer Belly: What Really Causes It?." Yahoo! Voices. 7/12/2012 <Web >
  3. "Why a Beer Belly is Precisely That." The New York Times. 7/12/2012 <Web >

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