Unraveling the Truth about That Beer Belly by Jay Thevar

Hi everyone,

Your Briyani Connoisseur is back. Hope everyone had a fattening Deepavali celebration! Okay, with that said & done, let’s get down to business!

Beer belly is  a term is used to refer to anyone who has developed abdominal obesity. It occurs because people have developed a great deal of visceral fat.

It's not necessarily the consumption of  beer alone but just  too many calories that can turn your trim waistline into a belly that protrudes over your pants. Any kind of calories -- whether from alcohol, sugary beverages, or oversized portions of food -- can increase belly fat.

Whats with the Beer Belly and Men?

It won’t take a rocket scientist to understand that beer is pretty calorific, as are the snacks we yearn for to accompany it. But why does it specifically affect men more than ladies? 

When we drink beer, our liver has to go into overdrive to detoxify the alcohol. Now add a few packets of crisps to the equation, maybe some peanuts or even pickles and those calories are there to stay. Beer itself is pretty calorific stuff, to the tune of around 150 calories a unit so why beer makes you fat, well that starts to seem obvious.

Now why does it give you a beer belly specifically? Well the answer is down to THREE things apparently – Genetics, Gender and Age

Genetics are a big factor
Unfortunately, genetics are a crapshoot capable of producing many a terrible hand. Some people get to eat garbage all day long and not gain a pound, while others add a love handle just looking at a donut. Where your body decides to deposit fat works the same way; some people are just more prone to putting their flab in their belly area than others.

Gender also makes a difference
Men and women tend to pack on their pounds differently. For men, that means more fat in the belly area which explains why the classic beer-belly look usually happens to men -- it's also more of a pronounced look when all the weight is going into your gut, and not other parts.

That helps explain why you tend to see it less on women, too; they typically store extra weight in the butt and thighs. 

Age makes everything worse
The aging process can be a drag for many reasons, not least of which is the added weight. Your metabolism slows down, so you're more inclined to put on weight in general.

For women, the big turning point is menopause. As women hit menopause, their body composition changes. The shift of fat turns from the butt and the thighs to more of the central region. So even if you remember the days when weight didn't beeline for your gut, the inexorable passage of time makes sure you do. Time strikes again!

The biggest dietary cause is sugar
Here's where things get confusing. Although the term beer belly refers to the belief that drinking too many pints will give you a giant belly, food obviously makes the biggest difference, since even heavier drinkers tend to get the majority of their calories from food.

Your body breaks down different sources of energy differently, and stores them differently -- as it turns out, the biggest dietary reason you have a fat belly is sugar and refined carbohydrates.

There's some evidence that diets high in fructose or high-fructose corn syrup may contribute to more insulin resistance and the deposition of fat inside the abdomen. Lifestyle overall can contribute to how fat is stored, which means if you're sitting on the couch, eating processed foods, drinking beer, and watching soccer or your Sun TV mega serials every day, well, you can probably count on developing a beer belly.

How to get rid of your beer belly?
Here's the good stuff! As is often the case, the best way to get rid of your beer belly is to avoid getting one in the first place. Prevention of weight gain in the first place is the best recommendation.

That's not so helpful for the people who already proudly sport a gut. If you're past the prevention stage and have already put on some extra pounds, there are ways to combat belly fat.

Cleaning up your diet is a good place to start, though you probably already knew that. You want to aim for mostly plants, healthy fats, and complex carbs like whole grains. Exercise is important, too; high-intensity interval training may be the best to combat belly fat, especially if you have an insulin resistance.

But since there's no evidence that beer causes a beer belly, the good news is that you don't have to get rid of beer to get rid of yours. Overall, the best way to start trimming your waistline is to just lose weight, since you can't spot-target fat loss. Cutting back on beer probably isn't a bad idea, but you don't want to go too crazy!

I for one will not miss out on my ciders & biryani! :D

Hope this helps

Your Fitness Expert, Jay Thevar

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