Most men suffer from the dreaded “beer belly”.
Once slim and muscly, we are now forced to find outfits that allow us to hide this fat around our waist.
Most people believe the “beer belly” is caused by the excess of calories in alcohol that are stored as fat deposits.
This is only a myth.
The real cause resides in the complex effects alcohol has on our body and on the metabolic system.
The ingestion of alcohol triggers a reduction of the fat that gets burnt for supplying the body its needed energy.
Here are the reasons:
- There is a small part of the ingested alcohol that gets converted into fat
- The remainder of the alcohol is processed by the liver and turned into acetate
- As acetate gets released in the bloodstream, it is used as a source of fuel, so the body compensates by burning less fat.
The combination between the high caloric value alcohol has and this acetate effect is that the body stores more fat calories than usual, thus creating the annoying “beer belly”.
Specialists at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) warn that obesity increases the risk of high blood pressure and increased cholesterol, as well as type 2 diabetes, respiratory problems and even some forms of cancer.
In the United States alone, hundreds of thousands of people die every year because of physical inactivity and poor diet.
These unhealthy lifestyle habits cost the nation close to $100 billion annually.
Most people believe light beer is similar to diet coke, so they can drink as much as they want without gaining weight because of that.
Indeed, light beer has fewer calories than regular beer, but it is far from being absolutely free for calories.
It can still contain about 100 or even more calories per can, so if you thought you could drink and get away with it, you are wrong.
A shot or liquor may contain between 155 and 200 calories, despite its small size.
On the contrary, a 4.0 oz glass of wine has only 60-160 calories, most of them being in the lower range.
Cocktails are the worst of all.
A simple glass of gin and tonic can contain 280 calories.
Some frozen, creamy cocktails can contain more than 800 calories, being the equivalent of a full meal.
The mix of alcohol and carbonated soft drinks appeared in the UK in 1995 and became extremely popular in most countries pretty quickly.
Alcopops can contain over 200 calories per 12 oz bottle.
If an artificial sweetener is used, the situation changes a little, but they are still high in calories.
How To Cut Your Calorie Intake
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with water and soft drinks
- Always choose diet or low calorie cocktails, if possible
- Drink your wine as spritzer by adding water
- Replace your “alcopop” with a shot of strong drink and some low calorie cocktail – you can go down to about one quarter of the total calories!
- Have a plan to take only a certain amount of calories from your daily alcohol dose and stick to your plan. If you enjoy going out on weekends and drinking with friends, try to refrain from alcohol consumption during week days.
- Never replace your meals with drinks. Alcohol has a lot of calories, but it can’t be a healthy substitute for food. Instead of satisfying your hunger, it is only going to lower your blood sugar levels, so you are going to become even more hungry after one or two drinks. Additionally, alcohol is known for its effect of lowering the willpower, so you won’t be able to resist your food cravings. You are going to overeat and add even more calories to your daily intake. If you want to avoid this, you should always eat a good meal before going out to drink with your friends.