Advice Hub

June 13, 2011
 

Beer Belly

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Written by: Kyle Raffo
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Belly and beer

Living it large, chaps? Stomach sagging over your belt, even when you breathe in? Don’t go for the drawstring pants just yet.

40% of British men are thought to be packing some kind of beer gut under their shirts. It’s basically a build up of fat in and around the abdominal area. There are several theories about what causes blokes to blob out here and not say, round the ankles, but it’s almost certainly fueled by a sedentary lifestyle that involves boozing on a regular basis.

But I don’t drink beer

Alcohol is high in calories, so it’s not always beer that’s to blame for big bellies. Different drinks have different calorific contents, of course, and a pint of lager or bitter certainly packs in more than a glass of wine, but it all adds up. Every day, a healthy male will consume roughly 1850 calories as part of his diet. Your average pint of bitter contains roughly 200 calories, so if you’re knocking back three or four pints a night that’s almost half the required amount.

Review your drinking habits

Cut down your drink intake, switch to something less loaded with calories, or even think about quitting. Take another look at your diet. high calorie, high carbohydrate eating habit is sure to pack on the pounds. So if you’re going to be disciplined about drink next time you open the fridge, don’t go passing on that can of lager just to slide out the cake instead. There’s no need to cut out food completely, of course, or crash and burn with a diet that just won’t work. A healthy and balanced eating routine will go some way to achieving the weight that’s right for your body. The rest is down to getting off the sofa and basically just getting out more.

Increase your exercise

Swimming or gentle weight training that focuses on your abdominal muscles may help restore some definition to your belly. To set up a routine that’s right for you, visit your local sports centre and talk things through with a qualified exercise instructor. Just don’t go overboard. It’s all too easy to buy into the idea that a six-pack chest is everything, however, so try to keep in mind that the most finely honed bit of your body is contained inside your head. So if you want to lose weight and keep it off, eat low-fat, high fibre foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains and beans. You should cut back on fatty foods and do exercise (like running and swimming) that works your upper and lower body muscles – ideally alternating on successive days.

Bizarre beer gut fact

Blokes who booze in a big way could end up with more than just a belly but ‘big man boobs’ too. Why? Because drinking large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis can cause a slight increase in the production of the female hormone, oestrogen, on top of a reduction in the male hormone, testosterone.

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