Health & Wellness

Beer and the belly fat

Beer love is the culture of many nations and is associated with social traditions such as beer festivals or rich pub culture involving activities like pub crawling and pub games such as bar billiards.

Beer Content

The strength of modern beer is usually around 4% to 6% alcohol by volume (ABV), although it may vary between 0.5% and 20%, with some breweries creating examples of 40% ABV and above.

A regular beer (12-ounce) with four percent alcohol includes 153 calories, 14 grams of alcohol, 13-17 grams of carbohydrates, and 2 grams of protein. Beer with higher alcohol content tends to have higher caloric content.

Fat that Contributes

Beer and its association with belly fat , is age old but not many know the exact fact . There are mainly two types of fat in belly namely ,

  1. Subcutaneous fat : which is under the skin
  2. Visceral abdominal fat (VAF)

While we tend to be most bothered about subcutaneous fat – fat that accumulates below the skin all over the body but more generously around our waist, thighs, and hips. This fat is visible to the eye, plays havoc with our body shape, and is an eye sore – which all of us want to get rid of as quickly as possible. However, subcutaneous fat is relatively harmless, from a health risks perspective. The urge to get rid of it has more to do with social and cultural mores .

Visceral fat can cause more damage to health than former . As this fat is accumulated around the abdominal organs and is a root cause to many hormonal imbalances and other related ailments . From clinical and basic investigations, aging, sex hormones, excess intake of sucrose, and lack of physical exercise have been suggested to be factors influencing visceral fat accumulation . Studies have also shown an association between uncontrollable stress and abdominal fat distribution, especially in women.

What causes a beer belly?

Contrary to its name, a beer belly is not necessarily caused by excess beer consumption, although this can definitely contribute. Most of the times beer belly is due to the mixes that are taken along with beer like aerated drinks or high fat snacks . While beer if taken with plain water or soda does not cause much harm .

Apart from the calorie content of the beer itself, which is about less than or equal to soft drinks depending upon the brand that you take, some previous studies have shown that drinking alcohol may result in a short-term increase in appetite, which again leads you to eating more and ending up with extra calories .

In another study, it was found that long-term regular drinking in moderate amounts, does not lead to weight gain or belly fat bulge.

Get rid of the bulge

Unfortunately there is no magic cure for a beer belly but to achieve a state of negative energy balance, where you are burning more calories than you are consuming as workout is the only and best way out. Simple Mantra is “Burn more energy, eat less calories ”.

Some precautions can be taken along with it that include

  1. Moderation in beer consumption while enjoying it
  2. Avoid high calorie drinks like aerated drinks, preserved juices, cordials and milk shakes
  3. Choose low energy density foods
  4. Avoid greasy food
  5. Stay away from excessive sugar intake
  6. Avoid processed food
  7. Look for healthy meal options compared to tasty ones especially while eating out.


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A traveller , a photographer and a music lover(an aspiring singer ;) ). I thrive on the thrill of exploring the unfamiliar . A software engineer by profession and a writer out of passion. Writing has always excited me when i am with myself . I do enjoy reading , gardening and creating DIY crafts in my free time.

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