Is Beer Belly Real?
While the beer might be appealing, the calories and weight gain that come along with it may not be, which has us asking, "Is beer belly real?"
If there's one thing that strikes fear into every dieter's heart when they attend a party, it's the possibility of gaining a beer belly. It's easy to see why; beer belly's not exactly the most attractive thing to see on a person.
"Beer belly," as it's commonly known, is the tendency of people gaining weight in their lower abdomen when they drink beer on a regular basis. Most dietitians will tell you that beer belly isn't necessarily true, but if you look at anecdotal evidence, it seems pretty real to many of us.
So, is beer belly real?
We decided to take a look at the science behind beer belly to determine whether beer belly is real. Here's what we found.
Is beer belly real, or is it just beer flab?
A typical can of beer will contain anywhere from 100 to 300 calories per serving, with the average can of beer containing approximately 150 calories. This is about the same amount of calories that you would get from drinking a can of Coca-Cola or Sprite.
Most beer drinkers don't just drink a single can. They drink two or three beers in a single sitting. Some drink even more. On average, that's an increase of 300 to 450 calories per beer drinking session.
Though it may not seem like much, drinking three beers a week can make a big difference in how many extra calories you take on. This is especially important to think of when you don't intend on increasing the amount you exercise.
Assuming that a single pound of fat equates to an extra 3,500 calories on top of your daily amount, it would only take about eight weeks or so to gain another pound of fat.
It doesn't take too much drinking to increase the amount of pounds you see on the scale, either.
If you have a bottle of beer with dinner every night, that puts you in the top third of drinkers in America. That also means that you will have around seven beers per week — which equals around 1050 extra calories per week. As you can imagine, people grossly underestimate the number of calories beer has.
Additionally, all alcohol tends to be pretty bad for your diet. Alcohol increases appetite, which in turn means we'll eat more of everything and gain calories due to that, as well. Moreover, our bodies tend to burn alcohol before fat, which also can slow any weight loss efforts we have.
So, is beer belly real? Well, sort of.
At the very least, beer flab is definitely real. Drinking beer causes weight gain because you are taking in excess calories.
Beer belly might not be totally real, though.
When people ask if beer belly is real they are asking about whether you'll gain excess fat in one specific place. Is beer belly real in that sense, though? Well, yes and no.
When a person gains weight, they don't just gain weight in one place. Weight gain, to a point, is evenly distributed throughout the body. So, if you gain weight due to drinking, you will see that weight gain everywhere.
After a certain point, though, your hormones, gender and body type will come into play during weight gain. Women tend to be less likely to have belly fat unless they are older and had kids. Men tend to gain belly fat faster than they'd gain it in their butt or thighs.
But yes, eventually, you will end up gaining a noticeable amount of weight in your belly if you keep drinking so much. However, you'll also have gained a noticeable amount of weight almost everywhere else, too.
So, is beer belly real?
Beer belly is real — but it's often not just belly fat. Because of the calories beer has, and because of how beer affects your cravings for food, regular drinking will cause massive weight gain.
So, if you want to avoid beer belly, you're going to need to avoid more than just beer. You will need to consider cutting alcohol out of your system as much as possible. After all, those calories will end up hurting your ability to stay slim.