A beer belly can be stubborn to get rid of especially when you are not sure whether it is caused by beer or not. In this article, we shall look at the causes of a beer belly and how to get rid of it.
If you hate weight-loss strategies and measures, then getting rid of a beer belly can be a little bit hard. In simple terms, mindful eating, stress control, counting calories, and others can help you get rid of the beer belly.
Read on to find more;
What is a beer belly?
The term beer belly is used to refer to abdominal obesity. This occurs when somebody has developed a great deal of fat around the belly area mainly from drinking beer.
Beer is an alcoholic drink made from barley, wheat, or rye that has been brewed, fermented, boiled or left to age. Although it is liked by many, beer is linked to the development of a beer belly.
A beer belly is formed when fat is stored around your belly area. There are many risks associated with beer bellies. Risks such as heart disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cancer can be caused by belly fat.
Many people blame beer and alcohol for belly fat but are they true? Read on to find out the facts, and how to get rid of a beer belly.
What causes a beer belly?
Contrary to its name, a beer belly is not directly caused by beer. It is caused by too many calories which may still be caused by too much alcohol.
It is important to note that all kinds of calories whether from refined foods, added sugars, or sweetened beverages can cause the beer belly.
Alcohol is used as fuel before glucose and lipids.
On the other hand, beer can interfere with burning fat. This is so because the body burns alcohol instead of fat.
When alcohol is consumed, the body uses it first as fuel before anything such as glucose from carbs. When this happens, the excess glucose and lipids are stored as reserve energy for the body.
High-calorie intake from alcohol.
Alcohol is loaded with a lot of calories and if you happen to be a great drinker you will consume a lot of calories in one single sitting.
Take an example of a regular beer that contains about 150 calories. Consuming only 4 of these will add a lot of calories that you may not be able to burn.
Alcohol increases appetite and, in most cases, foods that accompany alcohol are usually high-calorie foods. Pizza is one of the foods that is eaten while taking alcohol. Since pizza and alcohol are high-calorie foods, the duo can cause a calorie bomb.
Age and its related conditions.
Beer bellies are more common in older people. This is because the metabolic rate decreases with age. The fat-burning rate reduces and more fat is stored around the belly area.
Menopause, on the other hand, makes matters worse and increases the chances of a beer belly. When estrogen levels drop, body fat that was at the hips, thighs, butt, and breast area is shifted to the belly area.
Genetics plays an important role in overall gain. Just as some people can eat all kinds of junk food without counting and still not gain weight. If you happen to have ancestors with beer bellies, chances are high that you may develop a beer belly.
This is more to do with the way our bodies store fat. Women tend to store fat in thighs, arms, and backside while men store fat around the belly.
How to lose beer belly.
Beer bellies don’t look good on people and they are associated with health risks too.
The health risks include cancer, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and others. For these reasons, people try to get rid of the beer belly with whatever measure that crosses their way.
Below are measures that can help you get rid of beer belly;
1. Cut on your alcohol consumption.
Since alcohol is greatly linked to the formation of a beer belly, reducing its intake can cut back on the extra calories that would have caused belly fat. Aim for a few shots once in a while and eat along with healthy foods that are low in calories yet nutritious.
One beer once a week can help to get rid of the beer belly. This measure will also help you make wise decisions about your health.
2. Watch your diet.
Foods that are high in calories should be substituted with healthy foods that are low in calories and high in nutrients. Usually, high-calorie foods are made from processed ingredients and have a lot of added sugars. For general health, these foods will only provide you with empty calories that aren’t backed with nutrients.
Ditch all the junk food, foods that have a lot of added sugars, and choose to eat whole and unprocessed foods.
Your diet should include proteins (meat, fish, poultry, legumes), veggies (kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage), fruits (banana, avocado, apples, pears, pineapple), fats (olive oil, fish oil), carbs (brown rice, whole wheat, corn, quinoa).
3. Eat more proteins
Proteins are more satisfying and take longer to be digested. This means that you will take longer without feeling hungry. Less hunger means fewer cravings thus fewer calories consumed.
Eating more proteins than carbs can help get rid of the beer belly. With all the health benefits associated with eating proteins and risks of eating carbs especially refined carbs, more proteins over carbs can help get rid of the beer belly.
4. Count calories.
If you haven’t been counting calories, start to. The beer belly develops when you consume more calories than you burn. Limiting your calorie intake to those that your body can fully burn can help you get rid of a beer belly.
Don’t be so restrictive with your diet, just choose whole foods, fruits, and vegetables as they are usually low in calories and are very nutritious.
5. Become more active.
Get out of your gaming or YouTube chair, get off the couch, and become more active. Get involved in outdoor hobbies, and take stairs instead of the elevator. In simple terms, get rid of that sedentary lifestyle. Being active can help you burn more calories than when you are less active.
However, to some people, workouts may be boring. Thus choosing an outdoor sport or hobby like swimming, soccer, jogging or hiking can help you burn calories.
6. Eat breakfast.
A healthy and satisfying breakfast is recommended by many diet experts. A healthy breakfast is linked to many weight loss benefits. For more about breakfast and weight loss, read our article “Everything you need to know about weight loss breakfast”
When you eat breakfast, you rev your metabolism, feel satisfied throughout the day and you will probably eat less on your next meal.
When you skip breakfast, you will be very hungry such that you will frequently crave and you will probably overeat ending up consuming more calories.
7. Get quality sleep.
Quality sleep can enhance physical activity, increases resting metabolism, and can decrease your appetite.
The opposite can increase your appetite especially if you stay out late. The body will feel fatigued and will increase your desire to refill in order to boost energy levels. The more you eat, the more the chances of getting a beer belly.
8. Manage stress levels.
When your stress levels are high, they will increase levels of cortisol which in turn increases your appetite. With increased appetite, chances are high that you will eat unhealthy foods. By managing stress levels, you will be able to make wise food choices, get quality sleep, and increase your metabolism all of which can help to get rid of the beer belly.
9. Practice mindful eating.
Mindful eating can help you control your eating disorders such as binge eating. Binge eating is an eating disorder where one eats a lot of food in a very short period of time even when not hungry.
It is usually triggered by emotional stress and can lead to a beer belly when one consumes many calories.
Mindful eating helps to control your eating which in turn helps to limit your calorie intake. It will help you get rid of a beer belly and to prevent its formation in case you haven’t developed one.
You can also read about: mindful eating for weight loss
Can beer cause weight gain?
The truth about beer is that it contains a lot of calories with a regular beer containing about 150 calories.
If you are a heavy drinker, multiply the number of bottles with the calories. Since people don’t usually settle for one bottle, they will averagely have around 6 bottles in one sitting at a bar. These calories will be stored as fat if your body can not burn them.
Additionally, when taking beer no one craves for carrots or apples. It is usually pizza and other junk foods that are high in calories.
Also, beer prevents fat burning and the use of glucose by the body to get energy. The body prioritizes the breakdown of alcohol for fuel over glucose and lipids. This means that as the body uses alcohol for energy, the fats will be stored around the belly hence beer belly.
In summary, overconsumption of alcohol can cause weight gain especially when it is accompanied by junk foods.
The Bottom line.
To get rid of the beer belly, approach it with a weight loss strategy. Also, focus on the entire body for weight loss other than spot reduction.
Our article about exercises for weight loss will show you a series of full body weight loss exercises.
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