Do you enjoy a cold glass of beer on a sizzling summer afternoon? We reveal why this may give you a beer belly.
A single glass of beer may only contain 150 calories. But have you ever seen a beer lover drink only one? Excessive consumption of this beverage can lead to the intake of excess calorie. This is what gives you a beer belly. Along with the calories that come with beer, let’s not forget about the calories that come with the food that is also eaten along with it. There are many other reasons why beer may cause abdominal obesity.
According to researchers from the National Institute of Health, USA, there are two ways in which beer increases belly fat. Let us see what these reasons are.
Beer Prevents Burning Of Fat
Consumption of beer can stop the process of fat burning as our liver is trained to first metabolise alcohol and then fat. The leftover fat accumulates in the body and increases weight. Several studies have shown that drinking beer regularly in moderation (less than 500 ml) doesn’t seem to increase a person’s body weight. While the effect of moderate drinking on beer belly is up for discussion, drinking more than the recommended amount definitely leads to weight gain over time.
Beer Contains Phytoestrogens
Hop plant, which is used to give beer its flavour, is known for its high content of phytoestrogens. Researchers of the above-mentioned study say that this is a plant compound, which works in the same way as the female sex hormone oestrogen. Presence of phytoestrogen in a man’s body could lead to hormonal changes. This could be the reason behind a beer belly. It is possible that exposure to phytoestrogen may lead to increase in weight. But this is not scientifically proven.
Why Does Fat Accumulate Only In The Belly?
Fat accumulates when you take in more calories than you can burn. The place where there are deposits of excess fat depends on age, gender and hormone. Gender is the reason why beer belly is more common in men. Boys and girls store fat in similar places when they are children. But after puberty, this changes. Women store the majority of their fats under the skin. This is called subcutaneous fat. Deposit of this fat is in the arms, thighs and buttocks. Men have less subcutaneous fat and more of visceral fat (fat stored between the organs). Several vital organs are located in the belly region, which makes it a perfect spot for fatty deposits in a male body.
Why Is Beer Belly Bad?
According to a recent study published in the journal Cardiovascular Imaging, accumulation of visceral fat in the belly region has a link with cardiovascular diseases, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, erectile dysfunction, fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome. According to The American Council on Exercise, California, women with a waistline of 35 inches and more are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular health conditions, while for men it is 40 inches and more.