The average beer clocks in at around 150 calories, and for the regular beer and alcohol drinker, it’s not hard to add an extra 1,000 calories or more per week just from drinking. It’s obvious the effect that routine could have on your body, particularly your waistline, over time.
Alcohol also slows your metabolism down, so you gain weight faster and hold on to fat stores. Beer bellies are a common thing among beer and alcohol drinkers. Read on to learn why and how you can keep your waistline in check.
Go Easy On the Alcohol
Alcohol just isn’t your friend if you’re trying to keep your waist trim. No matter how much you count calories and try to substitute alcohol for food in an effort to keep your calories down, alcohol will continue to make you pack on the pounds. Here’s why:
As mentioned, too much alcohol makes your metabolism sluggish. This means that whatever foods you consume stay with you longer, and the fat in those foods is harder to get rid of. For men specifically, the majority of their weight gain occurs in their midsection. That’s why you see more men with beer bellies than you do women.
Women are not exempt, however, because alcohol also gives them a pooch and added weight in their hips, thighs and rear ends. When your metabolism is slow, exercise doesn’t do what it should either.
It’s not until you begin to refuel your body with the right kinds of food that your metabolism can bounce back again. Initially, drinking alcohol gives you a boost to metabolism, but it’s muscle that is burned instead of fat. Heavier or prolonged drinking is when metabolism slows down.
Alcohol stops the liver from breaking down blood sugar for energy. Consequently, as blood sugar levels take a nose dive, there are intense cravings for food. With the usual clouded judgment that drinking alcohol brings, a person may eat whatever high-calorie food is in sight. We all know that when drinking beer or alcoholic beverages, we’re usually eating snacks like chips, pizza, peanuts, etc. – all of which are foods that are very high in fat and calories.
So though alcohol itself has a moderate amount of calories, the urge to eat these other foods that have lots of calories is strong. Appetite is hard enough to control without alcohol, so why add it to the equation and make your life even more of challenge? Over time, this habit will cause you to gain weight and make losing weight all the more difficult. Your waist will get bigger and your belly will bulge. Not a good look, is it?
A bigger waistline is one of the number one predictors of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. This is something that you can prevent, so imbibe every once in a while if you must; but be responsible and don’t overdo it.