While most people across the globe idolize a six-pack set of abdominals, it's much more common to see folks with beer bellies. But do beers really deserve the credit for those pooches so many carry on the front of their bodies?
Believe it or not, alcohol may not be the cause of all beer bellies. After all, the infamous beer belly doesn't just affect beer drinkers. Look at enough beer bellies and you'll see them on people of all walks of life, drinkers and non-drinkers alike. So what's the scoop on these humorously named guts?
Exciting as the term "beer belly" may be, it's not necessarily caused by beers. (That's right - go tell all your friends they need to come up with a new name for your pudge.) Instead, like all other fatty buildup, it is brought on by nothing more than excess calories.
These calories can come from all sorts of things. Eating too much candy? That'll do it. Have a problem stopping when there is a good-looking roast on the table? That can put your calorie intake over the top as well. Cutting back on your exercise routine without making cuts on your calorie intake? You've just hopped on the fast track to fat buildup. Of course, all fat buildup doesn't occur in the belly. So why is beer belly so common?
While just about any part of your body can suffer the consequences of your overeating, it tends to pool in the stomach region. This is especially true for men. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to have fat store in their buttocks, thighs, and arms. But if you're a woman, don't think this makes you immune to beer belly. It doesn't.
Though the growth can show up at any age, you're more likely to wind up with a beer belly as you age. The reason? There are many. Your beer belly can begin when you stop listening when your body tells you that you're full. It then gets worse when you decide to chow down on a bag of potato chips instead of an apple. And your belly turns into a full-fledged keg when you stop visiting the gym each day or drop your membership altogether.
If beer isn't ultimately responsible for beer belly, why is it getting such a bad rap? Well, beer isn't completely innocent. Otherwise, there wouldn't be such a big market for light beer. In fact, beer can be the cause of a beer belly. Because beer is often filled to the brim with calories. And unfortunately, most of these calories don't get used in the near future, as beer drinkers frequently drink and immediately relax. Few people feel like getting up and exercising after a drink, so they don't. When this happens, those calories have no way to get burned off, so they pile up instead.
In addition to this high-calorie problem, beer is also easy to overindulge in. Once beer drinkers start drinking, kicking back three or four is an easy feat. Do this a few times a week, and you can wind up with thousands of excessive calories that have nowhere to go but your belly.