Drinking beer and a big belly have been associated for many years, but is it fair to blame a large mid section to beer and beer alone? There has to be more to it, surely. Beer cannot build big bellies alone, it has to get help from somewhere.
So, will beer make me fat? You have to dig a little to find out whether beer is the hero of large bellies everywhere, or whether it is a combination of foods and other drinks that are the real builders of bellies.
The short answer to the question.
Will Beer Make Me Fat?
The simple fact is that beer will contribute to weight gain, especially if you drink high quantities on a regular basis. Alcohol is high in calories, it can stop your body from burning fat, and can lead to over eating, especially of the wrong type of foods.
Why Does Alcohol Have So Many Calories?
The reason alcohol has so many calories is that it is calorie dense. What this means is that it is a concentrated source of calories. Pure fat comes in at around 9 calories per gram and alcohol is a close second at 7 calories per gram. If you think that carbohydrates whether it be starch or sugars comes in at 4 calories per gram, as does protein.
Taking into account that an average large beer will contain 15g to 20g of alcohol, then you realize how the calories start to stack up when you have a few beers. This also goes for other drinks like wines and cocktails, the higher the volume of alcohol the more calories that will be involved.
Just to give you and idea, here are some popular drinks and their calorie counts.
A 12oz (355ml) regular beer will give you around 150 calories. This can increase significantly with crafts beers that can have a higher alcohol content, climbing from 150 calories up to some that hit at over 300 calories.
A standard 1.5oz (45ml) measure of gin at 40% volume will be just under 100 calories. This will increase for the same measure if the alcohol content is higher, the higher alcohol content the higher the calories.
A standard whiskey is on the same par as gin, a 1.5oz (45ml) measure with a strength of 40% will kick you around the 100 calorie mark.
A 5oz (145ml) glass of wine will be around 120 – 130 calories depending on the sweetness of the wine.
A 6.8oz (200ml) pina colada will hit you in the belly at around 500 calories. That is a shocker, but not when you stop to think of that lovely coconut cream, which has a lot of saturated fat, and of course the amount of sugar in this popular cocktail.
To see more popular drinks and how many calories they hit you with, here is a great list at MedlinePlus.
Beers and other alcoholic drinks do contain calories, which will not benefit you nutritionally and can add up pretty quickly.
Alcohol And Weight Gain
It stands to reason then, that beer or alcohol as a whole can have a bearing on your weight. Our average daily calorie intake is around 2000 calories for women and 2500 calories for men. This does fluctuate depending on how active we are, if you are a female athlete, then you will probably need more than 2000 calories per day to sustain the amount of activity.
The average male that has 3 balanced meals a day that stay within the 2500 calorie intake and is fairly active will probably maintain a healthy weight and a lean body. Add several beers at the bar with friends, and a glass of wine with dinner, and the calories begin to climb.
Do this every day, and we may start to see some weight gain.
Any alcoholic drink will contribute to weight gain, especially when it is consumed in high quantities, and remember it has no nutritional value like a healthy meal does. Because alcohol is a toxin the liver will burn this off first, meaning that fat around the middle will be second in place when it comes to you trying to burn it off.
When you drink several beers or any type of alcohol before you eat it can lead to unhealthy choices. You may fancy foods high in fat content, loading even more calories into the daily total.
How Do I Lose My Belly Fat?
Have you woken up and realized that you have a keg for a belly instead of the old six-pack you were so proud of?
It is easily done, I have been there, and it seems to happen faster the older you get, and also seems harder to shift. The hard truth of the matter is that weight is a balance between incoming calories and outgoing burnt calories from being active.
It is no different to your finances, if you spend more than you make on a regular basis, then you will end up in debt. If you consume more than you burn on a regular basis, then you will end up with access fat.
It is hard if you like to have a beer or glass of wine, you are not going to want to cut alcohol out of your diet. It may be tempting to cut out some food to accommodate more beer or wine. This is not the answer, remember that alcohol has no real nutritional value, so you need your food for the nutrients it supplies to your body for your good health.
The best way to lose belly fat is to take a good look at your diet and exercise routines. Make the food part of your diet as healthy as possible as well as being balanced. Drink plenty of water, and evaluate how much alcohol your are consuming and adjust accordingly.
If you consume too much, then start to cut down gradually, don’t cut it out altogether in one harsh move, you will not be able to sustain it. As you are cutting down on food and alcohol (which ever one you need to cut down on), also start a new workout plan.
Walking, swimming, running, rowing, cycling or any other exercise that you may enjoy, the more you exercise the more calories you will be able to take in whilst maintaining a healthy weight.
A balanced diet and a moderate consumption of alcohol should see us all maintain a healthy lifestyle as well as a lean body. Over do it on your food intake or your alcohol intake and things will start to go pear shaped, literally.
So, will beer make me fat? Yes it will, if you over indulge and don’t stay active enough to burn the calories that your body is taking on. Beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks are a great thing and we should continue to enjoy them, we just need to do it without going overboard on the quantity.
Rob is a passionate home bar and pub shed enthusiast with a passion for craft beer. With hands-on experience in designing and building his own home bar, Rob shares his knowledge, tips, and inspiration to help fellow enthusiasts create their own perfect space. Alongside the world of home bars and pub sheds, Rob also explores the diverse and exciting realm of craft beer, providing honest reviews to help you discover your next favorite brew. Join Rob on a journey of flavor, design, and craftsmanship right here on Home Bar Kit.