A beer belly is, in some quarters, a bold statement on the carrier’s social status. Not everyone can afford to drink beer regularly until they acquire the beer belly, after all. It is for the chosen few with deep pockets, or so goes the narrative.
That’s all fine, except that a beer belly that becomes a potbelly maybe be prestigious, but it is not healthy. Although common with men, a potbelly is a crown adorned even by the womenfolk.
Too bad for women, it doesn’t cut a presentable shape on them. Men may love and even showcase their belly pots, but hardly any woman wants to highlight the beer pot. Generally and unsurprisingly, women are more eager to get rid of their belly pots than the other gender. That’s why women are more determined to maintain the right shape through exercise or eating right.
Over 98 percent of potbellies are a result of excessive beer consumption.
How Does Beer Cause A Pot Belly?
Beer is packed with many calories; you get 153 calories per 355 milliliters of beer, which is the regular beer amount. The liver tends to prioritize alcohol over the beer calories, so while the alcohol is broken down or metabolized, beer calories are converted into fats. Part of the fat is then stored in the body, especially around the waistlines.
The waistline gradually swells with the fat known as visceral fat, and so you have your beer belly. You will notice that even your other body parts begin to swell. It is because another fat called subcutaneous fat is deposited under your skin.
What’s Harmful With A Beer Belly?
After a long week, it is only fair that “the boys” meet over mugs of iced beer on Friday evenings and give high-fives while the glasses clink. Beer is actually nutritious, to be sure, but the devil is in the details.
The side-effects that a beer belly cause to your body overrides the health benefits. You hear that beer contains essential nutrients such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium. However, nobody wants to let you know that these nutrients are in such small quantities in the beer that you need to many gallons of beer to benefit from them.
As already said, the more you drink beer, the more visceral fat is dumped along your waistline. Visceral fat is the most lethal body fat. Apart from your waist, it also accumulates around the liver, intestines, and pancreas, all of which are vital organs.
It is not easy to detect visceral accumulation around these organs. Doctors have to employ advanced technology (at your expense, of course) to see the stack and its size. One device they use is magnetic resonance imaging, which magnifies the accumulation.
Through a chain of reactions, visceral fat results in obesity, cardiovascular complications, and high cholesterol. All these are directly linked to a heart attack. As far as these diseases are concerned, women are far more at risk than men. In fact, beer belly is more dangerous for women than men.
A man needs over 40 inches of the beer-related waistline to be at risk of these complications, while women only need 30 inches to be at risk.
As the outside world praises your pot belly, things could be taking the wrong turn in the inside world. With your abdomen and waistline full of fat, the blood supply to your sexual organ is hampered, leading to a weak erection. Moreover, the belly fat has been found to secret aromatase, an enzyme that converts your testosterone into estrogen.
The more your testosterone is depleted, the more you suffer erectile dysfunction whenever it’s time to rise to the occasion. Low testosterone also results in breast formation (gynecomastia) in men because the body starts to think you are a woman.
With large amounts of estrogen replacing testosterone, some breast cells soon get out of control and become cancerous. So men end up with breast cancers.
Diminishing Brain Capacity
Beer does kill the brain cells. It’s no idle talk. The brain shrinks the more you drink beer. Why? The protein that your brain needs for reasoning and memory is the same one the liver uses more to break down the excess body fat the excessive beer causes in the body. Gradually, you lose the brain, the more you gain a beer belly.
Other Beer Belly Side effects
The visceral fat is known to increase insulin resistance because it secretes inflammatory signals that disrupt the insulin operations, training the body to resist insulin effects. The result is metabolism syndrome, which makes it hard for the body to store energy.
New studies indicate that Alzheimer’s disease or dementia the result if insulin resistance repeatedly happens in the brain.
How to Eliminate a Beer Belly
You can avert all these grim consequences of a beer belly if you take action now before it’s too late. You need to scale down your beer intake or quit altogether. You should also bear in mind that skipping beer on the weekdays only to overindulge on weekends is worse than daily moderate drinking of the same.
Another way out of the potbelly is to exercise regularly.