Beer belly - causes and tips for getting rid of fat belly

Beer belly - causes and tips for getting rid of fat belly

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The beer belly is called Dadbod in English, meaning papabauch. While beer consumption is the cause in German, it is fatherhood in English. Or are they fathers drinking barley juice?

Even if wearers of such a belly raise the need to virtue, be it with T-shirts such as "beer shaped this beautiful body" or "a man without a belly is not a man", the fat belly not only harbors aesthetic problems but also damages also health. If fat accumulates in the abdomen and is deposited between the organs, the risk of developing heart disease or developing diabetes increases.

Does beer shape the beer belly?

Does drinking beer lead to a beer belly? This indicates that hops contain plant hormones that have a similar effect to estrogen. These are said to lead to the fact that a particularly large amount of fat is stored in the stomach and the chest swells. A proof of this is pending. However, the yeast contained in the alcoholic beverage also contains estrogen and thus seems to promote beer warmth, especially when compared to wine that does not contain these plant hormones. Again, there are no studies to confirm this popular wisdom.

It's a thing with hormones. The plant hormones are so small in beer that consumption would have to reach that of a heavy alcoholic in order to influence the organism. But then an urgent suspect comes into play: the calories.

How many calories are in beer?

Whether people gain, maintain or lose weight is not due to complicated diets, but to a simple calculation: if I eat more calories than I consume, I gain weight. If I consume as many calories as I need, I keep my weight. If I consume less energy from food than my body requires, the body uses reserves and I lose weight.

Half a liter of Pils contains about 200 calories, about 215 in stock and Maibock 270. Two large beers therefore correspond to a lush piece of apple pie with sugar.

Alcohol and weight

The German Institute for Nutritional Research Potsdam-Rehbücke investigated in 2009 how alcohol, body weight and waist size are related and evaluated data from 250,000 adults.

The results were clear: those who drank more than two glasses of alcohol a day and for years, gained more compared to non-drinkers. The waist grew by around 1.1 cm for men and around 1.5 cm for women.

Why do the calories in barley juice hit?

Research today agrees that there is no such thing as a beer belly in the narrow sense. The belly comes from calories and not from beer. Here, two calorie bombs play together: alcohol and fat.

Doctors characterize the typical wearer of such a belly as a middle-aged to older man who likes to drink the barley juice and likes to eat.

Why do men wear a beer belly?

The typical beer floss is mainly carried by men, and for biological reasons. In men, fat mainly collects in the abdominal cavity, in women, on the other hand, more in the thighs and buttocks.

Since the wamp mostly acts firmly on men, mockers also compare it to the belly of a pregnant woman. Beer belly wearers sometimes claim that because the stomach is firm, it does not contain fat. It is a dangerous delusion. This is where the fat collects viscerally, i.e. inside the abdomen.

Fat and hormones

Now the weight can explode. This fat in the inner abdomen releases hormones that stimulate appetite and lead to cravings. There are also inflammatory substances that affect blood vessels, unbalance the lipid metabolism and can even trigger diabetes. It forms fatty acids, which ensure that too much fat accumulates in the liver. Excess internal belly fat increases the risk of having a heart attack.

The amount makes the fat

In comparison to fruit juices or soft drinks with sugar, the barley juice has relatively few calories, the yeast is also healthy and it provides us with important B vitamins. This is where alcohol and drinkability come into play.

Have you ever watched someone go to the pub and pour five liters of orange juice into their bodies? Or that at a party at three there is panic at night because the Coca Cola supplies are running low?

This only happens in the rarest of cases. The "rule" is rather that at a party with thirty to forty people, the four beer crates in the shower are empty at midnight, get guests from the kiosk replenishment, there is a significantly larger amount of beer bottles available when the deposit is made than the host bought, due to guests' souvenirs, while the only crate of Coca Cola still contains full bottles.

We consume non-alcoholic drinks because we are thirsty to hold something in our hand in society or to digest food better. Even those who switch to non-alcoholic beer will rarely need a third or fourth after the second wheat.

The intoxication comes slowly

However, since beer contains little alcohol compared to schnapps, about 3-5% compared to 30%, trained drinkers have to drink at least three to four of them to be effective. The merry get-together usually begins and those who don't want to be spoiled for fun can drink as long as the party lasts.

Anyone who now drinks ten pils throughout the night has already achieved their daily calorie target with normal weight and a height of 1.75 cm.

Now the barley juice is particularly tricky. It triggers hypoglycaemia and flushes salts out of the body. The result: we feel an insatiable urge for chips, pretzels, burgers, French fries and sweets.

Hangover and calories

After a night of drinking, we are easily at 3000 or even 4000 calories and put on fat. If you want to stay slim or become slim, you should stay with an average of half a liter of beer per day and not drink one or two days a week. It is ideal if they reduce fat in the form of meat and sausage and exercise moderately - from weight training to cycling and swimming.

Jogging against the beer belly?

Have you already eaten or drunk a bloated stomach? Then please do not come up with the idea of ​​jogging extremely to get rid of him. If you are overweight, jogging puts a strain on your joints and can even lead to osteoarthritis of the knee.

Beer bellies and lean alcoholics?

On the other hand, if the calories in alcohol lead to beer flare, everyday experience suggests that alcoholics are often malnourished in the clinical sense. Instead of a big belly, they show the ribs under the skin.

Studies on the consumption of beer, which ran over eight years, showed clearly: Those who drank a lot of it became fatter, this was true for both the waist circumference and the body mass index. The subjects were not alcoholics in the narrow sense of physical addiction. Doctors today see the non-alcoholic components of barley juice as a trigger for weight gain.

These also contain calories - wheat beer is rightly not considered primarily alcohol in southern Germany, but food. In contrast to wholemeal bread, for example, the liquid calories in beer do not completely provide a feeling of satiety, but lead to an additional japp on foods that contain sugar and salt - that is, food that in turn contains many calories.

Alcoholism spoils the appetite

Hard alcoholics, on the other hand, don't spend much time with the popular barley juice. To get to their level, they would have to drink far too much of it too quickly. That is why they prefer schnapps, especially clear schnapps like grain or vodka. This in turn consists mainly of alcohol. The schnapps acidifies the stomach, so that those affected do not feel hungry, on the contrary, a constant feeling of nausea. Since they hardly eat anymore, they do not increase, but decrease.

What to do about the beer belly?

The Bierwampe is actually a beer AND bratwurst belly or a beer AND pretzel belly. Who likes to drink the barley juice also likes to drink a lot of it because of the alcohol, who likes to drink a lot of it also likes to eat a lot of starch and sugar.

So how do we break down the big belly or prevent it from developing? It's easy to begin with: today there are even special apps that calculate exactly how many calories we can consume without increasing or decreasing in terms of size, gender and body weight, and that indicate how many calories they contain for food.

However, this is opposed by social rituals: those who sit in the office with a beer in the morning will mostly lose their jobs in the long run, but whoever drinks four or five of them with colleagues in the pub after work is considered a sociable employee. However, such cultural customs are indifferent to calories.

The calories are relentless

We measure with two standards in our culture. In our free time, at parties, “going crazy” is part of it to a certain extent, just so that we can function at the workplace, and this means that in our free time everything is “seen a little looser”. In terms of calories, however, such a division is fatal.

If we let five be straight and reach for the chip bag on an intoxicated night while we nibble on kohlrabi sticks, the result is the same as if we supply ourselves with salt and sugar during the day: we gain weight.

Even if it sounds hard, the best thing is to keep an alcohol and calorie diary. You can adjust that to your party rhythm. If you are not the person who drinks a beer every day, but rather four or five, then do without it completely during the week.

If you know that you consume calories in the form of barley juice and chips in the evening, lower your calories during the day, ride a couple of rounds of bike before going to the mine, or go hiking. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Hans Konrad Biesalski et al .: Nutritional Medicine, Thieme Verlag, 5th edition, 2017
  • Bettina Ruehe: Gastroenterology, Urban & Fischer Verlag, Elsevier GmbH, 2005
  • German Red Cross: Acute diseases of the abdominal organs, (accessed 02.09.2019), DRK

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