It’s not all that long before footy finals and Christmas party invites start rolling in, and with them a few too many beers and festive drinks.
However, while a glass of champagne or two never hurt anyone, you might be interested to know that regular alcohol consumption, even just one drink a day (especially beer) can lead to more fat accumulating around the belly, particularly for men.
Here are 3 reasons why alcohol contributes to belly fat:
- Suppresses Fat Burning: we know that alcoholic drinks are high in calories. However, because your body identifies these as toxic calories, it will put all other fat burning and energy use processes on hold until the alcoholic calories are metabolized first. This puts your body essentially into fat storage mode. Some studies have shown that drinking can actually inhibit fat burning ability for up to 4 days.
- Cortisol: when we drink alcohol, our levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) increase. While cortisol can play a positive role in terms of health, high levels of cortisol over a prolonged period of time results in increased belly fat (beer belly anyone?).
- Makes you want to eat more: alcohol lowers inhibitions, meaning you’re more likely to think that 2am kebab is a good idea. Alcohol also suppresses leptin. Leptin is the hormone which instructs us to stop eating (which is why you often feel hungry when drinking!).