Lots of people tell me they know they could lose weight if they stopped drinking “so much” beer. I’m not sure how much “so much” is, but it probably depends on the person. The effects of stopping drinking it are individual too. In fact, women are often quite bitter towards the men in their lives who seem to be able to declare on a Sunday that they will stop drinking beer……and then by Friday, they’ve lost 5 pounds. That would never work for a woman!
This is why:
1. it is metabolically easier for men to lose weight than for women (I know–totally not fair!).
2. beer has a certain number of calories in it, and if a guy is drinking a few days worth of calories in beer each week and then stops, he’ll easily lose a few quickly (remember one pound of fat=3500 calories).
3. women don’t (generally) drink as much beer as men do, so even if they quit drinking it at all, it wouldn’t be creatng as drastic a decrease in caloric intake.
Ok, so back to the concept of beer as a promoter of being overweight. It’s not actually beer itself that causes people to become fat, its the carb-y caloric beer intake in conjunction with the other foods that are often consumed with beer. Think: fried foods, junk food, pizza, wings, etc., etc., etc…..
If you consume a lot of beer (or other carbs), and the carbs are broken down and enter your bloodstream, AND you are not in need of using them for energy…..insulin levels will remain high, and will tell your body to store fat. Thus, you gain weight.
When you have this beer-carb-high going on, and then you eat more carbs combined with lots of fat…..you’re just overloading your system with yucky stuff it doesn’t want to process. You get bogged down, and your body stores fat.
So beer can be considered a sneaky accomplice in the journey toward weight gain. Nutritionally, it’s not horrible for you—it’s high (ish) in antioxidants, helps increase blood flow to the heart, and has even been touted as having prevention properties for certain types of cancer (however, that’s really hard to verify).
The point is that beer itself has a bad rep, and this may not be totally fair. As in most wellness decisions you make, you will be able to justify whatever actions you take: If you choose to overindulge in beer in the name of increasing blood flow to your heart, you are only deluding yourself. Moderation is key, and if you choose to drink beer, moderate drinking in conjunction with a healthy diet is the way to go.