You get a beer belly when you consume more calories than the amount that is burned.
The excess energy is stored as “belly” fat, said Ms Gina Lin, a dietitian at Singapore General Hospital.
As alcohol is quite energy-dense (1g packs 7 calories), and it is easy to overindulge in it, drinking can actually contribute significantly to an excessive calorie intake.
It doesn’t help that foods that are commonly consumed together with alcohol are energy-dense too, such as peanuts, potato chips, fried chicken wings and pizza.
But alcohol may not have much to do with beer bellies among older adults. With age, it is easier to put on weight due to lower calorie needs. Many may also lead less active lifestyles as they get older.
There is no one magic diet that can help people lose abdominal fat more efficiently.
In general, eat fewer calories and participate in regular physical activity to burn more calories. Limit the amount of energy-dense food like alcohol, sugary drinks, pastries and deep-fried items.
Text by Mind & Body, Straits Times.