Alcohol and the male physique
Beer bellies. Expanding love handles. ‘Moobs’ (aka man boobs). If you’re conscious that your drinking habits are changing your body shape, it could be time to cut down so you’re drinking within the government’s daily unit guidelines.
Alcohol does make a difference to your body shape. It will change depending on where your excess fat is stored. If fat gathers around the waist, it can cause 'love handles' to develop either side. Excess fat in the stomach area can cause a 'beer belly' to develop.
If you're drinking a lot of alcohol on a regular basis it can be easier than you think to absorb the excess calories that cause these problems. Drink four pints of strong lager on a Saturday night, and you're consuming around 715 calories – roughly the equivalent of a hot dog, followed by a burger, with a doughnut for dessert.
It isn't just the calories in what you drink which makes you gain weight. Alcohol reduces the amount of fat your body burns for energy. Because we can't store alcohol in the body, our systems want to get rid of it as quickly as possible, and this process takes priority over absorbing nutrients and burning fat.
Make a positive change
Luckily, whatever your reasons for cutting back, it's easier than you think to live a lower alcohol lifestyle. You might not quite get a body like Beckham's, but with fewer calories coming from alcohol, you stand a much better chance of staying moob-free.
Take the first steps by tracking your drinking with MyDrinkaware.
Are you drinking too much?
Find out how many units you are drinking
Compare your drinking to the government's daily unit guidelines.Try our Unit Calculator
Take a drinking self assessment
Answer these simple questions and find out what kind of a relationship you have with alcohol.Assess your drinking
Page updated: April 2013
Did you know?
More than 1 in 10 deaths of people in their 40s are from liver disease, most are from alcoholic liver diseaseAlcohol and the liver
Calculate your calories
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- Units and calories in spirits