As with "whiskey dick," the term "beer gut" exists for a reason. A can of beer has 160 calories, basically like eating most of a candy bar with each one you down. But once again there is a magical amount that miraculously has the opposite effect.
In a massive study of 37,000 people, the thinnest people were not the non-drinkers. It was the people who had a few drinks a week (any more than one a day and you start to go the opposite direction). Not surprisingly, the occasional binge-drinkers were the fattest.
Why? It's not clear, as it appears to be tied more to the person's habits than any magical fat-burning qualities on the part of alcohol. Maybe people who can moderate themselves around alcohol are also good at moderating themselves around food? Maybe people who refuse to drink replace it with food (that is, they celebrate special occasions by going out to eat rather than getting drunk)? Whatever the reason, moderation wins again, even beating abstinence.
For women, the results are even more dramatic. Studies have shown that women who consume more than one drink a day are 70 percent more likely to avoid obesity (unless you're already overweight, in which case you will only get fatter). Men don't see anywhere near those results.
The reason for this is still not clear but some experts suggest it could be as simple as drinking alcohol instead of eating actual food, which women are statistically more likely to do.
After correcting for the Charlie Sheen variant.
Women and men also metabolize alcohol differently, so what results in an energy balance in men actually translates into a net loss for women, costing their bodies more effort to metabolize it. This means that at the end of the night, those calories are used up more efficiently than if you didn't drink, regardless of whether or not they ended up in the toilet or the back of a cab. So your next trip out to the bar could potentially qualify as a full-blown workout.
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