Alcoholic Large Stomach – Causes & the Best Way to Reduce Belly Fat

Alcoholic large stomach feature occurs for the following reasons:

  • Alcoholic Beverages and Ethanoil are rich in Calories

Yes, alcoholic drinks and spirits are high in calories and almost 100% devoid of any nutritional content.

So all that extra calories translate to “weight gain”.

Plus, alcohol is a depressant and a person who drinks a lot like that will be much more likely to adopt it as a lifestyle. Hence, why you see their belly protruding.

  • Liver Damage

The other reason why alcoholics have large stomachs is liver damage.

It’s a buildup of fluid in your abdominal cavity called Ascites. No, it is not fat.

The person could be very skinny and still have a stomach that looks like he is 15 months pregnant with triplets.

This is typically an indication of life-threatening liver disease. Doctors initially use a sort of tap test in an exam room to see how your abdomen responds in the aftermath of tapping in certain places.

  • Fat

An alcoholic stomach can be fat too and this is generally the common “beer belly” a lot of people talk about.

Subcutaneous fat is under your skin; the kind you can grab and jiggle. Visceral fat is under your muscles in your abdominal cavity and surrounding your organs. This is the dangerous kind of fat and this is the ‘beer belly.’

Usually, a person having a beer belly for a long period of time is also going to have some ascites going on be it from obesity and/or drinking.

Why do Alcoholics Have Big Stomachs?

Typically, alcoholics who drank for several decades usually sport big stomachs or beer bellies.

Most sober in AA under age 30 look fine once they stay sober for plenty of months.

There is such a wide variety of people sober in AA, from young to old, very fit to not at all.

ALSO SEE: Female Alcoholic Body Shape

What is the Best Way to Reduce Belly Fat And Flatten Your Stomach?

Here are 5 tips for alcoholics trying to reduce belly fat:

  • Consume lots of foods rich in protein like Chicken breast, tuna, meat, etc.
  • Do not skip your veggies on a daily basis. I recommend eating 4-6 portions of vegetables on a daily basis and yes, they should be eaten raw to get more nutrients.
  • Stay the hell away from any high sugar, processed, fast foods or drinks.
  • Drink lots and lots of water. Yes, water will help you boost your metabolism. Drinking 4-5 liters per day is fine.
  • Go for a long ride or walk on your bike before your breakfast in the morning. You can do 30 minutes, at light to moderate speed to work those muscles and burn calories.
  • Train your abs twice a week!

This is a little workout you can do at home:

  • 20 sets of Sit-up three times
  • 20 sets of Knee to elbow three times
  • Plank 60 seconds *3
  • ((With 30 seconds of rest in between))

Why are so Many Alcoholics Slim?

Not all alcoholics are skinny. Most skinny guys with large stomachs are people hitting end-stage alcohol.

These people are emaciated for a number of reasons. A person with a week-long vodka binge can lose anywhere from 10 or 15 lbs just from not eating.

Much of this may be attributed to stress and the need to escape reality.

It may look like an alcoholic doesn’t give a shit but in reality, being an end-stage alcoholic is an extremely stressful period in one’s life. Divorce seems to have the same effect, again, it’s the stress of the event that in turn creates bad habits such as not eating.

Alcoholic Large Stomach

What Causes A Distended Stomach In Alcoholics?

The distention you see is not the “stomach” per se, but the upper abdomen.

In early-to-mid-stage, the calories and carbs in alcohol promote “central obesity”, or deposits of fat around the midsection.

In late-stage progression, it becomes a condition known as ‘ascites”, which is not just fat but fluid. In the long run, you’ll suffer damage to your liver.

This damage then proceeds to cause cirrhosis (scarring and hardening of the liver).

A hardened liver lacks the ability to trap toxins or secrete enzymes that (among other functions) normally send fluid to the kidneys to be excreted. But a scarred liver can’t do that, and instead of being excreted, the fluid osmoses out of the liver into the abdomen.

When an alcoholic quits drinking why does their stomach go down? Is that methane?

Most times, a malfunctioning liver is the cause of abdominal swelling in alcoholism.

The liver itself can swell to an alarming size with severe cirrhosis, or its inability to perform properly leads to fluid accumulation.

The stomach often deflates once the alcoholic quits drinking because the liver takes time to repair itself and begin proper function again.

A doctor will often prescribe diuretics to speed up this process.

What Happens When You Drink Alcohol on An Empty Stomach?

The opening between your intestines and stomach closes up to keep the food inside of it when you eat. This is to make sure it can begin breaking it down for digestion.

It opens up again after some time to let the contents move into the small intestine where they can be absorbed.

When you drink on an empty stomach, the liquid passes freely through your stomach; making its way into your intestines where it is easily passed into the bloodstream. That drink then hits you in a very short time.

You’ll begin to feel the effects of alcohol much faster, and the instant “dose” will be stronger.

If you’ve consumed a meal right before you drink, the exit from your stomach is sealed off, so the alcohol stays in there.

The stomach lining is much less porous than the small intestine, so it enters your bloodstream a bit more slowly.

You’re still consuming the same amount, but it takes more time to feel the effects, and since your body will be metabolizing it away at the same time, your blood alcohol content won’t spike as high as it can when your stomach is empty.

Lastly, eating meals before drinking will make you fuller, so if you’re at a keg party, you will probably end up drinking less so you don’t feel bloated.

There is a reason that bars have free or cheaper food during happy hour – it keeps their customers from getting drunk too quickly, so they stick around for the higher-priced drinks later on!

Author: Dr. Janet Hicks

Dr. Janet Hicks is an addiction medicine physician trained and certified to provide comprehensive care for addiction and substance-related disorders, including the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of such health conditions. With more than 25 years of experience, Doctor Janet Hicks helps you by providing all information required to educate yourself about substance detox and recovery.

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