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Those weekend beers are making you insulin resistant
A beer boepie – you’ve managed to acquire one.
According to your mother-in-law, it’s because you spend the weekends sitting in your chair, eating too much food and drinking beer with your mates.
Her fix, which she eagerly shares every opportunity she gets, is that YOU get out of that chair and fix all the stuff around the house, that needs fixing.
Your mother-in-law is wrong
She’s right, you do need to “fix” it, if you want to be around for the long haul and avoid a heart attack and/or a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. What she’s got wrong is the “fix” – a simple calorie management approach, won’t work.
Your beer belly is not being caused by a calorie problem per se, even if you’re eating too much and exercising too little.
The problem is routed in the alcohol – your weekend of beer drinking, is making you insulin resistant the rest of the week.
This is the finding of a group of researchers from Mount Sinai Medical Centre.
The lab bash
The research team threw a big party, which lasted three days, for a group of laboratory rats. Some of the rats attending the party, had an opportunity to get a little tipsy, the rest of animals, indulged in fine food.
The tipsy rats were kept liquored up by the research team, receiving 3 g/kg of alcohol per day – this set up was designed to simulate a weekend of binge drinking. While the rats enjoying the fine dining, okay, it wasn’t that fancy, they were fed standard rat chow, but their calorie intake was carefully matched to the rats who got to “drink” the whole weekend.
So the calorie intake was the same for all the rats, but the metabolic consequences were different.
The hang over effect
When the party was over……….
for the purposes of this experiment, the party was over when the alcohol had been cleared from the system.
the researchers checked up on the rats metabolic status, specifically how they were handling their sugars.
Sugar levels were normal….. so on paper nothing to “worry” about.
BUT the rats that had been under the influence, all exhibited significantly higher insulin levels in their blood. The increased insulin levels are a sign that the animals had become insulin resistant.
The insulin resistance persisted for 54 hours after they stopped drinking.
Insulin makes belly fat
So the metabolic hang over lasted for just over 2 days.
So what ?
In a nut shell, for 2 plus days, the rats were in fat storing mode, because insulin’s main role is to store fat. So everything that was eaten, went into storage and insulin’s preferred storage spot…………….you guessed it, the belly. Explains the beer boepie !
It also helps clarify why, following a bout of beer drinking, your appetite can become supercharged – there is nothing to burn, so you have to load up on calories just to keep going.
NOTE : Often, you do have to wait for the REAL HANG OVER to pass, before your appetite kicks in. Here is a trick to get over it quicker.
A beer boepie is bad news
A beer belly is not exactly flattering, but the real trouble is the insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is at the route of metabolic syndrome, which causes
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- High sugar
- High triglycerides
A heart attack waiting to happen !
So………….. it’s the beer that has to go. Now I sound like your mother-in-law, sorry !
Alcohol not all bad
Not exactly……. the rats were in party mode and they did A LOT of drinking, over their weekend.
Actually, a little alcohol can be beneificial, it slows things down and actually helps rein in insulin, especially when it is consumed with a big meal.
So you can have your beer, just one, aim to nurse it, through dinner.
You don’t want insulin to have to chase after his bag, so don’t overdo it. And make sure you do what you can to rein in insulin.
Diet cold drinks are an easy way cut calories, BUT as you diligently cut those calories in your favourite drink, you inadvertently load up the alcohol levels.
This week’s Neurotechnology Tip will help you take off those rose coloured beer glasses, so you’re clear on the good, the bad and the ugly of your next drink up
Salty snacks may be acceptable as long as you tame the salt thirst with good old fashioned water but don’t drink too much and be cautious if you have a spare tyre already…..