Stop eating this stuff, exercise to lose holiday paunch



Call it your pot belly or your paunch. Go ahead and tell me you’re expecting. But don’t tell me it’s your beer belly, because it is one big fat myth.


Well, I’d like to think so, anyway.


If you want to lose that holiday flab that has layered your tummy, you don’t have to quit beer to do it. "Basically, a lot of men do carry their fat n the abdomen area," says Thornhill registered dietician Elizabeth Zemelman of The Nutrition Group.

After consulting with clients who are hopeful of slimming down, Zemelman adds that she recommends to fewer than one in 10 of her clients to cut down on their alcohol intake. "Some people don’t have any alcohol, and they’re obese," Zemelman says.

So, why is it called the beer belly, Liz? Why would anyone dare sully the name of a respected centuries-old drink that has fewer calories in it in a 100-ml serving than orange juice, soda, milk and red wine — and no fat — in such a fashion?

Why, Liz? Tell me!

"I don’t know why. I have no idea."

Calm down, Liz! It’s OK. Neither do I.

"Overconsumption of beer is not good either."

Sure. Roughly 150 calories in a beer, and a fun night of six beers represents 900 calories, almost half of the calories recommended in a day for a man. Binge drinking: bad for the belly.

But let’s take a look at the Czechs, the biggest beer drinkers in the world per capita. According to a report in BBC News Online in October 2003, researchers in the U.K. and the Czech Republic studied almost 2,000 Czechs for European Journal Of Clinical Nutrition: "No link was found between the amount of beer they drink and the size of the stomachs."

The men consumed an average of 3.1 litres of beer each week, while the women had 0.3 litres per week.

Earlier that year, Italian researchers suggested beer, er, pot bellies are a genetic disposition for some men.


While Toronto naturopathic doctor Eevon Ling doesn’t recommend alcohol consumption to her patients, she says that people who drink beer often accompany it with pizza and hamburgers — not good — and a lack of exercise and poor diet are bigger factors in her patients’ obesity.

Now excuse me while I deflate my spare tire.


More winter ale: Didn’t get any orange-peel, cinnamon, ginger, honey ale last time around? Etobicoke’s Great Lakes Brewery will sell another batch at their retail store (30 Queen Elizabeth Blvd., near Royal York and Gardiner) by the end of the month — 750-ml bottles at $6.95 a pop. A nice after-dinner drink. Make your friends guess the flavours in the ale in a game of charades. Hope they can twist into the shape of this ginger root.


Black Jack Pineapple and Grapefruit Punch


  • 2 cups grapefruit juice

  • 3 cups pineapple juice

  • 1/2 cup Grenadine syrup

  • 1 cup Black Jack Lager

  • 1 tbsp ginger (optional)


  • Mix all ingredients together. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish with fruits and enjoy!