College Myths Debunked: Secrets of the Beer Belly

"She's gonna get fat."

As college students, we are constantly inundated with new knowledge. It can be useful, thought-provoking, or crammed into our head on a Starbucks-fueled binge several hours before an exam. However, very rarely do we question the validity of all this new knowledge (unless you take philosophy classes, then you’ll question away).

That’s where College Candy comes in. We’re not going to debate whether or not the Theory of Relativity actually exists (a disappointment, I know, but I’m a communications major and stopped taking science classes after Baby Bio fresh year). However, we are here to thoroughly investigate the most widespread college knowledge (no, not rhyming): the myth.

Alright guys, I’m gonna level with you: I’m a big fan of the brewskies. I like Sam Adams Pumpkin Ale, Sweetwater 420, the occasional stein of Newcastle, and the slightly more frequent funnel full of Bud Light. I particularly like that I can drink copious amounts of beer without the consequences that would come from drinking the same amount of vodka, water & lime. Most of all, I like that beer lends itself easily to day-drinking.

What I don’t like about beer (besides how much it makes me want to sing drinking songs) is that it makes me fat.

It’s not even the eventual, slowly-creeping-towards-your-thighs fat. It’s like an immediate, “I’m so carbonated and delicious and I’m going to make you so full you can’t suck in anymore” variety of fat. So it’s no wonder that beer contributes majorly to the Freshman 15, right? Ehh, yes and no.

The typical 12 ounce beer has around 150 calories. So obviously, each one you drink adds to your bottom line of calorie intake. The more calories you consume without burning them off, the more weight you’re gonna gain (I know, it’s all very scientific). But if you carefully measure out your Stairmaster time to counteract the beer pong tournament you plan on winning later and you’re still gaining weight, it might not be Natty Light’s fault.

A strange thing happens when I drink beer. Come the end of the party/night/gameday/Happy Hour, I feel this strange magnetic force pulling me in the direction of anywhere that serves cheese fries. I’m not the only one, right?  Ok, good.

Beer, while awesome, still has alcohol in it (actually I’m pretty sure that’s what makes it awesome). Alcohol has this sneaky, two pronged approach to weight gain. In and of itself, it’s a highly caloric waste of nutritional value. On top of that, it lowers inhibitions. So not only are you more likely to make out with that guy who dressed up as a Smurf for Halloween (my best friend is still trying to get the blue body paint off of her sheets), you’re more likely to think that a Big Mac is totally worth blowing your day of careful eating and yoga. And it might not stop at the Big Mac, because we all know McDonald’s is a gateway drug to pizza and Lucky Charms.

So, while beer will make you gain weight (without exercise and self-control), another often-overlooked aspect of weight gain is beer’s BFF, Drunk Eating. The best way to avoid gaining a beer gut that isn’t even beer? Don’t stock your fridge with unhealthy crap, keep snacks in pre-portioned containers or bags, and for the love of all that is holy do not ask the cab driver to stop at Taco Bell on the way home! Instead, eat a good dinner with complex carbs and protein on nights you know you’re goin’ out big. Good judgment before 5 rounds of flip cup might just ensure better judgment after you are dubbed queen of the first try flip.

Campus Couture: Peppy Peggy
Campus Couture: Peppy Peggy
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