Food and drinks are a fun part of any tailgate, but they can also lead to a calorie overload that results in a few extra and unwanted pounds. You may have heard some people refer to this as a “beer belly” but one expert is warning about a condition he’s calling the “tailgate tummy.”
Tailgate tummy is something many people encounter each fall as they spend their weekends in front of televisions, in backyards or in stadium parking lots cheering on their favorite team. For a lot of fans, this time is spent with a beer in hand and salty, often fatty or processed foods in the other.
“People crave bad food and drinks with events in general,” Dr. Aaron Clark, a family physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, says. “It is a socially acceptable way to enjoy such things.”
In men, this often results in a spare tire. For women, it ends up in their thighs and hips. Calories are calories. “If you eat too much your tummy will get bigger. If you eat ‘healthy’ calories, but eat more of them, you still gain weight,” Dr. Clark says.
Luckily, there are ways to fight tailgate tummy.
Exercises that target the gut won’t work for reducing belly fat because exercise impacts muscle, not fat, Dr. Clark says. “So you can exercise muscles all you want, but if the fat is still there it does not change that reality.”