Overloaded Liver Leads to More Abdominal Fat
The reason that this excess fat tends to take up residence around your midsection is that alcohol consumption tends to raise levels of cortisol — a hormone which, to extend our metaphor, acts as a broker telling fat that your tummy would be a nice place to live.(Incidentally, this is why stress, which also raises cortisol levels, has been associated with increased girth).
Fat isn’t the only thing accumulating in your liver as it works overtime to burn off excess alcohol — toxins also take a back seat, build up, eventually spilling over into the bloodstream.What are the first three “signs” you’ve got a toxic liver? As Ann Louise Gittleman, M.S., C.N.S., observes in The Fat Flush Plan, they’re “Weight gain, especially around the abdomen; Cellulite; Abdominal bloating.”
Not only can liver toxicity lead to excess weight — excess weight can lead to liver problems, significantly increasing your risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).NAFLD is the most common liver disorder in the U.S., afflicting 25% of the population (while about a third of Americans are obese).By raising LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol and lowering HDL (or “good”) cholesterol, NAFLD makes sufferers even more prone to heart disease.
So take a load off your liver, by cutting back on calories and exercising at least 30 minutes every day.If you’re a drinker, pace yourself: you’re not doing your body any favors by swinging from abstinence to excess.Drink with meals (not after them) and keep in mind that “moderation” means two very different things for men and women.
According to the Buffalo study, men can safely consume three drinks a day before their liver begins to show signs of damage, while women’s threshold was two.It’s worth bearing in mind that the female subjects in the study were ages 35-80.We already know that even moderate alcohol can increase the breast cancer risk for pre-menopausal women.Add the potential of liver damage to the mix and those in their 20s and 30s may want to quaff with care.