Remember last time when I said I was going to get a beach body? Then I found out it would take like 4 straight days of exercising? Yeah, I’m not going to do that anymore. I’ve found something much more… “fulfilling” to do…much more…“cushy”. I’m going to get fat instead, is what I’m saying.

The training montage for this blog will be less inspiring

In lieu of getting in shape, I’m going to do the exact opposite and find out how many drinks it takes to get myself a real, authentic beer belly. Because six-pack and keg, amirite?

Answer: because a six pack doesn’t lead to Type II Diabetes

Our legal department tells me that I shouldn’t encourage people to get beer bellies as visceral fat around your abdomen, like the proverbial beer belly, increases mortality and heart disease at twice the rate of overweight people with a normal fat distribution. With that out of the way, onto the boozing!

To an early grave!

For extra fun, I’m going to figure out how many drinks it will take to get a beer belly with several types of alcoholic drinks, so you non-beer drinkers can have something to remember next time you want to have a little social night, too!

How much weight do you need to get a real beer belly?

This site tells me a waistline above 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women can have the associated mortality and heart disease risks, so I guess that’s a good target to shoot for. Apparently the average waistline for a 30-39 year-old American guy is 39 inches, or 34 inches for women. Which means the average American is only an inch away from having a beer belly.

Here’s a depiction of the average man from different countries. White boxer briefs are universal

This other site tells me losing 8.5 lbs leads to an inch off the waist, and although I’m going the other way I’ll assume the math remains. Convention says there is about 3500 calories in a pound, and we will go with that, even though weight loss/gain is probably not that simple. So we need to figure out how much booze leads to 8.5 lbs. Time to booze!


The typical pint of beer has 208 calories, so you need: (8.5 lbs. x 3500 Cal/lbs. ÷ 208 Cal/pint) = 143 pints to grow that beer belly. If you’re the stay at home type, a can of beer generally has around 150 calories, so you would need 198 cans. For you light beer drinkers, shame on you. I’m not going to validate your poor choices with math.

What you save in calories you lose in dignity

Those numbers sounds high, but assuming your weight is constant right now, it would be an extra 2.75 pints or 3.80 cans per week over the course of a year. Or you can do it all right now, like me.


For the sophisticates, let’s take a look at wine. A typical 750 ml bottle of wine holds 5 glasses or so, depending on how generous your pour is. Most bottles of red contain around 625 calories, so 125 Cal/glass. That means you have to crush 238 glass of red, or 47.6 bottles. White wine has slightly fewer calories, about 120 Cal/glass, meaning you need 248 glasses, or 49.6 bottles to put on that sophisticated  gut. In both cases, it would be just under an extra bottle a week for a year to get that belly. If you drink rosé, shame on you. I’m not going to validate your poor choices with math.

Not even Arnold flexing with a pretty woman can make rosé cool


For the hardcore types, let’s take a look at our more pure drinks. There are 97 calories in a shot of 80-proof vodka, so you would need 306.7 straight shots. Tequila is just about the same. So is rum. There are 105 calories per 86-proof whisky, so 283 shots. Gin? 100 calories/shot, 270 shots. Same with brandy. Do people drink gin and brandy in shots? I don’t know, ask someone with a monocle.

“Time to get F*CKED UP!!!”

Vodka seems to have the lowest calorie count of the hard spirits, but it would only take an extra 5.9 shots a week for a year to gain that gut. Of course, if you’re the kind of person doing multiple shots of vodka on a weekly basis, you may have other problems and/or are Russian.


So there you have it, the amount of booze needed to put on a beer belly. Or wine waist. Or tequila tummy. As you can see, if you break down the extra drinks on a weekly basis, it’s much easier to get a beer belly than big biceps or a huge chest or running to Chicago. It’s also a heck of lot more fun.


Or you can decide to get a beer belly right now and just start drinking and don’t stop until your waist passes 40 inches. If you pass out, wake up and keep going. Its hard work, but it will all be worth it in the end.

Actually, maybe that training montage would be kind of inspiring

Bottoms up.

Dan hopes his white boxer briefs stretch beyond 40 inches. Write him at info[at]scienceeverywhere to see a topic covered here.

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Dan Re