Five Reasons Why You Need to Stay Away from Alcohol When Trying to Lose Weight
A tiny can of beer, one small glass of wine, a little champagne- it couldn’t possibly hurt, right? Well, surprise-surprise! Alcohol use (and abuse) might be something human culture celebrates on various occasions, but the empty calories you gain by drinking alcohol affect the fat-burning process in your body.
In case you are trying to lose weight and are wondering about the essence of what you just read, here is a simplified version- alcohol and weight-loss don’t go hand in hand. Ever.
The Detrimental Properties of Alcohol
Apart from the possible addiction issue, other common and harmful effects of alcohol include damage to liver, diabetes, mental impairment, decreased performance, and well, you get the idea.
Alcohol also has an effect on your body composition. It carries calories in high amounts. It also messes up the energy balance of your body. Plus, alcohol supplies nutrient-less calories to your body.
When combined with the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in your body, alcohol is the first fuel to gets burned. While the alcoholic fuel is being used, your body won’t burn any fat. It clearly is not a very pro-weight-loss scenario.
Here are five straight reasons why avoiding alcohol is best when you are on a diet to lose some weight.
- Calories in Alcohol ≈ 2(Calories in Carbs and Proteins)
Each gramme of alcohol means seven calories into you. This number is twice that found in proteins and carbohydrates and only two less than that in fat which carries nine calories per gramme.
Since alcohol has no nutrients worth mentioning, it does nothing for your metabolism but increases the rate of fat storage in your body.
Alcohol contains concentrated calories. Add to that the extra caloric weight you can find in certain cocktails or the high carbohydrate amount in beer or wine, and you’ll discover that drinking only adds to your fat and does nothing to handle the accumulation of calories inside of you.
- Once You Start Drinking, There’s No Saying When Things Might Get out of Hand
Alcohol relaxes you. Your inhibitions too, take a break. You aren’t as alert on how many drinks you’ve had or how many calories you just shot inside your body as you would be in a sober state.
You drink. It causes you to drink more. Because alcohol has no nutrients in it, your body craves them while you are downing shot after shot. It results in an appetite stimulation, and you eat food.
You have no concern left that is strong enough to break the barrier of intoxication and warn you as to what it is that you are eating. Factor in the fact that any occasion involving alcohol usually includes salty and fatty food to accompany the drinking.
The consequence- you gain body fat. And in your inebriated state, you lose your resolve to stay on a diet.
- Alcohol Causes Lasting Damage to the Liver, Kidneys, and Stomach
Alcohol happens to be an inevitable but secondary result of yeast digestion. It irritates the stomach lining, weakens the liver and the kidneys over time, and can lead to lasting damage as well as organ failures.
A weak stomach won’t digest the food properly. With a reduced rate and efficiency of digestion, you will no longer have a healthy metabolism. That means all your weight loss efforts will mostly go down the drain.
Weight loss goals aside, a healthy being should be the constant concern of every human. Your liver detoxifies your blood and breaks down fat into fuel- something that has to happen if you wish to keep surviving. Gradual damage to the liver is a danger to your health and your life.
- Alcohol Affects Testosterone
Testosterone has brilliant fat loss effects. It also helps to gain muscle mass. However, alcohol consumption reduces testosterone. It means losing a powerful fat burner and diminishing any chances of developing good muscle tone.
Muscles affect your metabolic rate. When you consume alcohol, you endanger your testosterone count, which indirectly works to mess up the pace at which your body uses energy.
In the end, a loss of testosterone makes the whole process of losing fat much harder.
- Drinking Alcohol Makes You Hungry
The math is simple. You drink nutrition-less-calorie-filled drinks. Your body feels the need to put some nutrition into it. You end up binging on food choices which are highly inappropriate for someone who is trying to lose weight.
And you end up gaining some.
Denmark’s Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University researchers demonstrated that after drinking alcohol, a group consumed more food at an all-you-can-eat meal setting than they did after drinking a soft drink.
Understand How Your Body Processes Alcohol
After you drink any alcoholic beverage and the content has slipped to your stomach, 25% of it is directly absorbed into the bloodstream.
If you drink without eating anything first, and you have an almost empty stomach at the time, the rate of absorption of alcohol increases significantly. A carbonated drink (champagne for example) gets absorbed quickly than any non-sparkling one. Also, higher the alcohol content in your drink, the faster will it get absorbed.
Only about two to ten percent of the alcohol you consume is discarded via sweat or urine. At times, up to 98% of the alcohol goes to the liver for further processing. The liver deals with the alcohol in two ways with two different set of enzymes and alternates between the methods depending on the levels of alcohol in the blood.
Nutrient and Calorie Content for Different Alcoholic Choices
The beer carries about 5% alcohol. The wine bears 12%. Any drink that’s branded 100 proof liquor is half alcohol. If it’s branded 80 proof liquor, its 40% is alcohol.
The beer has about 153 calories, 97 from alcohol and the rest from carbs, protein, calcium, etc. A low alcohol beer (with 2.3% alcohol in it) contains 139 calories while a Lite beer has about 105 calories.
Wine contains 85 calories, 77 of which come from the alcohol. A glass of red wine contains about 123 calories, 105 from alcohol and the rest from carbs and protein. A glass of white wine has 120 calories, 98 from alcohol.
An 80 proof vodka has 64 calories. Same goes for 80 proof whisky.
But If You Have to Drink, Which One Should You Choose?
First, you need to know which combinations you must avoid if weight loss is the aim. Cream based drinks are positioned at the top of this list.
If you happen to spot eggnog, or tequila with orange juice, or Vodka Mudslide, you should turn around and walk away. If you stay, you could end up with as much as 820 calories in one shot (Yes, Vodka Mudslide is also a calorie storehouse.)
You could try a brand that promises lower calorie alcoholic drinks. Combine liquor with a glass of coke or bourbon, and you will get only half the calories found in beer. Wine is also a good alternative to beer.
Stay away from liqueur cocktails. If you must, use a low-calorie base to match the drink. Tomato juice or trim milk work fine.
Some Quick Tips for You to Carry along the ext Time You Head to a Bar
While choosing what to drink, find a combination that is low in calorie and high in alcohol percentage. You’ll consume less of it, and thus the calorie consumption will be controlled.
High-calorie liqueurs taste exquisite. They also have many calories. Avoid them.
Before drinking, ensure that your immediate environment has healthy food. If you binge eat when intoxicated, try to make sure that it isn’t calorie-filled crap that you are consuming.
Be very precise about calories when choosing beer.
Combine diet soda with any spirit to lower the calorie count.
Sip water while you drink alcohol. You’ll feel full sooner.
So, Don’t Drink Alcohol If You Don’t Have to
Of course, it is the suggested course of action only if you are trying to lose weight.
Alcohol affects the human body sooner or later. The impacts are often negative and seldom beneficial. Mostly, benefitting from alcohol is an event that occurs under controlled environment and by implementing restricted dosage and defined nature of drinking.
However, it happens to be a big part of society. Especially if there is an occasion to celebrate, there will be alcohol present in one or the other form.
If any of your immediate goals involve losing weight, know that alcohol will negate your efforts to tone down the body fat. If you are an athlete, alcohol could ultimately alter your performance. If you like to drink, and have no idea whatsoever of controlled consumption, weight goals or not, you are in the danger of developing an addiction.
To conclude, in the interest of your weight losing efforts, it is best if you abstain from alcohol until after achieving the aim. ‘The best of both worlds’ is a concept that does not apply in this scenario.