Why alcohol is detrimental to weight loss

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Simply put, alcohol can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. In any fat loss plan, there are three main components that should be priority: Diet, Exercise, and Sleep.


1. Alcohol Supplies Almost Twice As Many Calories As Protein And Carbs

At seven calories per gram, alcohol supplies almost twice as many as protein and carbohydrates. In fact, alcohol has only two fewer calories than fat, which has nine per gram. It must also be remembered that the calories in alcohol lack the nutrients beneficial for a healthy metabolism and will therefore hasten fat storage. To make matters worse, it is the first fuel to be used when combined with carbohydrates, fats and proteins, postponing the fat-burning process and contributing to greater fat storage. Cocktails often contain more calories because of the various ingredients that are used in mixing them. Here is a rough guideline of the number of calories in some of the common drinks:

  • Beer — 250 calories
  • Red or white wine — 120 calories
  • Daiquiri — 259 calories
  • Vodka and club soda — 64 calories
  • Champagne — 84 calories
  • Rum and Coke — 91 calories
  • Cosmopolitan — 230 calories
  • Bloody Mary — 140 calories
  • Sangria — 167 calories
  • Martini — 69 calories
  • Margarita — 270 calories



2. Alcohol Loosens Inhibitions

While drinking, people usually will not stop to consider the impact alcohol is having on their bodies; such is alcohol’s effect on loosening inhibitions. The result of this relaxed thinking could mean more calories consumed and extra body fat gains. Those drinking might also eat more of the wrong kinds of food, without thinking of the consequences. Alcohol tends to have an appetite stimulating effect as it provides little in the way of nutrition, leaving a craving for other foods at the time of consumption. Add this to the fact that fatty and salty foods tend to accompany most occasions featuring alcohol (as well as alcohol stimulating one’s appetite for these kinds of foods), and the general loosening of resolve that goes with an inebriated mindset, and you have a recipe for excess fat gain. As soon as you have a drink, your body eats up all the glycogen (stored glucose) in your liver, makes you hungry, and reduces your inhibitions, so you’re more likely to grab that chicken wing or stuffed potato skin at happy hour.


3. Alcohol Lowers Testosterone

Testosterone, which has a powerful fat loss effect, is reduced whenever alcohol is consumed, thus halting its full potential as a fat burner. Also, testosterone as an anabolic hormone, contributes to gains in lean muscle mass. Lowered testosterone means fewer muscle gains, and less muscle means a lowered metabolic rate.


The bottom line:

If you are serious about losing weight, it is best to put alcohol aside until you are in maintenance mode. If you are going to have a drink, choose wine, which may protect the heart and help lower inflammation. Or, opt for a drink with clear alcohol and no sugary mixers, such as a vodka and club soda or a tequila on the rocks with lime. One drink a day probably maxes out the benefits, though, so keep a cork in your alcohol consumption.



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