Are you drinking away your progress?
Are you drinking away your progress?
Most of us love drink, I’m guilty of that 🙋🏻♂️, I’m rather partial to a pint of Peroni or a gin 😍.
Just one drink won’t effect my fat loss loss will it? No of course not. How about one a night? A bottle? Just at weekends? It’s time to shed some light on alcohol so you can form your own opinion on whether you are hindering your weight loss by drinking too much.
Some studies suggest that alcohol can have health benefits. For example, red wine may lower your risk for heart disease. That’s what you want to hear, how about what you don’t want to hear……
Alcohol also plays a large role in weight management. Anyone looking to drop body fat may want to consider skipping their evening glass of wine.
How alcohol affects your weight loss
Alcohol is often “empty” calories
Alcoholic drinks are often referred to as “empty” calories. This means that they provide your body with calories but contain very little nutrients.
There are 235 calories in one pint of peroni, and 214 calories in a large glass of red wine. By comparison, a recommended afternoon snack should have between 150 and 200 calories. A night out with several drinks can lead to consuming a few hundred extra calories.
Drinks that have mixers, such as fruit juice or soda, contain even more calories.
Alcohol is used as a primary source of fuel
There are also other elements that can cause weight gain outside of calorie content.
When alcohol is consumed, it’s burned as a fuel source first before your body uses anything else. This includes glucose from carbohydrates or lipids from fats.
When your body is using alcohol as a primary source of energy, the excess glucose and lipids end up, unfortunately for us as fat.
Alcohol can affect your organs
The primary role of your liver is to act as the “filter” for any foreign substances that enter your body, such as drugs and alcohol. The liver also plays a role in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
Excess alcohol consumption can lead to what is known as alcoholic fatty liver.
This condition can damage your liver, affecting the way your body metabolizes and stores carbohydrates and fats.
Changes in the way your body stores energy from food can make it very difficult to lose weight.
Alcohol can contribute to excess belly fat
The “beer belly” is real.
Foods high in sugars, such as those found in sweets, fizzy drinks, and even beer, are also high in calories. Extra calories end up stored as fat in the body.
Consuming foods and drinks high in sugar can quickly lead to weight gain.
We can’t choose where all that extra weight ends up. But the body tends to accumulate fat in the abdominal area. Hence the term beer belly.
Alcohol affects judgment calls… especially with food
Even the most die-hard healthy eater will have a hard time fighting the urge when under the influence.
Alcohol lowers inhibitions and can lead to poor decision-making in the heat of the moment — especially when it comes to food choices.
A study on animals found that mice given ethanol over a period of three days demonstrated a significant increase in food intake. This study suggests that alcohol can actually trigger hunger signals in the brain, leading to an increased urge to eat more food.
Alcohol can negatively affect your sleep
A tipple before bed may sound like a good idea to get a good night’s sleep but you may want to reconsider.
Research suggests that alcohol can lead to increased periods of wakefulness during sleep cycles.
Sleep deprivation, whether from lack of sleep or impaired sleep, can lead to an imbalance in the hormones related to hunger, satiety, and energy storage.
Alcohol affects digestion and nutrient uptake
Your social anxiety isn’t the only thing that alcohol inhibits. Intake of alcohol can also inhibit proper digestive function.
Alcohol can cause stress on the stomach and the intestines. This leads to decreased digestive secretions and movement of food through the tract.
Digestive secretions are a key factor of healthy digestion. They break down food into the basic macro- and micronutrients that are absorbed and used by the body.
Alcohol intake of all levels can lead to impaired digestion and absorption of these nutrients. This can impact the metabolism of organs that play a role in weight management.
The bottom line
While cutting alcohol completely out of your diet isn’t necessarily the only way to lose weight, there are many improvements that can be made in your health journey by simply cutting back on the booze.
You can enjoy a healthier body, improved sleep, better digestion, and fewer of those excess “empty” calories.
If you need help living a more balanced lifestyle and want to lose weight, but you lead a busy life then we can help. Join us today and our community of hard working members all working towards being healthier, happier, more confident and stronger. All from exercising at home at home. Simply click here.