Alcohol – Friend or Enemy of Weight Loss?
Do you think alcohol stays in the way of your fitness goal? Well, if you ask us, we can definitely tell you that the relationship between alcohol and weight loss is complicated. Let’s find out why.
Zero alcohol while dieting?
When someone asks if they need to give up alcohol in order to lose weight, the answer might be complex (it’s not black, or white), but it can be summarized like this:
-NO, you don’t have to give up alcohol in order to lose weight
-YES, It would definitely help a lot if you would keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.
Metabolically speaking, the relationship between your body and alcohol is a very weird one. Alcohol has a very unique effect on our bodies – firstly, it cannot absorb the whole 7 calories / gram of alcohol ingested, and secondly, apparently it rushes its evacuation out of your system. I guess that’s why we have to take alot of trips to the restroom when we’re out for a beer.
A lot of studies have indicated that moderate alcohol consumption (meaning, 1 drink per day for the girls, and up to 2 drinks per day for the guys) has not been recorded as having any effect on weight gain.
All this can tell you that alcohol is not going to ruin your diet and your progress, if you know how to dose it correctly, but…
How can alcohol contribute to weight gain?
1.You underestimate your drinking – This could definitely be a shock for a lot of people. When you do the math, you might end up discovering that those 1 or 2 beers you have once in awhile, are actually, 1-2 beers every 2 days, plus some extra drinks during the week-end.
Moderation is the secret – There’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks, once in awhile.
2. You add a few snacks along with the drinks – We know, when you’re at a bar with some friends, that beer usually gets you snacking on some popcorn, nachos, or even a 32 cm width pizza. Even though it feels great when we do stuff like that, we end up regretting these crazy nights just because of the impact they end up having upon our diets. One beer has around 200 calories and one whole pizza has around 1000 calories. If you had one pizza, and 4 beers, and your diet restricts you to a maximum of 1800 calories per day, we guess you’d have to starve for the rest of the day, in order to stay between the lines.
Ultimately, Whatever the evidence linking alcohol and weight loss ultimately shows, we have to remember that alcohol has three major characteristics: it is a nutrient (energy source), a psycho-active drug and a toxin. Alcohol is not just a source of empty and unwanted calories, but also a potentially addictive and lethal substance, and for many people, the effect of alcohol on their bodies may be far less significant than its effects on their lives.
Have fun, but do it with moderation 😉
Don’t forget to check out our take on Calorie Counting