Consumption of alcohol might be a thing of fun on a social and cultural scale, but its implications on weight loss journey cannot be taken lightly. While being on a weight loss journey, one should be vigilant about the amount of alcohol intake as boozing and weight loss do not go hand in hand together. Even though some alcoholic drinks are known to be good for the body, most of them contribute to weight gain. So, if you are planning to lose weight, it is better to cut back on the intake of alcoholic drinks. In this post, we will tell you if you can drink alcohol while being on a weight-loss journey. So, let’s begin:
Why is Alcohol bad for Weight Loss?
Alcohol plays a decisive role in disrupting your weight management, so if you are looking forward to shedding extra calories, here are the reasons why you should avoid alcohol:
1. Alcohol is full of calories: Often termed as “empty” calories, this intoxicating drink comes loaded with calories and has very little nutritional benefits to offer. For example, you consume almost 155 calories in one 12-ounce can of beer, and 125 calories in a 5-ounce glass of red wine. Now assume, if you are binge-drinking on alcohol what actually can happen? You will end up having hundreds of calories by having about 3-4 glasses. When you mix alcohol with fruit juice or soda, it contains even more calories.
2. Alcohol is burnt first: There are several other reasons why alcohol leads to weight gain, one of which is decomposition by the body fluids happens before glucose from carbohydrates or lipids from fats. This means your body is using alcohol as the primary source of energy, as a result of which carbohydrates and fats gets stacked up in the body as adipose tissue, or fat, causing weight gain.
3. Alcohol messes up functioning of internal organs: Do you know that liver is responsible for filtering out any foreign substances that enter your body, such as drugs and alcohol? It also helps in the burning up of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. When you indulge in excessive drinking, your liver becomes alcoholically fatty which in turn can interfere with the functioning of this organ. Your internal body metabolism decreases and carbohydrates and fats don’t get burned up that easily. This physiological change makes it tough for the body to lose weight.
4. Alcohol causes accumulation of excess fat in belly area: Losing extra pounds from belly area is a tough job, more so if you indulge in alcohol consumption. Alcohol is rich in simple sugars which have high calorific value and thus gets stored up as extra fat in the body. These drinks quickly contribute to weight gain and also increases fat in the belly area.
5. Alcohol reduces eating inhibitions: Another crucial reason why you should stay away from being alcoholic is because an alcoholic person has lower inhibition to consume more food, so he/she might end up having extra slices of food without even realising about the added intake. This carelessness also puts an impact on the type of food that you are having and hence adds to weight gain.
8. Alcohol lowers metabolism: When you engage in mindless drinking, the digestive processes of your body don’t function properly. This happens because alcohol can cause stress on the stomach and the intestines. This can cause a drop in the production of digestive juices and lesser movement of food through the tract. Our body’s digestive ability to burn food also decreases and there is an impairment in absorption of nutrients as well. Eventually, a lower metabolic rate causes an increase in your weight.
How To Drink Alcohol in a Smart Way?
Does that mean you would have to abandon alcohol from your life? Well, if you can do it that would be the best remedy, however, if you aren’t able to curtail alcohol consumption, there possible alternatives to reduce the risk causes by its consumption. All you have to do is consume it in a smart way so that the adverse effects get minimized. Take a look:
- Keep a count on the calorie intake: Consult your dietician and get to know about the approved levels of alcohol intake if you are on a weight loss diet. You have to drink in moderation if you want to stop putting on unwanted weight. This means no more than 1 drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men. Always remember that alcohol has empty calories and doesn’t do any good to you nutritionally. So, in order to cut back on the calorie intake, reduce the alcohol intake rate. Monitor the intake statistics daily and try to consume as little as possible.
- Eating before drinking is recommended: In order to bring down the intake rate, you should never consume alcohol on empty stomach as this increases chances of more drinking. Always have some food before you start drinking, this will help you drink less alcohol. People who drink alcohol on empty stomach end up drinking more and make poorer food choices, so have some healthy snacks before you plan to drink. Good snack choices include fruit, air-popped popcorn, or hummus and veggies.
- Drink at a low pace: Just as eating fast can lead to overeating and low digestion, when you drink fast, you would also end up drinking more. The idea should be to sip your drink slowly, putting it down in between sips. To prevent more intake, have a non-alcoholic drink, such as water or low-calorie soda, before having more alcohol.
- Chalk out a drinking plan: It is always a good idea to set a benchmark of the calorie intake before you start drinking. It is also necessary to stick to the goal that you have set. Remember mindful choices can prevent many health hazards from occurring!!
- Say goodbye to alcohol-induced snacks: Alcohol lowers eating inhibition and results in overeating tendencies. This happens more when you have alcohol-induced snacks at your disposal. In order to avoid munching such snacks, prepare some healthy, low calorie options before you go out. Some good options include pre-popped popcorn, raw veggies with hummus, or cut fresh fruit.
- The mixing ingredients matter: Do you know what mixers you add to your drink determines your calorie intake? Play smart and choose your mixes carefully. For example: A 100-calorie shot of tequila turns into a 500 calorie margarita once it is swirled into a sugary mixer. Eight ounces of pina colada mixer contains 250 calories. Use some healthy mixers like watered down frozen, unsweetened fruit to create a cocktail base, add some antioxidant rich add-ins like fresh grated ginger to it and a healthy drink is ready.
Now, summarizing the answer to today’s question, “No” you should not drink alcohol while trying to lose weight. This rule applies more strictly when you are 900-calorie diet or keto diet. Alcohol and weight loss are not very good pals and it is better not to mix them if you want to keep weight gain under check. To get the best results, the best idea is to eliminate alcohol rom your life. However, if you love to booze and can’t leave alcohol complexly, you must consume it in moderation. Remember alcohol interferes with your metabolic functions, so drink it mindfully. Keep a track of your intake to maintain a healthy weight. Also, there are some drinks like vodka, whiskey, tequila, brandy as they are good for weight loss, of course you have to skip the soda part. We hope this article helps and you maintain a healthier body!