Alcohol & Weight loss
It’s been a big day, you’re tired and sleepy and that wine in the fridge is looking AMAZING!
Well, I'm here to tell you the bad news and explain to you what actually happens, in terms of weight loss and weight gain, when you drink your body weight in booze!
Here is some good news about alcohol and fat calories: A very small percentage of the alcohol calories you drink are turned into fat. It's in the single digits. But the bad news is with alcohol and it's calories, reduces the amount of fat that your body can burn off for energy. Anddddd the problem lies in that fact that if you drink and eat over your calories allowance for that day (which usually is the case) the excess calories get stored straight into your fat cells.
You see, alcohol stops the fat burning process from happening. Why?
Well, it comes down to a substance called acetate. Acetate levels rise sharply after alcohol is consumed. This substance pretty much tells the body to STOP burning body fat ASAP. Your liver and organs yell “OMG WHAT IS THIS STUFF! GET IT OUT, GET IT OUT! So your body stops burning fat and the food you have consumed and starts using the alcohol as energy instead. So the food you have consumed actually gets stored in your fat cells while your body uses up all the energy in the alcohol!
For example, if you drank 5 wines your body would not be able to burn fat until it burns off all the calories from the wine (which is around 600 calories for 5 glasses). The more you drink the longer you delay the body's regular fat-burning mechanism. So if you drink loads of calories ridden drinks PLUS loads of greasy foods and dirty maccas all of the food and calories in the drinks you're consuming is getting stored because your body can’t handle burning food and getting rid of the toxic alcohol at once.
Remember when you drink alcohol that it is empty calories. You get no nutritional benefit from it. No vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein, omega-3's, nothing! It also affects your judgment, after a few drinks, that healthy diet you've been following so diligently suddenly doesn't seem all that important anymore.
If you drink in moderation, if you’re aware of the calories in the alcohol, if you're aware of the calories from additional food intake consumed during or after drinking, you won’t gain weight.
Everyone has a “calorie budget”, or a number of calories their body burns each day, so you need to give some careful thought to how those calories should be “spent.” For example, if a female is on a 1500 calorie per day diet, does she really want to "spend" 500 of those calories – one third of her intake - for a few alcoholic drinks, and leave only 1000 for health-promoting food, fibre and lean muscle building protein? Hmmm something to think about!
t’s ok to have wine every now and then but just be aware of how it affects fat burning and to make sure you take it into account of your daily calorie levels.
Tips for including alcohol into your diet
- Be aware of what and how much you're drinking and avoid high calorie drinks e.g.
- Vodka & diet coke is approximately 65 calories
- A glass of wine is approximately 120 calories
- Cocktails can have between 500-1000 calories EACH!
- Eat healthy while drinking, e.g. eat a meal with high protein, good complex carbs (brown rice, pumpkin, oats), loads of veggies and fruit and low fat yoghurt.
- Drink water between drinks: Having a full glass of water between alcoholic drinks can both help you avoid drinking too much and keep you hydrated. That may help avoid a hangover the next day.
- Know your weak spots: If you’ve come to the conclusion that you drink too much and overeat at parties, be prepared! Eat a healthy meal or snack before you go to ensure you're not drinking on an empty stomach and might help you from snacking on those chips and m&ms… oh and by the way m&ms have 10 calories EACH…
- Don't drink daily.
- Avoid fatty foods post-night out and the next day
- Think about your goals: Turning down that refill may be hard in the moment, but you'll be glad you did when you wake up the next day refreshed and not hungover!
- Have diet jelly ready in the fridge for when you walk through the door before you attack the fridge and pantry! Trust me you will wake up a lot less guilty than if you eat a greasy burger.