Most people find it hard to avoid alcohol! This is because of our daily activities such as: relaxing after work hours, attending a wedding, or even a birthday party, alcohol is usually involved.
But what if alcohol is the reason you have a hard time getting rid of a few pounds? And do you know that alcohol and weight loss are actually related to each other?
Regarding this, we asked a nutritionist about the connection between alcohol and the difficulty in losing weight.
Here are some questions we asked…
Are calories from alcohol and from food treated equally by the body?
Of course not! Because alcohol is recognized as a toxin by the body, it stops the metabolism of other foods and instead focuses on removing alcohol from our system.
The result? The liver will work very hard, and the calories from nacho that consumed with beer are very likely to be stored as fat in the body instead of being burned for fuel.
How many calories are actually contained in alcohol?
Sydney Greene, RD, a nutritionist based in New York City, said that alcohol is the second largest calorie macronutrient.
He stated that in every one gram of alcohol contains at least 7 calories… In comparison, in the same amount, fat contains 9 calories, while protein and carbohydrates in every 1 gram only contain 4 calories.
Furthermore, Greene said that alcohol does not have nutrition for the body, which means 100 calories from alcohol is certainly not the same as 100 calories from vegetables like broccoli… We can only use alcohol for fuel for some enzymatic reactions, whereas Broccoli can be burned for fuel and then used in the body for hundreds of enzymatic reactions.
So basically, 5 ounces of wine contains around 120 calories, while beer in 12 ounces contains about 150 calories.
In mixed drinks we can get at least 100 calories, can even more than 500 calories (for example a vodka soda).
Does drinking alcohol definitely cause weight gain?
The answer is YES!
Drinking more than four glasses of alcohol per day for men and more than three glasses for women is associated with a higher risk of obesity.
Even based on a 2015 review published in the journal Current Obesity, it is reported that consuming fewer amounts of alcohol is very likely to increase a higher percentage of body fat.
Higher alcohol consumption also increases the risk of chronic diseases, including in this case are type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and fatty liver disease.
Therefore, Greene recommends consuming no more than two glasses of alcoholic beverages per day for men and no more than one glass per day for women… so the risk of chronic diseases above can be reduced.
How can alcohol affect my weight?
Keep in mind, alcohol’s diuretic properties make the body dehydrated, and the effect can be very serious on your diet… plus, this will be perfect if you consume less water.
When dehydrated, the body will automatically feel more tired… this condition will lead to increased consumption of foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates, and finally, cause an increase in your weight.
What if I can’t completely avoid alcohol but still want to succeed in losing weight?
Actually, it depends on how much you want to lose your weight.
But if you want to succeed in losing weight without leaving alcohol at all, here is Greene’s recommendation for you.
Consume a maximum of 6 glasses of alcoholic drinks per week, and never exceed this amount.
By following this recommendation, you can still consume alcohol and still have the opportunity to succeed to lose weight.