One of the biggest barriers these days to people achieving their weight loss goals is the consumption (or over consumption in some cases) of alcohol through their week. Now this obstacle is only magnified coming into the festive season with work parties, family gatherings and general end of year celebrations.
So, does alcohol affect your weight loss efforts? The short answer is YES - but perhaps not in the way you think it does. Alcohol itself won't make you fat, it's the extra drinks and food we consume around the alcohol that contributes to weight gain or prevents us from losing weight.
Why is this? Alcohol is a toxin in the body, a poison. So, when present it actually becomes our number one energy source (as it has a calorie content, 1g ALC = 7cal). Meaning we cycle it out of the body first before our food energy. Great, so we get rid of straight away. However, that means all our stored energy from carbohydrates and fats, remain stored.
So, this means two things - firstly, we put our fat burning efforts right at the back of the que as our body needs to work off the alcohol first, then the carbs, then it can finally get into fat burning. So, you might say goodbye to burning any fat and losing weight while drinking (and the days following). Secondly, and this is the big one - the foods we eat before, during and after drinking alcohol will simply be getting piled on top of our already stored foods… and this excess energy can make us fatter!
So, we can see that beer bellies should really be called pizza bellies and those love handles from too much red wine is really love handles from too much cheese and crackers - NOT the actual alcohol.
Now, like we mentioned earlier - the festive season is upon us. So here are a few tips to help you keep the weight off (and perhaps even keep losing weight) and still enjoy celebrations with family, friends and work colleagues:
- Use soda water and fresh lime as a mixer with spirits
- Eat foods lower in carbs before, during and after drinking alcohol
- Swap between your drink and a glass of water when out
- Perform some light exercise the day after drinking (not high intensity as you may be dehydrated)
- Finish your drink before topping it up so you can keep track of how many drinks you've had
Most importantly, drink in moderation and enjoy time with your loved ones this festive season J
For more information on alcohol and other health & fitness related topics please contact the team at Vision Personal Training Mona Vale on 9999 4702