3 Ways Alcohol Interferes with Weight Loss
Many people find alcohol a pleasant part of our society’s traditions. It’s often a fun and delicious way to celebrate special occasions with friends or family, or unwind after a long day. However, there are some significant concerns surrounding alcohol, and one of them has to do with its negative impact on your weight-loss efforts. Here’s how alcohol may interfere with your goals and why you should limit your consumption, especially if you’re trying to cut calories.
1. Alcohol supplies twice as many calories as carbs and protein
Alcohol has about seven calories per gram, which is almost twice as many as carbohydrates and protein. In fact, alcohol has nearly as many calories per gram as fat, which contains nine calories per gram. Also, keep in mind that alcohol’s calories are “empty” – it contains no beneficial nutrients, so it will only facilitate fat storage.
2. Alcohol loosens inhibitions
As you drink, your inhibitions have a way of lightening up, so you may not stop to consider the effect your drinks are having on your waistline. Your lower inhibitions may cause you to eat more, or eat different foods, than you would otherwise. Alcohol can also stimulate your appetite, and since foods full of fat and salt tend to be present at social occasions where people drink, you could do serious damage to your diet in one evening.
3. Alcohol lowers testosterone
Testosterone has powerful fat burning effects, and alcohol decreases your levels of this important hormone. Testosterone also contributes to lean muscle mass gain. Having less testosterone means less muscle gain and a lower metabolic rate. When your metabolism rate slows down, losing fat becomes much harder. Affecting testosterone production is just one of the ways alcohol indirectly inhibits fat loss.
If you must drink…
If you’d really like to have a drink or two, what are the best options? Beer tends to be loaded with calories, especially considering the small amount of alcohol it contains. Liquor contains fewer calories per drink, but these can add up in certain drinks, such as cocktails or doubles. Add soda, and you’ve got a sugary caloric nightmare. A glass of wine is generally a better choice calorie-wise than a glass of beer – wine contains more alcohol, so you typically consume less in one sitting. It’s best to steer clear of liqueurs, which are often consumed with high-calorie mixers.