Most diets suggest little or no alcohol during the diet. Most do not give a reason, but it is part of the program. The reason, even though they don’t state it, is that alcohol consumption can be counterproductive to the fat loss efforts. There are several reasons why alcohol inhibits fat loss, and it has little to do with the type of alcohol.
itself has 7 calories per gram. This is almost twice the amount of protein and carbohydrates (which are 4 per gram) and is just under the 9 calories per gram amount of fat. That fact in itself should be a red flag. But, it gets worse. When alcohol is ingested it is converted to acetate in the liver. This acetate is then floating in the blood stream. Normally, the body prefers to burn carbohydrates and fats for energy. It will use protein if neither of the other nutrients is available, but it prefers the others first. Along comes acetate and the body quickly starts burning that instead of the fats and carbohydrates. So, those carbohydrate and fat calories get shuffled to fat stores for future use because they are not needed for immediate energy.
Alcohol Leads to Poor Food Choices
Alcohol also tends to increase the appetite and lower inhibitions. This is a dangerous combination for the dieter. Think of the traditional foods associated with alcohol consumption; beer and peanuts, liquor and wings, wine and cheese. All of these foods are high in fats and calories. Alcohol and parties or cookouts often go together, also. If there is a spread of food and you have a few drinks before eating, your dieting instincts may be dulled and before you know it you have two plates full of food and a few more drinks. Now if alcohol is pushing fat to the back burner all of those ingested fat calories quickly become excess and stored in the fat stores. A dieter’s resolve may quickly weaken after a few drinks and the foods that were once “no-no’s” become gorging treats. Then you have the additional calories from the alcohol and the food.
Alcohol Lowers Testosterone
Alcohol also has a tendency to lower testosterone levels and increase the muscle wasting cortisone levels. This decrease in testosterone may last up to 24 hours according to some studies. Some people try to counter this by exercising before going out on the town, however, this makes it worse. The alcohol decreases the testosterone available to the body and increase cortisone levels which attack the already damaged muscles, resulting in poor repair and no additional muscle building.
Fat Loss – Alcohol in Moderation
A glass of wine with meals probably won’t reverse all of your hard work. It may in fact even help with overall health. A night of binge drinking, or regular consumption of multiple drinks may cause an increase in fat storage and reduction in lean muscle tissue. Hard training, solid nutrition, and some quality supplements are the best course for fat loss. Alcohol has no place in a good fat loss program. Occasional drinks with friends or an occasional cocktail will not ruin your whole diet, but self control is the key. Don’t destroy what you worked so hard to achieve with a night of revelry.