Alcohol and Fat Loss: Understanding the Impact on Health and Weight Loss
When it comes to fat loss and overall health, understanding the impact of alcohol consumption is crucial. In this article, we explore the relationship between alcohol and fat loss. From its effects on testosterone levels to the empty calories it provides, as well as its impact on sleep, digestion, and decision-making, we shed light on the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption.
Most people like and enjoy the odd glass of alcohol now and then, but few of us would argue that it’s the most conducive habit when it comes to health and fitness.
That said, you could drink alcohol and still lose 20 lbs in a month, but more on that in a minute.
Can Alcohol and Fat Loss Be Real?
Previously I mentioned how too much alcohol can lower testosterone levels. When testosterone is reduced, it’s harder to burn fat and build muscle. Less muscle can mean a lower metabolic rate, which could in turn lead to an increase in fat storage, the exact opposite of what we’re trying to achieve. Sounds like a struggle with weight loss, right?
There are 7kcal per gram of alcohol compared to 4kcal per gram of protein and carbs, and 9kcal per gram of fat. The problem isn’t necessarily with this number. It’s the fact that they are empty calories that contain no nutrients to aid the body in any way, and once consumed, they effectively put the body on pause.
Alcohol calories cannot be stored for later so they must be used immediately.
Your metabolic system literally stops and processes the alcohol before resuming its normal functions. It’s very easy to add hundreds if not thousands of calories to your body through alcohol. On top of that, alcohol lowers the inhibitions, lowers your blood sugar, and can increase your appetite.
Alcohol and Testosterone Levels
Your resolve to avoid the canapés and other calorie-laden snacks at a dinner party mixed with a cavalier attitude of “f*ck it”, and an increase in appetite can often create a disastrous situation.
“Just one” has probably been the downfall of everyone at some point in his or her life. Just one invariably leads to another, and another. Thus it becomes almost impossible for weight loss after 40 and that’s when your struggle starts.
Not only are you getting excess calories from the alcohol, you’re adding more into the mix from the very tasty but largely useless, high calorie, fat-laden processed snacks. You haven’t even started on the buffet yet.
Calories aside, too much alcohol is just bad for your health.
Disrupted Sleep and Digestive Issues
Alcohol can affect the quality of your sleep. Drinking may fool you into thinking you’re sleeping well, but you’re sedated rather than falling into a deep sleep.
After drinking you spend more time in REM sleep, which is rapid eye movement. This can leave you feeling tired no matter how long you stay in bed. Alcohol irritates your digestive system. Even just a glass or two can cause your stomach to produce more acid than usual, leading to inflammation of the stomach lining.
Alcohol Increases Cancer Risk, at That Point You Don’t Care About Fat Loss
Every drink serves an increased risk of cancer of the mouth, tongue, lip, throat, stomach, pancreas, and colon. Drinking also makes it more difficult to digest food and absorb vital nutrients, particularly protein and vitamins.
Alcohol, as I mentioned before, lowers your inhibitions and seriously affects your decision-making capabilities.
Men. Listen up.
Your sudden drive to sleep with the closest female near you, regardless of how attractive she is could cause a problem if you have a girlfriend or wife. Many men have fallen victim to the incredibly common phenomenon known as “beer goggles”.
I’m not making excuses for it, or condoning it, I’m making you aware that it’s a thing.
Alcohol can make you fat, screw with your health and f*ck up your marriage.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Enough of the doom and gloom. If you’re a heavy drinker, my advice is to reduce it. Firstly, from a health perspective and secondly if burning body fat and losing weight is a concern.
You just don’t need those excess empty calories, do you? I think we all know the answer to that.
Reduce Your Alcohol Intake and Fat Loss May Be Real
Here’s my top tip to reduce your intake.
Choose alcohol-free days.
Pick three or four days per week where you don’t have a drink.
Take note of how you feel. You should feel improvements, but it will take time to really see the benefits.
If you have a few events during the week have a strict cut off point with the time and amount you drink.
For example, you could say I’m going to have three drinks and the last one will be by 9pm. This will minimise the damage and help with your sleep.
So to answer the question, can you burn fat/lose weight and consume alcohol?
The answer is most definitely yes.
Is it good for our health?
In most cases, probably not but the devil is in the dose.