Alcohol and fat loss have a strange relationship. There is no doubt that drinking a lot of alcohol can help make you fat. The phrase “beer belly” was created with good reason. On the other hand some alcoholics are very thin.
Many healthy people recommend a few units of alcohol per week for health benefits…
What is the biggest enemy of weight loss?
Some say carbohydrates, some say fat…
Some say processed junk food, some say fast food and snacks.
Some say it is bad habits, depression or stress…
All of these are real issues, but all can be overcome with the nurturing of a fat loss mentality…
I have a new contender…
Alcohol and fat loss… How is that working out for you?
Many studies have shown that a couple of glasses of wine per day has beneficial effects. Tim Ferriss says that he drinks a couple of glasses of wine per evening to relax and he still loses fat efficiently whilst on the slow carb diet.
Some spirits are low in calories, a few shots of whisky or vodka will barely effect your daily calorie balance.
So, why do I think alcohol is a problem and impediment to fat loss?
It is NOT about the empty calories that alcohol contains.
There are a couple of reasons why I see alcohol as possibly the worst enemy for fat loss.
1) Alcohol is a depressant, it makes you anxious, stressed and depressed.
These side effects may only be mild for some, moderate for others, but we will all feel a little deflated the following day. Or even for a few days.
When we feel even a little sad or negative, the temptation to miss an exercise session or eat unhealthy food gets stronger. Some people “comfort eat” when they are feeling down. It is also likely that following the right path takes discipline and mental strength. These virtues disappear with a hangover…
It is easy for our good habits to slip, and for us to teeter on the edge of a slippery health disaster slope…
2) The other reason why alcohol is dangerous for our weight loss and health efforts is the problem with trying to limit our intake to only 2 or 3 units.
I know that some people are capable of this, but most people aren’t.
The chances are, that if you are the person who tends to overeat… Or eat the wrong types of food… You are also the type of person who over indulges with the alcohol…
Am I right?
Our tolerance to alcohol builds and it is easy for our intake to creep up, we fill our wine glasses higher, we buy bigger wine glasses…
We buy larger cans of beer, or stronger “export strength” beer.
The issue builds slowly
This happens gradually. For some of us the process is not so gradual. Binge drinking and alcoholism is very common. If you are prone to abusing alcohol you will find it difficult or impossible to hit your health goals.
Then we get into vicious circles, for example we feel rough in the morning so we drink extra caffeine. The extra caffeine gets us through the day, but contributes to extra stress hormones in our bodies. By the evening we need a drink again to relax… Just one or two of course.
The cycle perpetuates itself.
What is the solution?
If you are the type of person who has no issues with alcohol, then that is great for you. If this article rings true for you then becoming a non drinker is the best answer.
If you aim for not drinking at all, then succumb occasionally then this is fine. Just like the days when we slip up on our diet. No Problem, we just give up the booze again the next day.
At least with this approach we know our enemy… For many of us, alcohol and fat loss do not mix. We respect that fact and keep up the life journey of improvement in all areas of our life.