How Alcohol Contributes to Weight Gain

I’m sure you have all heard it …“If you want to lose weight, you need to stop drinking alcohol” …but do you really understand why alcohol is of concern?

Let me explain. Alcohol is broken down into acetate after it is consumed, which is basically vinegar. The body burns acetate before any other calorie consumed or stored, including fats and sugars. Like I have said before, calories are all the same, but by adding alcohol to your diet you are likely to consume more calories than you burn in a given day.  When you drink alcohol your body is getting all of its energy from the acetate; therefore, the calories you don’t burn are likely to come from the Nutella you ate earlier or that Pepsi you had at lunch. Alcohol temporarily inhibits “lipid oxidation.” This simply means that your body can’t burn the fat already on your body as easily.

To sum things up, following a high-fat, high-alcohol diet will cause weight gain. That doesn’t mean that you can’t drink and lose weight. Remember: MODERATION IS KEY.

Here are some simple tips to follow to avoid weight gain caused by alcohol:

  1. Be aware of what and how much you are drinking. A margarita can have up to 700 calories, where a single glass of wine only has 70 calories.
  2. Drink water between drinks. Not only does this keep you from drinking too much, it keeps you hydrated helping you avoid a hangover the next day.
  3. Don’t skip out on exercise. A night of drinking can leave you too tired or hungover to exercise. Don’t give in!
  4. Practice self-control. If you tend to drink too much or overeat at parties, try eating a healthy snack beforehand. This keeps you from drinking on an empty stomach, which only speeds up intoxication.


Diet Mistakes

Not seeing the results you want? Here are a few ways you may be sabotaging your diet.

–       Yes, it is possible to eat too few calories. Don’t do it !! Trying to maintain a diet that is very low in calories will most likely lead to binging on unhealthy foods later down the road because you feel deprived. It might even cause you to give up dieting all together. Also, not eating enough can slow your metabolism.

–       Don’t forbid certain groups of food from your diet. You can still have that pizza or dessert without putting on those extra pounds. Simply, watch your portion sizes. Letting yourself eat small amounts of ‘forbidden’ food will prevent high-calorie binging and keep you happy with your diet plan.

–       Skipping breakfast is a HUGE mistake. Not only does it slow your metabolism, it may cause you to over eat at lunchtime!

–       Getting lax about portion sizes because you’re down a few pounds? BAD IDEA. A few large meals can easily push you back off track.

–       Think that just because you worked out today, you can eat more? That defeats the whole purpose of working out, especially when you’re trying to lose weight! Also, avoid those sugary sport drinks!

–       Proper sleeping habits are essential to maintaining a healthy weight. Make sure you are getting seven to nine quality hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep can have a direct effect on the amount of food you consume through out the day leading to weight gain.

–       Have late night cravings? Eating late at night just adds extra calories to your diet. Remember, calories count no matter what time of they day they are consumed.

–       Liquid calories count too and they can add up quickly! Think twice about ordering that soda pop with your sandwich everyday.

These are only a few ways that may be causing you to eat more food than your body actually needs. Just remember successful long-term weight loss is rooted in commitment to a healthy diet and exercise plan you can stick to! I know from experience how challenging weight loss can be, but it can be done! Avoiding these diet mistakes is essential to seeing progress. Also, it helps if your friends and family are supportive of your goals; they were for me! Check out my before and after photo!