Posted on 02 December 2015
So as we are coming up to the festive season, not that most of us will need an excuse – I thought I would take about Alcohol. I see it over and over again and have the same questions asked in relation to weight/fat loss. People would come to me highly frustrated and wonder why they aren’t losing weight, however as I came to learn more, I found out they would be polishing off a few bottles of wine, cidar and spirits at the weekend followed by some “naughty” food when they were hungover. NEWSFLASH… Alcohol is empty calories and can ruin your whole week’s progress!
Now I don’t drink alcohol often, gone are my days of partying every weekend! But if there is a special event I might have 1 or 2 and I am partial to a good glass of red wine. There are several reasons why I don’t drink much, but one of the major reasons is because it doesn’t agree with the lifestyle I love to live.
Just because I don’t drink alcohol often doesn’t mean that I don’t have a social life. Over the years, the people closest to me have accepted my healthy lifestyle and they don’t question me about it. If you find yourself in the situation where people are questioning your choices, you will just need to explain to them why you are doing this and why it is important to you.
Let’s be clear… Alcohol is not a nutrient
A nutrient is a ‘substance that provides nourishment essential for the maintenance of life and for growth’, and by this definition there are six classes of nutrients: carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. As you can see, alcohol is not one of them! Of these six, only the three macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat) provide calories. So does alcohol, despite not being a nutrient.
- Protein: 4 kcal per gram - Carbohydrates: 4 kcal per gram - Fats: 9 kcal per gram - Alcohol: 7 kcal per gram
So, when you drink alcohol you deprive your body of nutrients, whilst still getting calories.
Alcohol and your health
The more you drink and the more often you drink, the more at risk you are to develop diseases. The positive effect on insulin sensitivity disappears and your insulin sensitivity might actually be reduced. There are also some indications that alcohol might reduce your strength, endurance and power, as well as having a negative effect on your recovery.
To summarize: - Alcohol contains calories, but no nutrients - It may decrease your ability to build muscle - It can have a negative effect on you recovery ability - It will slow down your fat burning
Do you need to ditch the drink?
Although alcohol consumption is quite popular there are also many negative effects of consuming alcohol, especially if you drink too often and too much. If you want to lose weight, I would recommend ditching the drink. Not only will you ensure that you provide your body with all the nutrients required to function optimally, you also ensure that you wake up fresh for your workouts and you will recover faster! NO HANGOVERS… You are welcome!
But I really want to have a drink…
However, if you do feel like having a drink every now and then, I would recommend for you to stay away from pre-made alcoholic drinks, or sugar-loaded cocktails. Instead, have a beverage with less sugar like a vodka, fresh lime and soda. A glass of red every now and then is okay too. By being more mindful about your choices you can reduce your calorie intake and avoid weight gain.
Thank you to our guest blogger Lucie Colt for this informative blog post. To see more of her blogs or for online diet and nutrition plans check out http://www.luciecolt.com/