Does weight loss and drinking alcohol go together? Should you give up alcohol altogether if you're trying to lose weight? Are you allowed a little bit of alcohol when you're trying to lose weight? These are questions people are always asking, and there is a very straightforward answer, but you need to know why.
Alcohol and Weight Loss Are Not Best Buddies!
Unfortunately, alcohol and weight loss are not good buddies. They do not go well together. There are two main reasons why you should avoid alcohol if you want to lose weight. The first reason is that drinking large quantities of alcohol, particularly beer, will make your stomach distended. This will contribute to the size of your belly.
The main reason why alcohol and weight loss don't go together is that your body finds it extremely difficult to metabolise alcohol. In fact, it doesn't know what to do with it. Why? Because it is unable to store the alcohol calories. The reason for this is that alcohol contains no carbohydrate.
What your body does is to convert the alcohol calories in to acetate. Acetate then remains in your bloodstream and you use that energy before you use any stored energy that you have. Effectively this means that alcohol doesn't make you fat but it prevents you from losing fat.
Let's take a typical example where it is very easy to take on excess calories by drinking alcohol. If you go out to a restaurant meal and have three courses, your calorie intake is likely to be anywhere between 1000 and 1500 calories. If you drink three glasses of wine on top of that, depending on the size of the glass, you could add a further 300 calories to your meal total.
Your body won't start to use any of the energy you have taken in as food before it has used the 300 alcohol calories which are in your system as acetate. Your body is likely to store much of the food calories, particularly if you're having this meal in the evening and you don't expend any further energy until the morning.
If you're serious about losing weight, then it's best to give alcohol a miss.