We get asked a lot if you have to give up alcohol completely to meet weight loss goals. The short answer is no- but it does come with some guidelines if you want to maximize your body’s fat burning potential.
First, let’s look at some facts about alcohol:
- Alcohol is high in calories – seven calories per gram.
- All alcoholic beverages contain some sugar.
- Calories from alcohol are ’empty calories’, they have no nutritional value.
- Drinking alcohol is more likely to make you crave junk food high in calories
- It slows down the amount of energy you’re able to burn through exercise.
Your body isn’t designed to store alcohol so it tries to expel it as quickly as possible. As your body prioritizes burning calories from alcohol first, the drinking of alcohol blocks the normal fat burning process in your body. It also gets in the way of other processes, including the absorption of nutrients in food and the production of insulin.
However, we realize alcohol can be a normal part of a healthy diet and there are ways to consume it without ruining any of your progress or feeling completely terrible the next day.
Try these tips the next time you go for a drink:
- Space alcoholic drinks one hour apart
- Alternate with a glass of water
- Mix ½ wine and ½ carbonated water to make a spritzer
- Give yourself a limit: enjoy 1-2 standard drinks (5 oz wine) per occasion only.
- Drink clear liquor and sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon or lime- avoid high sugar and calorie mixers!