Alcohol & Fat Loss

Alcohol & Fat Loss

Alcohol is a big part of socialising with family and friends. But for those of us who are wanting to lose weight or at least minimise weight gain, adding alcohol to the equation can make this goal more difficult.

Here are the reasons why:

Alcohol is the second highest source of calories
One gram of alcohol is 7 calories, which is more than one gram of carbohydrate (4 calories) and protein (4 calories) but less than one gram of fat (9 calories).

This is very important to consider if your goal is to lose fat. Remember you need to burn more calories than you consume and if you are planning on having a big night, you can easily consume 500-1000 calories from alcohol, which will negatively impact your weight loss.

Alcohol is the second highest source of calories

Alcohol does not require energy to metabolise
When we eat food (protein, carbohydrate and fat) our body uses energy (calories) to break down this food into smaller components that can be absorbed and utilised by the body, known as “thermic effect of food”. Because alcohol is so easy to absorb, it enters our bloodstream without requiring any energy or calories to be used in the process.

Fat loss is put on hold
Because alcohol is a toxin, the liver will prioritise metabolising and clearing the alcohol first. This means other processes such as fat loss will be put on hold until the alcohol is cleared. The liver is only able to clear alcohol at a rate of around 30ml per hour, which is why consuming more than this can cause you to feel intoxicated.

Alcohol can affect your blood sugar levels
Our livers play a major role in keeping our blood sugar steady, but because it’s priority is to metabolise the alcohol, it is unable to do this effectively when we drink. As a result, our blood sugar drops and remains low until the alcohol is cleared. This explains why we crave carbs (late night kebabs or pizza) and why we wake up the next day with a headache.

Alcohol calories that aren't burned will be stored as fat
No matter the source of the calories, any excess of calories that we consume and don’t use will be stored as fat. What makes alcohol calories
worse, though, is that they are stored in your liver first. If the liver doesn’t process and send this fat for proper storage fast enough, or if you
drink too much, too often, the fat remains in your liver and around your abdomen.

Consider these factors before you have a big night out, especially if your goal is fat loss! Always drink responsibly.

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