Did you know that alcohol consumption could decrease testosterone in men by 23%? What about how alcohol directly affects your ability to lose fat?
Alcohol is deeply entrenched in our culture as a way to have fun, let loose, and be social. Companies that market alcohol from vodka, to whiskey, to beer know the right buttons to push. Our brains are seemingly wired to desire a cold refreshing alcoholic beverage after a tough day at work. But, the truth is that alcohol, when not consumed in moderation (1-2 drinks a few times per week) has very negative effects on weight loss. Also, alcohol can actually stimulate your appetite, loosen your inhibitions and undermine your willpower, causing you to eat more than you planned.
When it comes to just how many calories alcohol contains per gram, the truth is hard to believe: at seven calories per gram, it's almost the same ratio as pure fat.
Sugary cocktails are often the culprits in alcohol-related weight gain. A shot of tequila, for instance, is just 100 calories, but when it's mixed with all the ingredients of a frozen margarita, it skyrockets to 500 calories.
Many adults also overestimate just how much alcohol they should be drinking daily in order for it to be considered 'in moderation'. For women, they should only be having a single standard drink per day - that is, 5oz of wine (a glass), 12oz of beer (a bottle) or 1.5oz of spirit (a shot). For men, moderation means consuming just two standard drinks each day.
The body can't store alcohol, so it metabolizes it right away. Since the alcohol becomes priority in the metabolic process, your body won't metabolize other fats and sugars as efficiently, ultimately slowing your metabolism over time.
Not only does alcohol not contain any nutrients of its own, but it can also impair your body's ability to absorb nutrients and vitamins from the food you eat. Alcohol irritates your gastrointestinal tract, and can damage your body's ability to absorb nutrients, vitamins and minerals from the food you eat.
Women that consume too much alcohol are more vulnerable than men to:
1. Liver disease:
Women are more likely to contract alcoholic liver disease, such as hepatitis (an inflammation of the liver), and are more likely to die from liver cirrhosis (a chronic disease that progressively destroys the liver’s ability to aid in digestion and detoxification).
2. Brain damage:
Women are more likely than men to suffer alcohol-induced brain- damage, such as loss of mental function and reduced brain size. A moderate amount of alcohol can increase total calories, decrease your motivation for exercise, and negatively affect your sleep. Despite this, many people can enjoy a drink or two, without throwing those three components completely out of whack.
On the other hand, drinking heavily can significantly derail energy levels, has a larger influence on dehydration, negatively impacts hormonal levels, and can significantly disrupt your sleep. You don’t have to completely avoid alcohol when you’re trying to lose weight, but limiting consumption and making smart choices are vital to your success.
A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!