Many of the things we do socially centre around alcohol. But like many things, a lot of people tend to go overboard. If you drink alcohol every night you’re not an alcoholic but you do have a habit issue. Alcohol is for special occasions, not to sedate you when you’ve had a bad day.
If you’re trying to lose weight then alcohol can negatively impact your efforts. You need to stop looking for a magic pill to fix your problems and start looking at your habits instead.
Here are 5 reasons why alcohol and weight loss do not work well together.
1. Alcohol is Full of Empty Calories
Just like sodas, alcohol is full of empty calories. Take a look at the calories content of some of these popular drinks:
- A pint of cider can contain between 187-244 calories
- A pint of large can contain between 189-225 calories
- A 250ml glass of red wine can contain up to 214 calories
- A standard bottle of alcopop can contain 237 calories
Obviously different brands will contain different amounts of calories but they’re still empty calories!
So if you’re heading for a night out or plan on having a few drinks at home, be aware that those calories can build up pretty quickly!
2. Alcohol Can Damage the Organs
Excessive consumption of alcohol can severely damage internal organs, such as the liver and kidneys.
The liver is vital for processing toxins in the body. But it can only handle a certain amount of alcohol at a time. Drinking too much alcohol means that your liver will have a hard time processing it, and it can damage liver cells and lead to scarring.
The kidneys filter substances in the blood, and this includes alcohol. Alcohol can affect kidney functioning, which impacts on their filtering ability.
Alcohol also dehydrates the body, which can affect the functioning of your organs.
3. Alcohol Contributes to Weight Gain
The beer belly does exist. It’s not a myth!
Certain alcoholic drinks contain high levels of sugar and calories, which can lead to weight gain. If you’re drinking on a regular basis this weight gain can happen very fast.
4. People Use it as a Way to Relax
Many people open a bottle of wine or have a few beers after they’ve had a stressful day. Alcohol has a sedating effect which too many of us rely on to help us unwind.
One drink can easily turn to many and the next morning you’re too tired and hungover to actually train or to even prep yourself some healthy meals.
5. Alcohol Lowers Inhibitions
We all know that alcohol can loosen inhibitions, and it can make you feel more relaxed about making bad choices (e.g. drinking even more alcohol and snacking on the wrong kinds of foods at 3 in the morning!).
Studies have shown that alcohol can also stimulate the appetite, so when you’re intoxicated and have loosened inhibitions you’re likely to pop into the chipper and make some poor food choices.
Most people enjoy a tipple and there’s nothing wrong with that. The issue is that many tend to drink too much which affects not only their weight loss efforts, but also the health of their body.
Learning to control your drinking is a great way to help you achieve your weight loss goals.