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Friday, November 2, 2007

Alcohol and its effect on fat burning


photo by dcmahon77

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Alcohol is a powerful chemical depressant that effects our body in many ways. Here are a few reasons why alcohol and weight loss don't mix:

1. Empty calories

Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, less than fat, but more than carbs or protein. These are completely nutritionally empty calories that would be better spent on nutrient dense foods.

2. Lowered inhibitions result in greater food consumption, usually calorie-laden food

You can't go out for a drink without getting something to snack on. And we all know that nothing goes better with a beer than...a salad? Ha. I don't think so. How about some cheese fries, or nachos? Now we're talking. The types of food that people eat while imbibing certainly don't help the situation.

3. Alcohol halts fat metabolism

Your body cannot metabolize alcohol and burn fat at the same time. All fat burning stops until your body has processed and eliminated alcohol from your system. Went out on a bender on Friday night? It could take up to 3 days to eliminate the alcohol, and no fat burning is taking place during this time...only fat storage.

4. Lowers testosterone levels, raises estrogen levels

One of the many jobs of testosterone in the body is to synthesize protein into muscle tissue. Lowered testosterone levels halt this important repair process and over time can result in a lowered metabolism. Estrogen is partially responsible for the storage of fat in the body and increased levels help this process along. Alcohol causes increased levels of estrogen and with it, more fat storage.

Having a drink or two occasionally won't have a huge impact on your weight loss goals. But if you have a glass of wine or a beer every day, and you are not achieving your weight loss goals, consider cutting down on your alcohol intake. It may be holding you back.

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John said...

Good advice. I just don't touch the stuff. It hurts weight loss AND the wallet!