When it comes to a weight loss programme, it is nearly always advised to cut out or reduce alcohol consumption. The reduced amount depends on the person and how much alcohol they would consume in a typical week.
Cutting out alcohol when trying to lose weight is something that people accept, yet, the majority of people do not know the reasons why it is advised.
Here are five ways alcohol is sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
1. Knocking Back the Calories
Many people who attempt to lose weight forget one major factor, drinks contain calories. When monitoring your calorie intake many people just think of food, but alcohol, as well as other drinks such as sodas, fruit juice etc. all contain calories, and a lot more than you would probably think. One glass of white wine can contain up to 100 calories and some cocktails can round up to a shocking 600 calories.
The reason why it is advised to cut out or limit your intake of alcohol when trying to lose weight is because, it packs in a huge amount of calories but does not provide any feelings of satiety or nutritional value, which we get from food. Alcohol can see your calorie consumption sky rocket without you even knowing.
2. Blocking Your Ability to Burn Fat
In addition to corrupting your calorie consumption, alcohol also inhibits your body’s ability to burn fat. When you drink alcohol your body breaks it down into acetate and uses that as its go to fuel source. What this means is that your body is not burning the food you consumed or your existing body fat.
In effect, you may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts. Best advice is to reduce, better still, cut out alcohol to lose weight while on your weight loss programme.
3. Lowers Inhibitions
Alcohol is proven to lower inhibitions. Many people find themselves straying from their healthy and balanced eating plans when they have had a drink or two. This is due to the fact that alcohol dulls our internal signals that tell us when we are full. A UK study identified that those who consume the equivalent of two measures of alcohol eat up to 30% more than they would had they not consumed any alcohol.
One of the main contributors to a hangover is dehydration. Alcohol has an extremely dehydrating effect on the body, one of these being, that it increases urine production as it blocks the hormone that is required for water reabsorption. The diuretic effect of alcohol results in fluid loss, which in turn leads to dehydration. This, more often than not, results in people seeking out foods that are high in sodium the day after they have been drinking, as sodium (or salt) contributes to water retention. This often leads to overeating and binging on processed foods.
5. Disturbed Sleep
As we all know, getting a good night’s sleep is very important for both, the mind and body. It recharges and rests the mind but also allows the body to heal. According to Cambridge University, alcohol interferes with the normal sleep process, which leads to disturbed sleeping patterns which can mean you wake feeling exhausted. This can directly affect weight loss as sleep disturbance or deprivation can slow your metabolic rate leading to weight gain.
Hopefully the above reasons can help you understand why it is advised to reduce or cut out alcohol to lose weight. Alcohol can have detrimental effects that can negatively impact motivation and commitment to your weight loss programme.