How Does Alcohol Affect Weight Loss?

 For those of you who are trying to lose weight, you may have found that one of the biggest hurdles that you face comes in the way of alcoholic beverages. Whether it is a glass of wine on date night or hitting the town with your pals, more often than not when it comes to going out you will most likely be faced the the choice to drink, and if so, to be sure you are making the best choice to help you succeed in reaching your weight loss goals. This article is aimed to address specifically the forementioned concerns and help you make the right selection next time you reach for an adult beverage!

It is of vast importance to remember that if you are trying to lose weight... even the slightest bit... that you need to be excrutiatingly careful in making the choice to pick up the bottle, glass or can. The wrong choice, or even too much of the right choice can greatly hinder your ability to make wise choices. Why? Well, for starters, estrogen is released into your body in greater amounts, thus promoting fat storage and decreasing muscle growth. Your body will also begin to devour the stored glucose in your liver which leads to hunger, lowers your inhibitions and makes you crave bad foods (starch, carbs, and sugars).

Additionally, alcoholic beverages also contain way more calories than you think you may be intaking. A 20 ounce beer can boast upwards of 250 calories, a 6 ounce glass of wine can set up back 120 calories, and a 1.5 ounce shot of hard liquor (not including any sugary additives) will put you at 100 calories. Not what you were expecting, right?

Here is a list of a few more of the most consumed alcoholic beverages and their incredibly high calorie counts, to really put things into perspective for you:

  • Daiquiri: 259 calories
  • Vodka and Club Soda: 64 Calories
  • Rum and Coke: 91 Calories
  • Champagne: 84 Calories
  • A Cosmo: 230 Calories
  • Margarita: 270 Calories
  • Sangria: 167 Calories
  • Bloody Mary: 140 Calories
  • Martini: 69 Calories

Plain and simply stated, it really is best to just put aside the alcohol until you have reached your weight loss goals. But, if you are going to drink, make good choices. Your best choice is going to be a glass (just one!) of a heart-healthy glass of red wine. Your second best option is going to be a clear hard liquor (for example, vodka and soda water or a tequila on the rocks with a twist of lime). Always remember that when it doubt, it is best to just go without. But, if you are going out or just wanting to have a drink, be sure to keep things in moderation. It is not just your calorie count in the alcohol that you should be watching, but also what choices in terms of food that your drink selection may lead you to make. If possible, eat first and then have something to drink. Or have a glass of wine with your meal. Cocktails are hard, because you are more likely to have not had anything (or very little) to eat prior to drinking which can make you feel buzzed quicker and that can in turn lead you to over-eat. Filling your stomach with healthy and nutrious foods can also help you crave that drink even less than on an empty stomach. Not to mention the detrimental effects that alcohol can have for your esophogus, stomach lining and your liver, period.

So remember, alcohol and weight loss can occur, but they certainly are not meant to go hand and hand. Keep things in moderation, and continue to make wise choices, and you are sure to keep yourself on track in meeting your weight loss goals!


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