Can I Drink Alcohol and Still Lose weight?

One of the biggest barriers to weight loss within Personal Training in the Yarra Valley is the consumption (or over consumption in some cases) of alcohol through the week. Now this obstacle can be increased depending on the time of year. We tend to consume more alcohol during times like the festive season which can make staying on track difficult during these times.

So, does alcohol affect your weight loss efforts? The short answer is YES – but perhaps not in the way you think it does. In most scenarios it is added food and types of food we tend to associate and consume with alcohol that can lead to weight gain or prevention of weight loss.

Why is this? Alcohol is a toxin in the body, a poison. So, when present it actually becomes our number one energy source (as it has a calorie content, 1g ALC = 7cal). Meaning we cycle it out of the body first before our food energy. Great, so we get rid of straight away. However, that means all our stored energy from carbohydrates and fats, remains stored.

So, this means two things – firstly, we put our fat burning efforts right at the back of the queue as our body needs to work off the alcohol first, then the carbs, then it can finally get into fat burning. So, you might say goodbye to burning any fat and losing weight while drinking (and the days following). Secondly, and this is the big one – the foods we eat before, during and after drinking alcohol will simply be getting piled on top of our already stored foods… and this excess energy can make us fatter!

So here are a few tips to help you keep the weight off (and perhaps even keep losing weight) and still enjoy celebrations with family, friends and work colleagues:

  • Use soda water and fresh lime as a mixer with spirits

  • Eat foods lower in carbs before, during and after drinking alcohol

  • Swap between your drink and a glass of water when out

  • Perform some light exercise the day after drinking (not high intensity as you may be dehydrated)

  • Finish your drink before topping it up so you can keep track of how many drinks you’ve had

Most importantly, drink in moderation and enjoy the time you have with your friends and family.

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