When most people go on a diet, one of their biggest concerns is alcohol intake. They switch to a light beer or hard alcohol with tonic water in order to keep the caloric intake to a minimum. However, drinking alcohol sabotages your weight loss far more than the few hundred calories in the drinks you have that night. Regular drinking, even if limited amounts multiple times per week can devastate your weight loss goals. You can reintroduce alcohol in moderation once you’ve reached your weight loss goal, but here are a few reasons why alcohol affects weightloss:
1) Alcohol stops the fat burning process:
Alcohol, whenever taken in, is the first fuel to burn. While that's going on, your body will not burn fat. This does not stop the weight loss, it simply postpones it, since the alcohol does not store as muscle glycogen and you immediately go back into burning fat as fuel after the alcohol is used up. Rather than getting stored as fat, alcohol is converted to acetate. In fact, a recent study demonstrated that blood levels of acetate after drinking vodka are 2.5 times higher than normal. It appears this sharp rise in acetate stops fat loss.
2) Alcohol calories are nutrient-free calories:
Alcoholic drinks also contain calories from other sugar or fat, which add to overall caloric intake. Wine and beer both have high carbohydrate content and some cocktails are high in fat. Excess Carbohydrates release insulin, which can increase fat storage, while fats will be stored directly in the fat cells - the overall result is added body fat.
3) Alcohol stimulates the appetite with cravings for unhealthy foods
Pizza at 2AM... enough said!
4) Alcohol lowers your testosterone and raises your cortisol levels
Just one night of drinking raises levels of the muscle-wasting hormone Cortisol and decreases testosterone for up to 24 hours! Testosterone, which has a powerful fat loss effect, is reduced whenever alcohol is consumed. When your testosterone levels are lowered it will decrease your muscle gains or even lead to muscle loss. With less muscle on your body you’ll lower your metabolic rate. The lower your metabolic rate the harder it is to burn fat as a higher metabolism burns more calories at rest.
5) Alcohol in the Future
Once you to lose the weight, you can slowly reintroduce alcohol (if you wish) in moderation. At this time, you will have fantastic tools to keep you maintaining your amazing new body. For example, you'll know how to drink water between alcoholic drinks as this will increase feelings of fullness and may help to prevent over consumption of alcohol. More importantly, you’re tolerance will be so low that 2 drinks then will feel like 10 drinks now!
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