Do you really know the relationship between the cocktails and the number on the scale? Here we tell you how alcohol affects your weight loss
Everything we consume has a direct effect on our body weight, but many times, we overlook the 'liquid' calories. This is everything we drink. Juices, sodas, and smoothies have a caloric load and, of course, alcohol too.
Leer en español: El alcohol afecta tus esfuerzos para bajar de peso
All macronutrients provide a number of calories per gram. Carbohydrates and proteins provide four calories per gram and fats contribute nine. Alcohol, which does not enter as such in any of the macronutrients, has seven calories per gram. This makes it more dense, calorically speaking, than proteins and carbohydrates.
Now, although alcohol itself does not play a role in our nutrition, and therefore is called 'empty calories' to the energy load it provides, alcoholic beverages can have calories from other sources. Some liquors such as wine and beer have carbohydrates. Others despite not having this macronutrient itself are mixed with sugary drinks, which has a direct impact on insulin segregation and what can contribute to the accumulation of body fat. In fact, Shape magazine explains in a publication that many of these popular cocktails (the daiquiri and the margarita) have up to 35 grams of sugar, which translates to 7 teaspoons of the product. Since they are calories that we consume quickly because they are in liquid form, it is quite difficult to keep track.
However, beyond the caloric load, alcohol can hinder your efforts to lose weight:
1. It affects stomach, kidneys and liver. The magazine Bodybuilding points out that being alcoholic beverages a product derived from the fermentation of certain yeasts, these can have an irritating effect on the stomach. This means that the foods we eat are processed with a lower efficiency, which affects our metabolism. For the liver, this product is treated as a toxin, which takes on a 'priority' role for its elimination through this organ. When it is busy cleaning these toxins, the oxidation of fats goes to a second place and the amount of alcohol processed in the body will take at least 10 hours.
2. It affects the production of testosterone. The same publication reminds us that this anabolic hormone, which helps in the oxidation of fats, is affected by the consumption of alcohol. While it helps the formation of lean mass, when its levels go down this process slows down. Less muscle mass means a slower metabolism.
3. We do not make good food choices when we drink. The normal thing is that together with alcohol, fatty and high-calorie foods are consumed. In fact, the popular belief is that eating foods 'with fat' decreases the effect alcohol can have on our body. Nevertheless, all this adds to a higher caloric intake, which directly affects the goals of those who want to lose weight. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), people who drink are more likely to eat fewer fruits and more calories provided by alcoholic beverages and high-fat foods.
In any case, for many people completely inhibiting alcohol is not an option. Health magazine says that if you can enjoy a drink and not gain weight, so recommend the following techniques to achieve it:
1. Keep alcohol at bay. That is, put a cap of one to two drinks maximum. This is the measure accepted as 'drink in moderation' (for women), without falling into the trap of abstaining from alcohol all week and taking everything together at the end of it. This is because the process of using calories will be much slower, which can contribute to the accumulation of body fat.
2. Eat something healthy. While the idea of many may be to stop eating to 'save' certain calories, in fact the most important thing is to choose the right food. Before drinking, you can consume a snack high in protein, fiber and healthy fats, which will help stabilize blood sugar levels without affecting the metabolism.
3. Choose well. Instead of choosing high-sugar cocktails that have a higher caloric load and can make you feel hungrier, it is better to drink something simple like wine or beer even if they have carbohydrates. It is also better to drink liqueurs such as vodka, gin or whiskey mixed with soda, or non-caloric beverages.
In short, the message is moderation. Thinking about adopting an 'All or nothing' mentality often does not lead us to the ends we want, or make us fall more easily into old behaviors. That is why having knowledge and applying it when making our drinking choices can make our weight loss an easier process.
Latin American Post | Clementine Ramos
Translated from " El alcohol afecta tus esfuerzos para bajar de peso"