Losing Weight - Coming to Terms With Not Drinking Alcohol

If you’ve decided to lose weight there are some decisions to make. One of the first things to do before you start is to do an audit of all your bad habits. You don’t have any? I don’t think so!

The purpose of an audit is to highlight what changes you need to make in order to ensure your weight loss efforts as effective as possible. You’ll find it a very worthwhile thing to do - providing you don’t cheat, of course!

Somewhere on the list should be that amount of alcohol you consume each day. Most of us don’t think we drink very much. The reality is usually very different. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) is 3-4 units of alcohol for men and 2-3 for women. It’s easy to find the number of units in a drink, but as an example, there are between 2 -2 units in a double whisky, 2 units in a can of beer, 2 -2 units in a large glass of wine.

So what does your score look like? Why does the amount of alcohol you drink matter when you’re trying to lose weight? Is alcohol fattening? From a health point of view, it’s important that you keep within the guidelines. From a weight loss point of view, alcohol isn’t fattening, but it will prevent you from losing weight - and there is a difference.

As alcohol doesn’t contain any carbohydrate, the body can’t store the calories provided by the alcohol you drink. It doesn’t know what to do with them. What it does is to turn this ‘energy’ into ‘acetate’. Your body then uses this ‘acetate energy’ in preference to the energy you have stored in your body as fat.

If you go out for a meal and you had two glasses of spirits and three glasses of wine, your calorie intake from alcohol could be anywhere between 700 and 1000 calories. A three course meal would probably be 1500 calories. Within a couple of hours you will probably have exceeded your daily calorie allowance - aided and abetted by alcohol. For a significant period after your meal, all your energy needs will be supplied by ‘acetate energy’. All the calories from your meal will be safely stored away. This is a story of weight gain, not weight loss!

It is so easy to pile on the calories, isn’t it? You can see what effect alcohol has. If you’re serious about losing weight, drinking alcohol is something you should probably do without - the sacrifice will be worth it!


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