Drinking alcohol can be fun because it gives us a reason to break our monotonous lives and hang out with friends and loved ones. However, too much of anything is bad, and there are times when drinking alcohol can affect our weight-related goals.
Losing weight is something that many people wish they could do. A study in the United States inferred that nine in ten adults have attempted to lose weight at least once in their lifetimes. But alcohol and weight loss don’t always go hand-in-hand.
The term “beer belly” comes from the look long-term beer drinkers tend to have. They develop what is called “central obesity,” which can influence their endocrine and cardiac systems.
There is a clear link between alcohol and weight loss, which we will explore in this article.
- How Many Calories Are in Alcohol
The number of calories in alcohol is something you should know so you can include your intake in your diet plans.
It is possible to cut back on unhealthy foods and simply replace them with alcohol, which will still be harmful. In this situation, you won’t lose weight and will eventually relapse if you don’t reach your weight goals.
So, how many calories are in alcoholic drinks?
- There are 150 calories in 12 oz of beer
- Wine has 120 calories in 5 oz
- Liquor has 100 calories in 1.5 oz.
- Four cans of beer will provide a quarter of the recommended daily calorie intake for many adults.
- Benefits of Cutting Back on Alcohol for Weight Loss
There are many benefits to cutting back on alcohol for weight loss, such as better body metabolism, better insulin regulation, more energy to exercise, fewer calories, and more balanced brain chemistry.
Let’s takes look into each of these effects and how alcohol relates to them:
- Better Body Metabolism
Alcohol is a substance that has to be broken down by the body because it is toxic in its raw form. The thing is: alcohol is difficult to break down, so the body uses most of its energy to break it down.
When the body processes alcohol, it uses more energy than it does when digesting other ingested substances, such as food. The lower metabolism of food makes the body store these foods as fat.
Increasing fat deposits will increase the size and weight of the drinker, which is why people who drink struggle with their weight.
So, for those looking to lose weight, alcohol intake should be reduced as your body metabolism will be much better.
- Better Insulin Regulation
A little alcohol might not influence your breakdown and utilization of sugars, but when it is in excess things don’t go so well.
Insulin is a protein in our bodies that encourages the utilization of sugar by our cells. As a result, glucose flows less freely through our bloodstream. The readiness of these cells to obey the instructions of insulin and absorb glucose is called insulin sensitivity.
Excessive alcohol consumption causes lower insulin sensitivity, leading to increased glucose levels and weight gain will follow.
It has been noticed that moderate amounts of alcohol don’t cause this problem and might even reduce the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. So, mindful, moderate drinking is necessary.
- More Energy to Exercise
Weight loss will require some form of exercise, and exercise is ineffective when energy levels are low.
Alcohol reduces energy levels because it influences the liver’s priorities when ingested. The liver focuses on breaking down alcohol and loses its grip on your blood glucose balance. The loss of this grip reduces the energy available for bodily function. Many people experience a sort of weakness after too many drinks.
There is also the possibility that a hangover will follow heavy drinking, and one symptom of a hangover is low energy.
Exercise will be difficult if your energy levels are low, and you might not be able to reach your daily goals. If alcohol consumption becomes a habit, you might abandon exercise because you can’t find the strength to hit the gym, jog, or ride a bicycle.
- Fewer Calories
The best way to lose weight is to monitor your calorie intake, which includes alcohol.
Alcohol, when broken down, adds calories, and these calories don’t have nutrients attached to them, so they are even unhealthier than the calories found in most foods.
If you drink up to 5 cans of beer, you would’ve reached half the recommended calorie intake for adults.
Reducing your alcohol intake will reduce the number of calories you are taking in and help you meet your weight goals.
- More Balanced Brain Chemistry
For most adults, losing weight isn’t a passive process that can be achieved without thinking. Most people will have to be intentional about everything they do to meet their weight goals.
It will require planning, discipline, setting limits, lifestyle changes, and motivation, even when you don’t feel like reaching your goals.
Alcohol is a chemical that alters your brain chemistry and reduces your inhibitions, which are limits you have set for yourself. For instance, after a couple of drinks, you might be okay with a burger even though you know that the burger will push you past your calorie limit.
Alcohol will also increase your cravings for foods you miss. If you have been on a strict diet that includes fasts, you might suddenly crave pizza because it has been so long.
Excessive alcohol makes your brain susceptible to responding to any stimuli it encounters.
You will be more in control of your decisions if you reduce the amount of alcohol you are taking. It will help you reach your weight goals.
- We Are Here for You
Losing weight will be one of the most challenging journeys you will be on in your life. Losing weight and reducing your alcohol intake will be even more difficult, but you can do it. Reducing alcohol intake will improve your metabolism, make you more disciplined, and reduce your calorie intake.
How can you cut back on alcohol? You must accept help when you see it, and luckily for you there are many support systems for that. For instance, Sunnyside can help you cut back on alcohol so you can get that summer body you have dreamed of for ages.
They have an app for weight loss that factors in your alcohol consumption and helps you find balance. You can be mindful of your drinking and lose weight in one fell swoop.