• Alcohol and weight loss


    It is common knowledge that an occasional drink can actually help to improve your overall health and well being. A single drink per day can reduce risk of high blood pressure but if you are exceeding one drink per day you are more than likely sabotaging your weight loss endeavours. In fact the more you consume the worse you continue to affect it.

    Alcohol is metabolised in your body very differently from other foods and beverages. The normal way you energise your body is to provide it with carbohydrates, proteins and fats all of which are slowly digested and absorbed within the gastrointestinal system. The problem is that this process changes in the presence of alcohol. As soon as you drink alcohol your body works flat out trying to get rid of it and everything else is pushed aside. This is due to the fact that your body views alcohol as a toxin and needs no digestion.

    When you consume alcohol on an empty stomach the molecules contained in the alcohol diffuse very quickly through the stomach wall and reaches the brain and liver in a matter of minutes. This process is slowed down when there is food in the stomach, but as soon as the food eaten reaches the small intestine the body ignores it and goes straight to work on ridding the alcohol toxins. This is where weight loss is affected because as soon as the alcohol reaches the liver for processing, the liver will give it 100% priority to remove it from your body.

    The liver will place all of its focus on the alcohol. If you drink very slowly, all of the alcohol is collected by the liver and processed almost immediately. This avoids all of your bodies other systems. If however you drink more rapidly or for an extended period of time, the liver simply cannot keep up with processing the toxins and the alcohol continues to circulate through the bloodstream until the liver can process it. That is why consuming large quantities of alcohol or drinking too quickly affect the brain centre associated with speech, vision, reasoning and judgement.

    So it a nutshell you put on weight because of this very simple reason -

    When your body is focussed or ridding your body of toxins by processing the alcohol (which is it’s number 1 priority keep in mind), It is not able to properly break down foods containing carbohydrates and fats. Therefore, these calories are instead converted into body fat and carried away for permanent storage on your body.

    Some other reasons alcohol sabotages your weight loss plans are -

    1. Every single gram of alcohol contains 7.1 grams of carbohydrates. So by simply downing a few drinks you are greatly increasing your calorie intake. These are “empty calories” that contain no nutritional value what so ever and only add to your waistline.
    2. Alcohol affects your judgement and increases your appetite and this in turn leads to people eating junk food after or during a drinking session.
    3. Alcohol dehydrates the body which in turn removes essential minerals such as zinc, magnesium, potassium and calcium, all of which are required for a normal and healthy body function.

    So to recap – alcohol can easily become one your greatest enemies when it comes to weight loss. It adds calories to your diet, encourages eating and alters the normal digestive procedure. Apart from the extra calories in the alcohol, the changes in the way your body will process any food consumed will turn the greater majority of it into unwanted body fat.

    Be smart and keep an eye on your alcohol intake if you are wanting to see those kilos coming off.