One of the first things a trainer or health coach might tell you if you’re trying to get in shape is limit your alcohol consumption. It’s not only the average 150-300 of empty calories per drink but the affects of alcohol on your metabolism. When consuming alcohol, your body stops utilizing carbs, fats and proteins and uses alcohol as its primary source or fuel. Therefore, storing any calories you consume as fat.
When drinking alcohol, you are consuming “empty calories”. The body stops burning carbs, fats and proteins and uses acetate (which is what alcohol is broken down into) as its primary fuel source. So, carbs, fats and proteins get stored as visceral fat around the belly. This is also very dangerous for your vital organs!
Alcohol consumption can seriously hinder your results when trying to decrease body fat or build muscle since cortisol levels spike which causes your body to store fat and stop protein synthesis.
Consuming alcohol decreases testosterone levels in the body. Testosterone contributes to burning fat and building muscle. Need I say more?
Alcohol consumption increases your appetite! Over eating, especially when coupled with drinking, causes you to store fat.
Drinking usually leads to irresponsible decisions. This often means eating junk food at the end of the night before bed. We’ve all done the McDonald’s run after the bar, it’s so not worth it! Have a yummy, clean snack waiting for you at home at the end of a night out.
Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram! In comparison, carbs and proteins have 4 calories per gram. That’s almost double! 1 ounce of vodka or rum has approximately 100 calories.. That’s not including the 100+ calories for pop or juice or other mixes.
So, do the math! Don’t get me started on beer and wine. A night out “binge” drinking may not only mess with your hormones but all those extra calories only doubles your trouble!
High alcohol consumption can lead to insulin resistance – also known as pre diabetes!
All that being said, your metabolism slows down significantly when consuming alcohol, especially in larger quantities. As I’m sure you have already heard, excessive alcohol consumption has many other negative affects on the body and can lead to issues with the brain, liver and heart.
Needless to say, limit your alcohol consumption! Especially if you’re trying to lose weight or decrease your body fat percentage.
Remember the golden rule, everything in moderation! If you limit yourself to a maximum of 1-2 drinks per week or on occasion, your body will thank you and you will reap the benefits of your training and proper nutrition so much more!