Alcohol increases the % of fat on your body.
I can categorically report that clients have put in 5 exceptionally healthy-eating and exercise days in a week but their superb efforts are wiped out by 1 night of drinking alcohol. A Saturday inevitably continues into the Sunday when a hangover demands stodgy carbohydrate food. By week 3 of this repetitive behaviour, motivation is gone.
If you want to lose weight, keep the weight off long-term and you regularly drink alcohol at weekends, then it is important to address the elephant in the room and develop a strategy around alcohol.
It does not mean you have to give up alcohol completely. If alcohol is not an addiction and is not the cause of work or home problems, then it can be a positive addition to our lives. It relaxes us quickly and it enhances our enjoyment of happy events. Used correctly, alcohol is a wonderful substance. However it is addictive and when the going gets tough we can grow to rely on it too often and drink too much.
It is very high in calories, has zero nutrients and actually burns up lots of protective nutrients while the alcohol is being cleared out of the body and the alcohol sugars are stored in the body.
On my Low-Carb programme, spirits such as vodka, whiskey and gin have zero carb and you can enjoy them with sparking water, lime or lemon juice, herbs or on the rocks. However all alcohol stimulates appetite so moderation is key to staying on track with food intake.
If you find it difficult avoiding or reducing certain alcohols, particularly wine for women aged 30 + and beer for men of the same age category, following are some non-alcohol suggestions
- Non-alcohol 0% beers are now widely available and popular.
- Non-alcohol gins are available
- Vit-Hit is water blended with water-soluble B vitamins, juice & herb infusions. They have no added sugar, are very low in calories and make a healthier choice of refreshment over pop.
- Sparking water infused with lime and lemon juice and fresh mint or ginger
- Coconut water rich in electrolytes – especially potassium. Lovely mixed with Whey protein concentrate after a strength gym session.
- Mocktail – A good barman welcomes the challenge of making a mocktail especially when you tell him you want no added sugar other than natural fruit (berries) and a little juice (apple or cranberry), soda water and herb (mint) to add flavour. This is not suited to the Low-Carb programme.
- Herbal teas such as liquorice, peppermint, lemon & ginger are satisfying before bedtime. Adding lime or lemon juice to a herbal tea drink enhances the flavours
- San Pellegrino sparkling water on ice with lemon from a wine glass
- In the Winter months I find a hot whiskey without the whiskey – Boiling water, a slice of lemon studded with cloves and a small piece of honey or ¼ of a teaspoon of brown sugar.
Binge drinking is a challenge to the liver and to the brain. The liver cannot clear the alcohol fast enough – Blood Alcohol Concentrations (BAC) levels rise – this is when damage occurs. Look up the definition of a binge to see if you are a binge drinker.
If you want to learn more about alcohol and weight loss continue to Part 2.
If you would like help losing weight and changing your current lifestyle, contact me