Unwinding with a glass of wine at the end of a particularly long day is fine, but will it still be so if you are currently trying to lose weight? One thing that scares people trying to lose weight is alcohol and how it will make you fat. However, that is a myth.
Your favorite beer or wine do not have that many calories that can expand your waistline compared to the calories or sugars in the mixers used in making cocktails. Those are the components that really push the weight meter up, not to mention the bar chow you gobble with your drink.
Take for example a 4-ounce serving of margarita or daiquiri, which can have over 35 grams of sugar equivalent to 7 teaspoons. Furthermore, there’s also the fact that those drink mixers contain more than twice the calories compared to a shot of tequila or rum in the drink and that’s just for half a mixer.
This is further compounded by the bad kinds of calories in mixers, which are from simple and refined sugars. Alcohol slows down the metabolism since it has to be broken down first before all the other calories. This is the likely reason why the myth about alcohol making one fat came to be.
It is not the alcohol but the combination of the alcohol and sugars in mixers that result in weight gain. While alcohol does contain calories, it is still safe to assume you won’t gain a lot of weight simply by downing straight shots of vodka. The real damage is caused by how the body considers alcohol as a metabolic priority over fats and carbohydrates, leaving what it is you ate before stored as fat.
Since alcohol gets to be broken down first, fat gets burned more slowly instead.
Long-term studies that have been published in the International Journal of Obesity and the Archives of Internal Medicine show that older and middle-aged women who were moderate drinkers, consuming one drink a day, gained less weight with time compared to those who never drank at all.
The studies are variable and complex but a co-author of one of those studies says moderate drinkers seemed to be more likely to offset their occasional drinking by imbibing fewer calories from other sources. They also showed a greater tendency to be a bit more physically active. Apparently, it helped that they didn’t over-indulge in fattening foods.
Now can you drink alcohol if you want to lose weight? Of course, you can, but like any other thing you love, do it in moderation. Know the proper serving size, and a proper glass of wine is sure not filled to the brim but only 5 ounces full. Minimize the calories from mixers as the simpler the drink is, the better.
Use real lime juice in margaritas. Mix using diet tonic water or naturally calorie-free club soda in place of regular tonic water or other carbonated, high-calorie drinks.
Indulge in drinks only on splurge meals if you are actively pursuing a weight loss program. This helps lessen the effects of slow fat burning in general. To help counteract that effect, nibble on foods that provide long-lasting energy. Prior to going out, have a snack or dinner with fiber, protein, and healthy fat. This helps keep your blood sugar levels stable without decreasing your metabolism rate.