SHOULD I QUIT ALCOHOL IN ORDER TO ELIMINATE FAT FROM MY BODY?
So many people want to know how alcohol affects the rate of weight loss in the human body. Well, the relationship between alcohol consumption and weight loss is complex, so there’s no categorical answer to that question. However, the closest answer to the question is this: You don’t have to quit alcohol to get rid of fat, but if you do, it might be of great help.
The Relationship Between Alcohol And Body Weight
Firstly, it’s important to note that the relationship between your body and alcohol is quite complicated, and this can be attributed to the body’s metabolism. Over the years, a lot of research has been carried out on this alcohol-body relationship and the results have been amazing. Some of the most recent studies – both observational and in controlled settings – reveal that people who sparingly or moderately consume alcohol are less likely to gain weight. (Moderate drinking refers to 1 drink per day for women, and a maximum of 2 drinks per day for men.)
Partially, the finding above may be attributed to the special effect of alcohol on the body. Your body does not have the capacity to retain alcohol and the 7 calories per gram it contains (Yes, alcohol contains calories – more per gram than proteins and carbohydrates, but less than fats). Therefore, to keep the whole system working optimally, your body speedily metabolizes alcohol through the help of the liver. During this metabolism, a great amount of calories from alcohol is burned up through a process known as the ‘thermic effect of food' (TEF). Alcohol has a thermic effect of 22.5%, and this puts it on the same level with protein (TEF = 25-30%) and well ahead of carbs (TEF = 6-8%) and fat (2-3%).
All these facts and figures show that alcohol on its own won’t really have any impact on the amount of weight you gain or lose.
How Alcohol Can Affect Your Body Weight
Even though your body does not retain alcohol's calories, you (and your fat cells) don’t really get off completely free. As your body processes the calories from the alcohol you consumed, they can immediately be replaced by the other calories you're not burning – like the bacon double cheeseburger you took while walking home from the bar. With this, the calories from the beer gets stuck in the metabolic line and the burger's calories is stored as fat in your belly or other parts of your body.
So many research studies have shown that the alcohol itself is not the problem, but what you consume alongside it – like nachos or two dozen wings. A review written in Physiology and Behaviour reveals that drinking before or during a meal increases the appetite of an individual, leading to more food intake.
Additionally, you should know that even though your body does not retain alcohol, it can (and does) retain the calories combined with it.
What’s The Solution?
- Regulate The Amount Of Alcohol You Consume
You need to carefully examine how much alcohol you’re consuming at the moment. You may surprisingly discover that the alcohol you take every now and then, is much more than you think. Don’t forget that the study we cited earlier describes moderate drinking as ‘one drink a day for women and two for men.’ Anything more than that is excessive drinking and could be dangerous to the body. Reducing your alcohol consumption will help you lose excessive body weight.
- Mind What You Take Alongside Your Drinks
What you take alongside your drink is really important. Taking a couple of drinks with friends may not really matter much, but if it always comes with lots of late night pizzas, then the caloric load may be too much for you.