Who doesn't like a good glass of wine? 🍷
When I start working with a client, I am often asked this question: "Can I still drink?"
Alcohol is a natural part of our lives, but it is not your best friend while on a weight-loss journey.
Red wine may help support cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart attacks. It helps prevent colds and might even help prevent Alzheimer's according to some studies.White wine has been shown to help slow down aging, is anti-bacterial, and might even help boost lung health.
However, drinking large amounts of alcohol harms the liver, increases blood pressure, increases the risk for liver cancer, throat cancer, colon cancer, and causes weight gain
Why does it happen?
1) Here’s the thing: when you drink alcohol, your body uses it as a "priority fuel" until all of it has been removed from your body. It's like a poison your body wants to expel as quickly as possible. So when you consume adult beverages, rather than metabolizing fat, your liver goes into full-on “get rid of the poison” mode. This means that when you have a drink, your fat-burning furnace is shut off for about 6-16 hours while your liver burns out the alcohol.
2) Alcoholic drinks are quite high in sugars and calories. For example, a shot of vodka has about 100 calories whereas a cocktail can have up to 500 calories. If you have several drinks when you go out, simply do the math…
3) After consuming alcohol , Leptin (the satiety hormone) drops drastically, thus increasing hunger levels. It will make it easier for you to fall off the wagon and make bad choices when it comes to food and even binging. You just end up opting for the fries and chocolate mousse instead of that yummy pistachio topped salmon you had your eyes on when you arrived at the party…
4) Alcohol may help you fall asleep faster because it acts as a sedative, but you can count on it disrupting your sleep later at night. You will miss out on the most important part of sleep called REM. This is where your short term memories are transformed into long-term memories. Wonder why after a night of over-drinking you can’t remember who drove you home or who the heck that person in your bed is? That’s why :) Lack of quality sleep will also cause changes in appetite and might lead to weight-gain over time.
If you’re not willing to give up your alcohol, having 1-2 drinks a couple times a week probably isn’t going to throw off your healthy living and weight loss goals. I’m not a huge fan of regular drinking while attempting to lose weight, but the truth is, after my first month of weight loss, I started enjoying a glass or two of red wine on the weekend and I still lost weight and reached my goal. (Full disclosure- I only drink if it is totally worth it!)
If you are going to drink while trying to lose weight, make sure to avoid any cocktails with calorie-laden mixers. A pina colada can send the scale skyrocketing. A good rule of thumb is if it has an umbrella in it, you won't look good in a bikini.
😉 Keep the alcohol on the rocks or mixed with soda water and a fresh lime or lemon wedge.