drinking alcohol

Do you have a genuine desire to be trim and fit but can’t limit the amount of alcohol you drink?

Can you regularly enjoy your favorite drink and still be in great shape?

The simple answer is No. It cannot work. Becoming lean and drinking alcohol can never work together. You have no choice but to sacrifice one for the other. If you don’t do this, all your efforts of getting in shape will amount to nothing.

Moderate Drinking

This does not, however, mean that you have to absolutely stop drinking. One study shows that moderate alcohol intake could be beneficial for health but you must weigh the risks against the benefits. But, striking a balance between moderation and excessive drinking is hard. Very few people have the discipline to do that.

Every new year, you come up with several goals you intend to achieve and weight loss is usually high up on the list. A few months down the line, you forget everything about your goals and go back to the usual way of life.

Your waistline is definitely bigger and your fitness is not any better.  You then wonder why this is happening not realizing that you are the cause of this unfortunate situation.  Your frequent visits to your local pub combined with uncontrolled eating that goes with drinking will never allow you to get fit and lean.

Here are 6 reasons why it’s hard to be lean and trim while drinking regularly. 

Alcohol is metabolized differently

Normally, your body gets nutrients from calories in carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. These are digested and absorbed in the gastrointestinal system.

When you drink alcohol, it gets immediate attention from your digestive system. This is because your body views it as a toxin and therefore, needs no digestion. If you drink on an empty stomach, the alcohol quickly seeps through the stomach walls and can reach the liver and the brain within minutes.

This process is slower when you have food in your stomach. However, upon reaching the small intestines, alcohol takes the first priority again as it is absorbed as fast as possible into the bloodstream.

When your body is focused on processing alcohol, it is not able to process carbohydrates and fats efficiently. As a result, the excess unprocessed calories are converted into body fat and stored permanently on your body.

Studies show that your body’s ability to burn fat decreases by 73% for a few hours after a couple of drinks. And, this effect can last for up to four days. Therefore, if for example, you drink three times a week, you completely shut down the breakdown of fat and activate its storage instead.

It increases your appetite

Alcohol stimulates your appetite making you eat more and thus grow fatter. It works by lowering your inhibitions making you more likely to overeat especially greasy fried foods. The outcome is, of course, a thicker midsection.

It is therefore wise to ensure you are well fed before ordering for your drinks.

It is a diuretic

Drinking alcohol causes dehydration. To make it worse, most of the food that usually accompany it is salty making you thirstier and end up drinking even more as a result.

Along with water loss, you also lose vital minerals including potassium, magnesium, calcium, and zinc which are vital for the maintenance of fluids and the breaking down of fats in your body. To avoid over-drinking and the accompanying dehydration, sip on a glass of water in between your drinks.

 Affects your body negatively

Alcohol induces sleep in the short term though the sleep is never deep and relaxing. Therefore, you wake up feeling tired and groggy and end up overeating again. It also increases the amount of acid produced by your stomach causing inflammation of its lining.

Over time, continuous consumption of alcohol can lead to serious health problems such as stomach ulcers, liver disease, and heart problems.

Carbohydrates or calories, what should you watch

Alcohol has seven calories per gram and offers you no nutritional value at all. It only adds empty calories to your diet. You might think drinking liquor is more diet friendly because it has no carbohydrates, unlike wine and beer. Though this is true, most people mix liquor with other drinks such as fruit juice and soda increasing their calorie content significantly.

Sweet drinks, whether wine or liquor, have more sugar and therefore more calories. In that respect, dry wines have fewer calories than sweet wine. Be sure to pick healthier alternatives at all times.

Increases estrogen levels

Estrogen is a fat storing hormone that counters the effects of testosterone. If you are a man who drinks regularly, and your gut is growing bigger by the day, you are experiencing first-hand effects of estrogen. More of this hormone means less testosterone, less motivation to exercise and lack the energy to train hard.

Every time you take a glass of alcohol, you are in effect laying down roadblocks on your road to successful weight loss.

Take Away

Alcohol and weight loss are clearly incompatible. Drinking booze adds extra calories to your diet, encourages you to eat more food and alters your normal digestion process.

If you are watching your weight, make smart choices as to the type, quantity and the frequency of your drinking.

Have you managed to maintain a lean physique while training and drinking at the same time? Share your thoughts in the comments below.