Posted January 21st, 2017 under Nutrition

4 Ways how alcohol can affect fat loss

Tags: fatloss, revolutionize, alchohol

4 Ways how alcohol can affect fat loss

4 Ways how alcohol can affect fat loss:

First to get an understanding of why alcohol affects us the way it does it is important to know how it is processed in the body. After your first alcoholic drink of the night about 25% of the alcohol is absorbed straight from the stomach into the bloodstream and the remainder is taken in through the small bowel. Alcohol is absorbed fairly quickly and its absorption can be quickened depending on factors such as: the amount of food in the stomach (a fuller stomach slows the rate of absorption), whether the drink is carbonated (carbonated drinks are absorbed more quickly such as champagne), and alcohol concentration of the drink (higher concentrations are also absorbed quicker. Around 98% of alcohol that is consumed is processed in the liver and the other percentage is excreted through urine, breathing or sweat. When the liver processes alcohol it does so by breaking it down by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH, which is contained in liver cells).  ADH metabolizes the alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is then broken down into acetate, which is further metabolized to eventually exit the body as waste products, carbon dioxide and water. Another way but less common way alcohol can be processed is called microsomal ethanol-oxidizing system and is used when the blood has very high levels of alcohol.

Here are 4 main reasons alcohol can put a halt on your fat loss goals:

  1. Alcohol supplies almost twice as many calorie as proteins and carbohydrates
    1. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, which is almost double of protein and carbohydrates which have 4 calories per gram. It only has 2 more calories per gram than fat which has 9 calories per gram. Calories from alcohol lack nutrient benefits for a healthy metabolism and therefore alcohol is a non-essential macronutrient.
  2. Alcohol can damage the stomach, kidneys, and liver
    1. Alcohol is a by-product of yeast digestion and can have an irritating effect on the lining of the stomach and gradually weaken the kidneys and liver…yes it would take a lot of alcohol to get to extreme levels but it can happen. Weakening of the stomach will lessen the efficiency at which food is digested, which ultimately will interfere with a healthy metabolism and fat loss. The liver processes toxins and breaks down fats for fuel and is crucial for a healthy body composition. Alcohol is most destructive during the liver’s detoxification process.
  3. Alcohol lowers testosterone
    1. Testosterone has a powerful fat loss effect and it is reduced when alcohol is consumed. Also testosterone as an anabolic hormone contributes to gains in lean muscle mass. By interfering with testosterone production, alcohol indirectly causes the body’s metabolic rate to lower and halts its full potential as a fat burner.
  4. Alcohol increases appetite
    1. Alcohol tends to have an appetite stimulating effect and since is provides little to none nutrition it can leave a craving for other foods. When alcohol is involved usually food is involved and not always the best options are made. Also if you have alcoholic drink before a meal you are more likely to eat more than you normally would without the alcohol.

Alcohol isn’t nutritious for you so try to stay away from it when you can and when you do have a drink or two make sure you track those drinks, check out my blog on how to calculate alcohol. This is not supposed to scare you away from having a drink once in a while but I just want to educate on how alcohol affects your body and if you are drinking often enough it could be why you are not seeing fat-loss progress.

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Written By:  Rebecca Desousa BS Nutritional Sciences


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