Friday, April 8, 2011
Alcohol Prevents Weight Loss
Alcohol and weight loss are enemies, but an occasional drink can have a place in a healthy lifestyle. In fact, many experts note the health benefits of consuming a single drink per day, including a reduced risk for high blood pressure. If, however, you are exceeding one drink daily, you might be sabotaging your weight loss plans.
According to Dr. Robert Atkins, the human body burns alcohol before any other fuel source. That means your body will burn off all the alcohol you've consumed before turning to its store of carbohydrates and fat. This can delay your weight-loss efforts, especially if you drink frequently.
If you can't bring yourself to abstain from alcohol, try sipping wine instead of beer or cocktails. Dr. Atkins considered the most diet-friendly drinks to be wine, hard liquor, or either of the above mixed with seltzer, tonic water, or diet soda.
Pure alcohol contains about 7 calories per gram, which makes it nearly twice as fattening as carbohydrates or protein (both contain about 4 calories per gram) and only just under the caloric value for fat (9 calories per gram). This means that if you want to lose weight and reduce excess body fat, alcohol is not a good choice.
Also, alcohol can actually stimulate your appetite, loosen your inhibitions and undermine your willpower, causing you to eat more than you planned. A 2002 Danish study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders found that men who were told they could eat as much as they wanted ate more when meals were served with beer or wine rather than soft drinks.