October 9, 2012
Alcohol and Weight Loss

No gripes, no excuses and no complaints. When all my patients come into the 20/20 Lifestyles program to lose weight, I make a point to say there is absolutely no alcohol during active weight loss. A couple of weight lifter buddies of mine in college knew that beer was a means of excess calories that were just going to give their abs that flat affect. So they had decided to cut out all food for dinner and simply replace those calories with beer to continue to lose weight and get defined. All I can say is I would love to see their livers now. Guess what happened! Even though they cut out their night calories to make room for the beer calories, they could not budge the scale and their body fat percentage was actually increasing. What was going on here?

Basically it comes down to how the beer belly happens. Because of how alcohol is metabolized, shifts occur in the body's ability to generate energy. When consuming alcohol, the cells make fatty acids and glycerol, the building blocks of fat. A metabolic shift to producing fat lends the body to store fat in most tissues, causing that beer belly. When it is all said and done, the liver processes most alcohol. General alcohol consumption leads to synthesis of fat in the liver. The kidneys and lining of the heart can also accumulate lipids that interfere with their functioning.

So have you changed your eating habits and are still gaining weight? Well my question to you is how much alcohol are you are consuming? It may come down to the simple calorie breakdown of alcohol. Alcohol is seven calories per gram which makes it closer to fat at nine calories per gram compared to carbohydrates and proteins, which are four calories per gram. Just 12 ounces of beer, 1 ounces of hard liquor and 5 ounces of wine is 100 calories. A hundred extra calories a day beyond what you expend can lead to 10 pounds of weight gain a year. If you changed your eating habits, but are still topping off your day with a nice glass of wine, there is that extra 100 calories daily.

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