Alcohol and Fat Loss


Drinking alcohol on the weekend may not seem like a huge deal, but for those trying to lose weight, you may want to rethink your alcohol intake.  A study released by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition sheds some light on the effects alcohol plays on metabolism and ultimately, fat loss.  A sample of men were given just two drinks of vodka and sugar-free lemonade.  Each drink contained under 90 calories and were spread apart by 30 minutes.  Fat burning was measured before and after each drink.

Studies showed that a persons fat burning potential was significantly slowed after ingesting alcohol.  The ability to burn fat decreased by a whopping 73% in the test subjects after just two drinks.  It appeared that 5% of the alcohol itself was converted to fat, with the remaining being converted to a chemical called acetate.  It seems this acetate is the reason behind the significant slowing of fat burning potential.

The reason for this being, is that alcohol takes over as the primary fuel of the body when ingested.  The body stops burning fat, and even carbohydrates when alcohol is present.  This continues until all alcohol stores have been depleted from the body. 

As all of us are aware, alcohol can wreak havoc on a weight loss plan by causing those midnight munchies.  How often have we opted for that double bacon cheeseburger on the way home from the bar?  During our regular, sober lives, we may never even think twice, but when we come home a little tipsy, and we’re hungry, we very well may stop.  Researchers also learned that people who consume beer or wine with a meal will consume more total calories than those who are not drinking alcohol.  The study seemed to indicate that alcohol greatly increases appetite.

Now, putting these two bits of knowledge together, what have we learned? 

  • A person consumes a couple of glasses of wine or beer with dinner.
  • That person would typically eat more calories than if they had not consumed alcohol.
  • Alcohol becomes the main source of fuel for the body, thereby limiting fat burning potential.
  • The calories consumed from the meal are stored as fat because of the limited fat burning potential alcohol induces.
  • Weight loss stops, weight gain occurs.

Simple as that.  If you are serious about wanting to lose weight, you really need to refrain from drinking alcohol as often as possible.  Once or twice a month isn’t going to blow you up, but if you spend Thursday-Saturday nights out drinking, you may run into some serious issues with your weight loss plan.

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4 thoughts on “Alcohol and Fat Loss”

  1. What a crazy picture. I drink a glass of wine about two hours AFTER dinner every night. It’s my only guilty pleasure. You’d have to pry it from my… oh, you know 🙂

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