Alcohol CAN make you put on weight, but not for the reasons you are probably thinking. For the average person, it usually has more to do with when you drink it and what you eat while drinking, that can increase your body fat.
There are 3 factors, that means alcohol can make you put on weight (via increased fat storage)…
1. Alcohol in all it’s forms are calories dense.
1g of alcohol contains 7 cals/29Kj (1g of Fat contains 9 cals/38Kj). Look at the table below to understand what a standard drink is and how many cals you could be consuming…
Exercise Needed to Burn
|100ml wine (13% alcohol)||1||315kJ / 75 calories||1km jog|
|375mL stubbie or can of full-strength beer (4.8% alcohol)||1.4||570 kJ/136 calories||2km jog|
|375mL stubbie or can of light beer (2.7% alcohol)||.08||395kJ/94 calories||1.5km jog|
|30mL nip of spirits||1||275kJ/66 calories||1km jog|
|330mL read-to-drink premixes (5% alcohol)e.g. Vodka Cruisers||1.2||740kJ/177 calories||2.5km jog|
2. Your body will burn the calories in alcohol over anything else.
This means that your body will use up the calories you consume from alcohol first, since it has no way of storing these calories. The body therefore more likely to store the calories you consume from foods you eat while you have alcohol in your system.
3. Your self control is lowered when consuming alcohol.
When you are under the influence of alcohol, it is a whole lot easier to say yes to more food and yes to foods your may not otherwise eat – this is usually calorie rich foods.
So while alcohol can make you put on weight, I am not not going to say you can’t drink alcohol at all. I am going to give you tips to help avoid or lessen it’s impact on your fat loss efforts:
#1. Don’t skip meals to compensate
Skipping meals is often a strategy adopted by people, leading up to an evening out/party. They know they will be drinking and eating rich foods, so they cut calories via entire meals leading into it. This is NOT the way to go about it. This will likely lead to eating even more of the rich foods.
Instead opt for a balanced meal full of vegies, lean protein and healthy fats, and this will help you not eat much, if any, of the richer foods and slow down the absorption of the alcohol into your blood stream.
#2. Don’t go overboard
Set your self a limit with how much alcohol you will drink and stick to it.
#3. Go for the healthier drink options
Aim for clear spirits and soda water or a glass of wine. Cocktails will often have flavourings, milk, cream, syrups that easily launch the calories way up there.
#4. Keep yourself hydrated
Be sure to keep yourself hydrated leading into any time where you will be drinking. This will help you NOT to use alcohol as a thirst quencher and likely consume more than you need/should be. While you are drinking alcohol, opt for alternating alcohol and mineral water with a slice of lemon/lime.
#5. Don’t skip your workouts
Following a night of drinking, you may not feel like working out. This will compound the effect of the previous night. Go into your evening knowing you have a workout booked in and it will help you no only keep your workout routine going, it will also stop your from going overboard!