Five reasons to avoid alcohol if you want to stay slim.
Alcohol contains almost as many calories as fat
Most alcoholic drinks contain almost double the amount of calories contained in sugar and almost the same amount as in oil and lard. Simply put: drinking a few glasses of semi-sweet wine, beer or spirits combined with sugar-laden mixers is like eating blocks of butter by the spoonful. Remember too that alcohol contains empty calories and no vitamins, minerals, fibre or protein – it only supplies calories, that’s it!
Alcohol blocks the body from burning fat
Alcohol slows the body’s ability to burn fat. It encourages fat build-up and storage as it’s converted by the liver into something called acetate, which your body uses to make energy and fat.
Alcohol boosts cortisol, a fat-making hormone
Even the occasional night on the town with a few drinks has been found to increase the body’s release of cortisol, the hormone that breaks down muscle and retains fat. Since muscle requires more energy to work than fat, a loss of muscle can result in a sluggish metabolism.
Alcohol stimulates your appetite for 24 hours after drinking
Ever wondered why a glass of wine before dinner or a cider at a braai makes you feel ravenous? Alcohol is a powerful appetiser. The more you drink, the more you’ll want to eat. One major reason for this is that alcohol causes the brain to release dopamine – the pleasure and addiction hormone. More alcohol stimulates more dopamine release, resulting in a relaxed mood and desire to eat and drink even more. So you’re hit with a double whammy, firstly the excess calories from all the alcohol, and secondly, a raging appetite that doesn’t settle for 24 hours.
If you want to lose weight, then it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether or limit yourself to half a glass of wine every few nights. Avoid binge drinking, and if you do drink, choose lighter versions of your favourite drink such as spritzers or light beers. It’s also important to sip on water between drinks.