Afraid you won’t be able to have that glass of red while trying to lose weight? Fear not. There’s a place for all the things when taking a balanced approach to weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle. However, there are def better options than others. We’re cracking the code on alcohol and weight loss and what you need to know about how to enjoy that glass of pinot without sabotaging your health goals.
What You Need to Know About Alcohol And Weight Loss
Like most things in life, alcohol falls into that category of everything in moderation. Here at FitOn, we believe in balance. We’re here to tell you what you need to know about alcohol and weight loss, and how to make the best possible choice for you.
The first thing you need to know is that there are definitely some drawbacks when it comes to alcohol and weight loss.
Here are some things you need to keep in mind when pouring that glass of wine.
- Alcohol Equals Empty Calories
When we eat, we want to optimize our calories, fueling our body with nutrient-dense foods that make us feel our best, and help us reach our goals. A big issue with alcohol is that it tends to contain “empty calories,” meaning that these calories aren’t doing anything good for us. And, since there are about 125 calories in one 5-ounce glass of red wine, we have to be mindful of how many glasses we’re consuming. More than one glass can really start to rack up those empty cals.
- The “Beer Gut” is a Real Thing
You know the saying “beer gut?” Well, as it turns out, it’s not just beer that can lead to excess belly fat. Alcohol, in general, can lead to belly fat due to the fact that alcohol happens to be high in sugar and cals. Enjoying too many glasses of wine on the reg can certainly cause us to start to accumulate more belly fat than we would like.
- Alcohol May Mess With Our Hormone Balance
Yep, it’s true. Alcohol may mess with our hormones. Alcohol has been known to affect our levels of testosterone, which plays a very important role in metabolism and how our body burns fat. With any sort of hormone imbalance, we run the risk of imbalances elsewhere, and low levels of testosterone may lead to high body mass, high blood sugar, and even high blood pressure.
And, let’s not forget about the fact that while many of us may reach for a glass of wine at the end of a long day, it may actually make us feel worse. Why? Because alcohol is a depressant and can drain the adrenal glands, making us feel more down in the dumps and totally drained.
The bottom line? Drinking alcohol regularly is never a good idea, and may negatively affect our hormone balance
- Too Much Wine May Lead to Poor Food Choices
We’ve all been there, right? That second glass of wine has suddenly caused all the cheese cravings. This is because drinking alcohol lowers our inhibitions, and this includes food. We have to really be careful with this when trying to lose weight.
So, Can You Drink While Trying to Lose Weight?
With all that being said, alcohol and weight loss don’t really mix, but that doesn’t mean you have to avoid it 100% of the time!
It’s all about balance, and we’re going to share some hacks on how to make the best choices when it comes to avoiding the drinks with tons of added sugar and carbs.
If You’re Going to Drink, Drink This
Not all alcohol is created equal—there’s a big difference between drinking that sugar-loaded margarita and sipping on the occasional glass of wine.
If you’re headed out with the girls and want to enjoy an adult bevvy, stick to options without added sugar, and try to enjoy just one glass.
Here are some tips to stick to lower carb and low sugar alcohol options:
- Choose a dry white or red wine when possible.
- Steer clear of sangria as it’s often loaded with added sugar.
- Looking for a cocktail? Use club soda as a mixer.
- Keep yourself hydrated, especially when drinking. Always follow up that glass of wine with a glass of water!
- If you’re going to drink, try to enjoy that glass of wine at least four hours before bed. Evening nightcaps have been shown to negatively affect sleep and with poor sleep comes an increased chance of food cravings, poor food choices, and weight gain. So, try to space that adult bevvy as far from bedtime as possible by enjoying it earlier on in the evening.
The Bottom Line
While alcohol and weight loss don’t really mix, it doesn’t mean you can’t ever have a glass of wine while relaxing and watching your fav reality show or eating out with the girls.
And, even just limiting your intake or only enjoying it occasionally can have benefits beyond just supporting weight loss.
Limiting the booze can also do you some good when it comes to getting a better night’s sleep and improving digestion.
So, keep that wine intake limited. You’ll thank yourself when you don’t have to worry about all the empty cals that come with sipping on the booze.