When I was a student, I partied a lot. I studied sports in Vienna, was in good shape, and consumed alcohol on weekends. Back then, I already felt the effects of drinking alcohol on my body. I did not care about it but the older I got, the more I wanted to know: How much alcohol can I consume once it starts affecting my metabolism negatively?
Over the years up till today, my personal feeling is, once older than 35 years you need more time to recover from only two glasses of beer consumption. My cousin discovered the same and decided to drink wine instead of beer. For me, not a long-term solution. I believe anyone of you has distinct experiences in this particular field.
Because I started my “Made Easy Diet” website, it is worthwhile to investigate the effects of alcohol on weight loss.
Alcohol and Weight Loss, is it possible to combine both and lose weight successfully? I will back all the provided info with scientific articles as good as I can.
Let’s see if a satisfying answer can be found 🙂
How Alcohol Consumption Affects Your Metabolism
Once your body absorbs alcohol, it becomes the primary energy source. Further, the fat burning is reduced as well as carbohydrates and protein burning.
Why is this?
Alcohol cannot be stored because it is toxic and thus the liver transforms it into acetate which is also poisonous, and your body tries to exude acetate as fast as possible. There is no scientific evidence that alcohol consumption leads to higher body fat storage.
Alcohol Calorie Calculation
Another essential fact considering alcohol consumption and weight loss is that you increase the calory intake. Distinct beverages contain different amounts of calories.
Most common beverages, in my eyes, are
- Beer regular: 153 calories
- 1 Glas Wine Red and White: 125-121 calories
- 1 Glas Gin, Rum, Vodka: 97 calories
If you want to know more about serving sizes and other alcoholic drinks you can check out this alcoholic calorie calculator for free.
Overall, the more alcohol you drink, the more calories you consume.
The second negative appearance is that you suppress fat, carbohydrates and protein burning.
Furthermore, unfortunately, alcohol can cause overeating according to a study, which examined the effects of ethanol on food intake of mice. Researchers proved that the food intake of mice increased significantly once they consume liquor. That does not automatically mean the effects on humans are equal, but this study could show that the Agrp neuron activity rises once you drink alcohol.
Since Agrp neurons evoke intense hunger, beverage intake causes more food intake. 🙁
Wow, so far the news, considering weight loss and alcohol, are not that great.
Many factors suggest avoiding alcohol at all. If you want to have my recommendation for healthy foods, check out this article.
How Your Body Decreases The Alcohol Level
Once the alcohol has entered your bloodstream around 20 milligrams per deciliter are burnt per hour. For a large beer, you will need two hours to metabolize the alcohol.
The blood concentration of alcohol can vary among distinct individuals. Factors that influence effects of alcohol in your blood are, body weight, age, medication, liver disease, and the relation of blood to the amount of water in your body.
Thus, not everybody experiences alcohol consumption the same way.
Can I Drink Alcohol? – Effects On Weight Loss
All we have learned so far tells us the following.
Once you consume alcohol, you need to burn more calories depending on the amount and brand of the beverage. Alcohol does not affect fat storage, at least according science.
Thus, one strategy could be that you eat less food through the day and then you can consume more alcohol.
Adverse to our interests after consuming alcohol, our hunger will increase, and we will have tough times eating less.
Most of the time and I am not talking about hangovers, after two glasses of beer or similar you get hungry. For me, it is nearly impossible to withstand eating an extra snack after consuming beverages. How is that for you? I would be curious what your experiences are in this case.
What works better for me is doing extra workouts when I want to have a drink or two. Because then our body will burn extra calories and I do not need to starve.
4 Tips How To Adjust Your Nutrition On Days You Drink Alcohol
The good thing is: after our research, we know that alcohol reduces fat burning. That makes it easier to make some adjustments if we want to consume liquor.
1) Reduce your overall fat intake because the body will store the fat if he cannot metabolize it.
2) Consume more proteins on these days that keeps your hunger at a low level.
3) Avoid eating carbohydrates because if they are not the number one energy source, the body stores them as glycogen in your liver and the muscles. Once the glycogen storage reaches a certain level, that is usually one pound a day, glycogen is metabolized to fat.
4) Do not mix alcohol with juices and avoid alcohol that contains high amounts of sugar.
Please keep in mind; I do not want to advise you to drink alcohol. It is far better to avoid it totally, but since we are all humans and there will be naturally social occasions where you would like to consume alcohol, this tips might be helpful.
Before I switch to my conclusion, I want to talk about an essential topic.
Effects On Health And Longevity
Today, I heard on the radio about the influence of beverages on our longevity. Researchers from Cambridge and Innsbruck discovered new optimal thresholds for alcoholic consumption. Overall, recommended risk limits for alcohol differ by country, but the mentioned study above is the newest one.
The research team investigated around 600.000 current drinkers without cardiovascular disease in 19 high-income countries. They have built eight predefined groups according to the amount of alcohol consumption. The threshold they have found was 100g of alcohol/week. The more alcohol the participants drank, the more the life expectancy decreased.
More then 350g alcohol per week leads to 4 to 5 years less life expectancy.
5 to 6 glasses of wine or beer have on average 100g of liquor. If you drink less, then mortality goes down linear.
These researchers emphasize that alcohol can influence longevity.
The Bottum Line Is That
The rumor of drinking 1-2 glasses a week is OK is decent advice. Reducing drinks to a minimum increases your longevity, does not disturb your metabolism and avoids overeating.
It is the same, in my eyes, with all the unhealthy food. Eating fast food is not great and not good for your health, but if you consume a burger once a week, it does not affect your weight loss performance too much. If you want further help on choosing the right food and weight loss you can check out one of my reviews.
I am happy that I found more insights on this topic for you and myself because to me this is a confirmation that I have to be careful with alcohol consumption. As long as you keep drinking within bounds, then you do not harm yourself too much.
If you have any questions relating to this article, feel free to leave me a message below.
Stay healthy and fit.