ALCOHOL AND WEIGHT-LOSS

 

Last week a good friend of mine coerced me into accompanying her for a kid’s birthday party she’d been invited to. I say ‘coerced’ because I prefer not to attend parties where I don’t personally know the host but that’s just me. Anyway, we run into an old friend who during our catch-up conversation happened to mention that his goal was to lose 10 kilos - a goal that apparently had been his new year’s resolution but one which six months later he had yet to start on. “Very do-able” I said to him by way of encouragement, “but why do you keep postponing?” I asked curiously. “Well”… he went on, “I'm just not sure I can give up booze. I mean do I really have to stop drinking if I want to lose weight?”.

Alcohol on its own has no nutrients but offers almost twice as many calories as carbohydrates and almost as many as fats. That said however, rarely did anyone get fat by throwing back straight shots of vodka! The real culprit is the metabolic prioritythat your body places on alcohol. As long as you have alcohol in your system - whether it's from your favourite wine, cocktail, beer or spirit -  your body prioritizes it is as the primary source of fuel in order to process it out of your system. As this is happening your body stops burning fat for energy. This doesn’t permanently stop the weight-loss, it simply postpones it, but by doing so contributes to fat storage. Once all the alcohol is out, your body resumes fat burning. Two reasons why this scenario works against you on a night out,

  1. The mixers in your favourite cocktails often pack a ton of sugar! - and in the presence of alcohol all this sugar is simply converted to fat and stored away. 

  2. We rarely crave 'terere' or 'a salad' when drinking.Instead, we crave the greasiest foods - like the 'quarter chicken and chips' from our favorite kenchic or pizza inn - or can't seem to get enough of that 'wet fry and ugali' served with our favourite drink at our favourite local. All of which in the presence of alcohol simply get stored away as fat.

My advise - If you’re serious about losing weight, then it would be wise to restrict your drinking to your ‘cheat daysto reduce the impact on your overall fat burning.

Eat better. Live better.