Is alcohol sabotaging your fat loss and your life?
I watched a BBC news report recently containing the latest statistics on the influence alcohol is having on our lives. Alcohol causes 3.3 million people to die every year! That’s 6% of deaths according to The World Health Organisation. On the back of this more people are choosing to give up alcohol temporarily or for good.
You can watch the report from the BBC here: we gave up alcohol.
I know from personal experience that alcohol has quite a negative influence on my body. Even a small amount like 2 gin & tonics, or a glass of wine can make me feel sluggish the following morning, and one too many can write me off for the whole of the next day (what a waste of a day!). Don’t get me wrong, I like a drink as much as the next person, especially if it’s a special occasion, but as I get older I am starting to ask myself, is it worth it?
I am officially on the wagon! After a few holidays and a bit of over indulgence I’m trying to take back control of my training, diet and lifestyle which has been haphazard over the summer to say the least. I’d like to see better results from all the training and hard work I put in down the gym rather than it just ‘maintaining’ my current “state”.
Here’s a few facts about alcohol :-
Alcohol & Nutrition
Alcohol contains no fat but is high in sugar and has an energy value, 7 calories per gram in fact, almost as many as pure fat (which is 9 calories per g). These “empty calories” consumed could make it harder to reach your weight loss goals.
Alcohol can slow down the amount of calories you burn through exercise because your body isn’t designed to store alcohol and tries to get rid of it as quickly as possible. This gets in the way of other processes, including absorbing nutrients in food and burning fat.
Alcohol sabotages our good intentions and we’re more likely to make unhealthy food choices and snack.
Alcohol & Exercise
Alcohol interferes with the way your body makes energy. When your body is breaking down alcohol, the liver can’t produce as much glucose, which means you have low levels of blood sugar. Exercise requires high levels of sugar to give you energy. If your liver isn’t producing enough glucose, your performance will be affected. You’re more likely to suffer from poor coordination, dexterity, concentration and reaction times.
Alcohol is a diuretic and leads to dehydration as it makes your kidneys produce more urine. Exercising soon after drinking alcohol can make this dehydration worse because you sweat as your body temperature rises. Combined, sweating and the diuretic effect of exercise make dehydration much more likely. You need to be hydrated when you exercise to maintain the flow of blood through your body, which is essential for circulating oxygen and nutrients to your muscles.
Alcohol & Sleep
Alcohol can affect your sleep and disrupt your sleep cycle. Although you may fall asleep quicker you you’ll spend less time in a deep sleep and more time in REM stage (Rapid eye movement) so no matter how long you stay in bed you’ll feel tired the next day. You also run the risk of having to get up in the night to go to the toilet as alcohol is a diuretic. On top of all that you may also snore loudly as alcohol relaxes the muscles in your throat, nose and mouth leading to more vibration, you may not be very popular!!
Cutting down on alcohol has lots of benefits – mentally, physically, socially & financially.
I haven’t set a time limit on my experience but I’ll be documenting key points of my alcohol free journey on Instagram so check in to see how I’m doing 🙂
If you’ve tried this yourself, how long have you managed to maintain sobriety? What was your experience?
Remember to always drink responsibly 🙂