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Is Alcohol Hindering Your Progress?


Article by Emily Mobley

Photography by Amanda Donaho

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Alcohol consumption is popular for many people, but it can be detrimental to your weight loss progress. While it is okay to enjoy a drink or two in moderation, excessive drinking can lead to unwanted weight gain and sabotage your weight loss goals. 

Alcohol is high in calories.

Alcohol is high in calories, and it is easy to underestimate the number of calories you consume when you drink. For example, a pint of beer can contain up to 200 calories, while a glass of wine can contain around 120 calories. Cocktails can be even more calorific, with some containing up to 500 calories per serving. Consuming too many calories from alcohol can lead to weight gain, especially if you are strength training to help your body burn calories through sustaining and growing muscle! 

Alcohol can lead to poor food choices.

Drinking alcohol can lower your inhibitions and make it more challenging to resist unhealthy food choices. After a few drinks, you may be more likely to indulge in high-fat, high-calorie snacks and meals that can derail your weight loss progress. Additionally, alcohol can also increase your appetite, leading you to eat more than you usually would.

Alcohol interferes with your metabolism.

When you consume alcohol, your body focuses on metabolizing the alcohol instead of burning fat. This means that if you drink regularly, your body may be less efficient at burning fat and more likely to store it instead. This can lead to unwanted weight gain, especially in areas such as your belly and thighs.

Tips for balancing drinking and weight loss

If you want to enjoy alcohol without sabotaging your weight loss progress, there are a few things you can do:

  • Be mindful of the calories in your drinks and opt for lower-calorie options such as light beer or wine spritzers.
  • Avoid drinking on an empty stomach, as this can lead to overeating and poor food choices. Eat a healthy meal before you start drinking.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water between alcoholic beverages. This will help you feel full and reduce the likelihood of overindulging in food or drink.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption to one or two drinks per sitting and avoid drinking every day.
  • Incorporate strength training exercises into your routine to help tolerate excess calories and boost your metabolism.

In conclusion, alcohol can be a significant obstacle to weight loss progress, but it doesn't have to be. By being mindful of your alcohol consumption and making healthy choices, you can enjoy a drink or two without sabotaging your weight loss goals. Remember to stay hydrated, eat well, and exercise regularly, and you'll be on your way to achieving your weight loss goals.

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