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Function and Fitness Blog
Function and Fitness Blog
Coach Jess
8:10 AM

Why Alcohol and Weight Loss Doesn’t Mix

It's a harsh reality to face: alcohol just doesn’t mix with weight loss. But why is that?

There are a number of reasons that if you want to drop the weight, you’re going to need to drop the alcohol or at least cut back on the alcohol.

The first reason: Alcohol is calorically dense. Fat has nine calories per gram. Alcohol has seven. Mix it up with sugary soda, simple syrup, and all those other delicious options, and you’ve got yourself a calorie bomb

Another reason: Alcohol jacks up your metabolism. As Christopher D. Still, D.O., director of the Geisinger Obesity Institute, explained to SELF, "Because your body cannot store alcohol, it becomes a priority in the metabolic process.” That means the body will focus on clearing that alcohol before it focuses on clearing out all the food you consumed with the alcohol. There might be a silver lining, though. As Still goes on to explain, "Alcohol slows down the rate [at which you digest nutrients], but it doesn't stop it, and those nutrients will still get processed in the same way.”

That doesn’t mean drink up though! Even though your body will still process all that food - it won’t do it as efficiently. And that can be a big problem if you like to consume lots of food while/because you’re drinking, or rather if you get real snack crazy when you’re drinking (like me!).

The “drunchie” reason: As Ashvini Mashru, R.D., L.D.N., author of Small Steps to Slim, explains, “Most cocktails are loaded with simple carbohydrates, so during a night of drinking, you end up with soaring blood sugar followed by a 'crash' that leaves you ravenous.” Mashru suggests the best way to deal with the “drunchies” (awesome name, right?) is to eat a complete meal or snack before you go out. That means having protein, fiber, and a healthy fat that fills you up before you fill up that red Solo cup, or if you’re classy, that martini glass.

So if you’re trying to lose weight, consider just how alcohol might get in the way of that goal. While we will always encourage “everything in moderation,” if alcohol causes you to fall off the healthy wagon, you might consider just filling your glass with some soda water and a lime. 

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