Know This! Alcohol and Weight Control
Although moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to lower the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, alcohol offers up a slew of fattening features that can weigh heavy on your waistline.
Here are six good reasons to watch it with booze, beer, and wine.
- Relatively speaking, alcohol provides lots of calories—specifically 7 calories per gram vs. the 4 calories per gram found in carbs and proteins. (Fat has 9 calories per gram.)
- Like other “liquid” calories, alcohol does not suppress the human appetite as solid food calories can. In fact, alcohol actually boosts hunger and drives eating behavior at the level of the brain by enhancing the reward potential of food and reducing self-control.
- Alcohol interferes with quality sleep and disturbed sleep can lead to weight gain in many different ways.
- Alcohol can reduce your fat-burning potential. The calories consumed from alcohol cannot be stored and thus will always be preferentially burned for fuel. This means that you cannot burn any of your stored fat until all of the calories you have consumed from alcohol have been completely burned.
- Mixers, such as the beverages and juices commonly added to spirits, are often loaded with sugar and additional calories.
- Regular beer will send your blood glucose soaring skyward as it has an even higher glycemic response than white potatoes. The beer belly is for real!
For best results limit alcohol to one drink and choose wine (red best due to its potent antioxidant polyphenols), liquor with a non-caloric mixer, or light or low-carb beer.
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