Alcohol And Fat Loss (part 1)

For some it is hard to avoid Saint Patrick’s Day without the “Alcohol,” especially the GREEN BEER!

If you know me, you know that I am a big advocate of a balanced lifestyle. I preach moderation NOT restriction.

So, let’s talk a bit about our friend “alcohol” and its impact on fat loss.


Alcohol and Fat Loss – What You Need To Know

I usually get one question about alcohol when someone is trying to shed the excess weight that has accumulated over time.  Can alcohol be included in their diet plan?

From time to time most adults like to indulge in alcohol consumption – some more often than others.

Is this something that you can make room for in your diet or is it something that you need to give the boot?  In other words, what’s the real deal about alcohol and your progress?

Alcohol and Calories

The very first thing that you need to take note of is how many calories are found in alcohol. Alcohol itself contains seven calories per gram, whereas both proteins and carbs contain about four. Fat comes in at the highest calorie value per gram at nine, which places alcohol right in the middle.

But what’s often worse is what the alcohol is mixed with. If you’re drinking your alcohol with high calorie or fat mixers such as cream, sodas, or sugary mixers you could easily end up with a drink that packs in well over 300 calories per serving.

If you take in three or four of these over the course of the night, it’s really going to add up.

Alcohol and Fat Metabolism

The second important thing that you need to note is the impact that alcohol consumption will have on your fat metabolism. As soon as you take a drink of your alcoholic beverage, all fat burning is going to come to a halt.

Alcohol is viewed as a toxin by the body and as such, as soon as it comes in, it’s going to do everything it can to rid itself of this alcohol. No further fat will be burned off until it’s out of your system.

Only when the alcohol is out of your system will you start burning up body fat again. So if you consume quite a bit of alcohol one night, you can expect to see your rate of fat loss drop off for a more significant period of time.

Alcohol and Your Recovery

Finally, the last important thing to note about alcohol consumption is the impact it will have on your recovery rates.

In addition to putting the brakes on all fat burning that is taking place in the body, the second thing that alcohol is going to put the brakes on is protein synthesis.

This means that no further lean muscle tissue will be built up as long as that alcohol is in your body.

Again, you can imagine what this is going to do to your workout goals.

So as you can see, if you want to be truly successful with your fat loss and workout program, its best if you can forgo alcohol for the time being, if fat loss is your main goal. One drink every now and then may not hurt all that much, but if you’re taking in any more than this, it will definitely hinder the progress that you see.

Committed to your health and fitness goals,


Heath Herrera, M.Ed., CSCS, YFS1

HH Fitness, a proud member of the Fitness Revolution nation



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