Did you know that drinking and weight gain has a direct correlation? Drinking too much will actually cause you to pack on the pounds, no matter how carefully you watch what you eat. If you want to shed those unwanted pounds – or just stop yourself from gaining a few extra – it may be time to say goodbye to those drinking habits you developed in your college years.
Why Stop Drinking?
Everyone knows that drinking beer produces the ‘beer gut’, that extra paunch that older men that enjoy a refreshing barley beverage daily tend to develop. “But I only drink wine, hard alcohol, or fruit cocktails,” you may say. “I shouldn’t gain weight on these drinks because they’re so low calorie, right?”
Let’s take a look at the way your body handles alcohol:
- You imbibe alcohol in your preferred form.
- The alcohol makes its way down into your stomach.
- The stomach quickly absorbs the alcohol, passing it on to your bloodstream.
- Your bloodstream brings it to your liver and brain, and you feel the effects.
Now, when your stomach is completely empty of food, your stomach is able to digest and absorb the alcohol very quickly. This is why you are always cautioned to avoid drinking on an empty stomach, as you feel the effects within minutes.
For this reason, most people drink with some food in their stomachs. This is where the problems begin…
When you drink alcohol, your body treats it like a poison. This means that it gets first digestive priority, and the rest of your stomach contents have to wait until the alcohol has been digested. In the time that it takes to absorb the alcohol, the food has been sitting in your stomach – giving your body time to absorb more carbs and fat than it should. The result: drinking will slow down your digestion, which results in your gaining weight.
More Reasons to Stop
Here are a few more reasons that it’s a good idea to quit drinking to lose weight if you’re serious about it:
- Alcohol Causes Dehydration – Alcohol acts as a diuretic, meaning that it promotes dehydrates and water loss. When you pee from drinking so much alcohol, all of the good minerals your body needs get flushed out. You feel drained and thirsty the next morning because you have eliminated all the good water and nutrients.
- Alcohol Causes Poor Sleep – You may pass out from the effects of alcohol, but that doesn’t mean you’re sleeping well. In fact, drinking affects the quality of your sleep, and you will feel tired the next day thanks to the lack of rest. This can cause you to eat more food, which means more calories that are turned into fat.
- Alcohol Contains No Nutrients – Even the lowest-fat alcohol will have at least 7 to 10 calories per gram, but there is absolutely no value in the drink. It tastes great, but it won’t be doing your body any good.
- Alcohol Causes Mistakes – The mistakes referenced here have nothing to do with indiscretions, but they have everything to do with snacking on foods you shouldn’t eat. When you are intoxicated, you have much less self-control. That lack of self-control means that you will not stick to your diet, and you’ll end up eating more than you should.
These are all reasons that you should stop drinking alcohol, and you will find that kicking your drinking habit will promote weight loss in a very visible way.
The Exception to the Rule…
The only exception to the rule of “no drinking if you want to lose weight” is wine.
Wine is rich in resveratrol, an antioxidant that can actually promote weight loss. Wine also helps to promote heart health, so it’s a good idea to drink a bit of wine daily. You need to limit yourself to a glass or two per day, but drinking a bit of wine is a good way to lose weight.
Strategies to quit drinking to lose weight:
- Clearing the House – Get rid of all the alcohol in your home to help get rid of the temptation to drink.
- Avoid Conducive Settings – Stay away from parties, bars, and other places where you would be tempted to overdrink or drink the wrong things.
- Remember the Cost – It’s going to be tough to lose all the weight you’ve gained from drinking, so think about the effort it will require before you consume the drink in your hand.