5 Ways Alcohol is blunting your Fat Burning efforts!
When you start a new diet, it’s completely normal to think about cutting calories. In most cases this comes from alcohol, because alcohol is just empty calories, right? You’ll look to slim-line tonics, low-calorie spirits and ditch the fruit juice cocktails. All as a way to trim down without sacrificing a Friday night out with friends.
But looking at drinks on a night out as a number of calories is a classic novice nutrition error. What we consume reaches further than just energy balance. And here are 5 ways that looking at alcohol a little differently will affect your fat loss efforts this year…
1/ Burger or Kebab?
Alcohol lowers inhibitions; nothing new there. Apart from making us do things we might regret in the morning, you might find yourself making poor food choices when you’ve had a few. You’ll want something that’s quick, convenient and easily available in the early hours of the morning. Most things that fall into these categories will have little nutritional value, be a huge calorie load at once and is way off piste from what your diet calls for. But what if you can make good food choices when you’ve been drinking?
2/ Insulin sensitivity
What is it? Insulin sensitivity is where your body prioritises to store the nutrients from your diet. If you have really good insulin sensitivity, your body will store nutrients in muscle cells and if your insulin sensitivity is poor, it will dump them in fat cells. Even though you may have good insulin sensitivity normally, alcohol will throw a spanner in the works. Alcohol will blunt insulin sensitivity, so the majority of what you eat while drinking will be stored in fat cells. Thus slowing down fat loss and even causing you to get fatter.
3/ Liver priority
The liver is your bodies main fat burning organ and its main job is to remove waste materials and toxins from the body. And your body identifies alcohol as a toxin, essentially a poison. While there’s alcohol in your system, the liver will prioritise it’s removal above all else, even fat burning. An average glass of wine will take your body about 3 hours to metabolise. All of these hours across the week add up to a lot of time your body is storing energy/fat instead of burning it off.
4/ Thyroid suppression
Your thyroid gland produces a bunch of hormones that control your metabolism. Having a speedy metabolism is great because it means you burn through calories and food a lot quicker, meaning faster fat loss. But having a few drinks suppresses the amount of hormones this gland will produce. What that means is a slow down in metabolism and the food you eat while drinking is not being used up as quickly as it normally would. Calories not being used, are being stored as fat. Disaster!
5/ The Hangover effect
It would be great to say all our bad choices stop as soon as we make up the next morning. But if you’ve ever had a bad hangover you know this isn’t the case. When you’ve recovered from the foetal position, the last thing you want to do in the morning is cook yourself a healthy breakfast. The hangover effect usually has you reaching for something greasy, highly calorific and easy. The diet has gone out of the window and it will likely stay this way for the rest of the day.
Nobody is saying that you should never have a drink, but if you’re really looking for an amazing body transformation this year, take these points into account. It may just seem like a few harmless drinks at the time, but all that alcohol leads up to you not reaching your goal.