We’re not saying we’re against alcohol- there’s nothing like a glass of wine (or two (or three)) with friends, or at the weekend, or when you really want one, especially now we’re able to go out again now (finally!), but it’s good to be aware of how excessive drinking may slow down your weight loss journey. While light to moderate consumption of alcohol is something many people enjoy safely and happily, excessive alcohol consumption can have a detrimental effect on weight loss. Now, we’re no experts on alcohol, but we are the experts on weight loss, and we would hate for anyone to foil their health plans because they didn’t realise beer and wine had actual calories in them (we wish they were fake calories, we really do).
The sad truth is that too much alcohol can make it a lot harder to shift body fat and stick to healthy lifestyle choices. Read on to find out more about how alcohol can play a part in thwarting your health plans.
Alcohol sabotages our body’s fat-burning abilities
When we drink alcohol, it is the first thing to be burnt in the body as fuel, meaning that our fat is left to be burnt last. Often, if excess alcohol is drunk, this means that the fat is not all burnt away, so are left as excess- which means we’re not getting rid of our pesky fat- just the booze.
Here’s the really unfair bit- these leftover bits of glucose and lipids are stored as fat, which is often stored in the abdominal area, of all places! Drinking less alcohol means that we can burn our glucose and fat stores away straight away, meaning we store less fat, and don’t end up putting on extra weight.
Drinking messes with our digestive system
Alcohol can make our digestive system unhappy, too. Drinking too much alcohol can cause stress on the stomach and intestines, which can lead to a decrease in digestive secretions. Secretions are basically the stuff in our stomachs that break down the food we eat into nutrients. With alcohol hindering nutrient absorption, the organs that are responsible for managing weight are unable to burn fat as well as they need to, which can often result in weight gain.
Alcohol is surprisingly high in calories
Alcohol, and often the sugary drinks some alcohol is mixed with, are full of calories. Due to this, when we drink it in excess we’re more likely to go over our deficit of calories. This doesn’t mean, however, that alcohol-free alternatives are always going to be the healthier option. Sometimes alcohol-free alternatives are high in sugar, so make sure you’re checking the labels to make sure your alternative is indeed any healthier.
If you still want to drink alcohol (as you rightly may), try choosing smaller serves of alcohol- like a bottle of beer instead of a pint, a small glass of wine instead of a large, a single shot of spirit instead of a double, as this helps to lower the hidden calories. Dry wine and light beers are healthier options to drink, and try mixing any spirits with slimline, low calorie or zero sugar mixers.
Alcohol steals your zzz’s
Sleep is extremely important for overall body health, as well as being significant in helping you lose weight well. Alcohol, however, can have a large effect on sleep and reduce its quality. You may notice sleeping horrendously after a night out and find this is reflected in your hangover. This is because alcohol disrupts the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stages of our sleep, which is vital for our energy recovery and brain efficiency- hence the fuzzy brain and tiredness.
Sleep deprivation causes a hormone imbalance within the body which can cause prolonged feelings of hunger, satiety issues (satiety is the feeling of fullness and satisfaction after eating) and can affect our body’s ability to store energy. This all means that when we haven’t slept well, we will be far more likely to eat more unhealthy food and store this as fat. How unfair.
If you want to have a night in with delicious drinks and also enjoy the hangover-free euphoria of a Saturday morning, then you’d be sure to enjoy JOMO subscription boxes. Packed full of alcohol-free alternatives that do more than scratch the tipple itch, JOMO opens the doors to a world of delicious mindful alternatives that help you have a great time as well as a great sleep.
Drinking can lead to unhealthier eating
Alcohol can affect our judgement and decision-making skills, lowering our inhibitions and making us much more likely to eat unhealthy foods and fall off our diet plans. It has also been suggested that alcohol can trigger the brain’s hunger signals, causing us to eat more when we may not necessarily need to. This is why we raid the fridge after a drink and always feel awful afterwards- our hunger wasn’t quite genuine.
It is important to make sure that if we want to drink alcohol, we enjoy it in moderation so that we give ourselves the best chance we can to progress with our body goals. Sticking to a healthy, plant and whole-food rich diet alongside moderate and less intense drinking will be much more helpful than drinking binges to change the number on the scale for the better. We don’t want to demonise alcohol at all- enjoying it may be an important part of your balanced and social lifestyle, however, ensuring mindfulness and consideration when you do decide to drink may be the difference between healthy balance, and a guilty hangover and unhappy weigh-in.
If you’re sober-curious, mindfully drinking, or thinking of removing alcohol from your daily life completely, then JOMO and Balance Box can help you. JOMO alcohol-free subscription boxes are packed full of treats each month to help supplement a lower alcohol and alcohol-free lifestyle. Each box includes a full-size bottle of alcohol-free spirit, mindful mixers and garnishes, a cocktail of the month with a plantable ingredient card, savoury and sweet snacks, bonus bottles of ready to drink non-alcoholic drinks, and a 20-page members magazine to help you on your way to a healthier and happier lifestyle. JOMO boxes can be excellently utilised alongside a healthy diet, such as those offered by Balance Box to supplement weight loss and a more mindful approach to eating and drinking. Explore JOMO boxes here.
At Balance Box, we understand how difficult it can be to follow a healthy lifestyle- especially if you are also trying to cut out unhealthy things. However, it’s important to prioritise your nutrition, as when you eat well you’re better equipped to face the demands of day-to-day life. We aim to help you lose or maintain a healthy weight and feel the best you can each day by supplying you with breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks. If you want freshly made, healthy and nutritious meals delivered to your door, then click here to choose your menu.