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Why you're not losing weight: Part 1

Is Alcohol to Blame for Weight Gain?
Is Alcohol to Blame for Weight Gain?
Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Thirsty Thursday is upon us! If you already know where you’re going tonight, what you’ll be drinking, and have done this a million times before, but can’t seem to lose stubborn fat weight- this could be why. Habitual heavy drinking and weight loss routines do NOT work together. While alcohol itself is not the worst beverage to drink, so many of us know the feeling of starting with one and eventually losing count, going out for pizza or Whataburger, and then vegging out the next day “recovering” with more pizza, bread, and comfort food. Alcohol is sneaky like that. One serving of alcohol equates to:

· 12 oz beer

· 8-9 oz malt liquor

· 5 oz wine

· 1.5 oz hard liquor

Each individual serving yields about 7 calories (energy units) per gram. On top of that, if you include mixers, chasers, and food to the mix to make the whole experience more enjoyable, you might add up all of your calories for the day in one sitting! We’re talking about drinking an entire day’s worth of calories if we are not careful! Suppose you say “I just won’t eat anything the rest of the day and save myself for drinks tonight and get my energy then”. You could do that, but won’t be doing yourself a favor. In fact, this is quite the opposite of what works for weight loss routines and being generally healthy. Alcohol is an “empty calorie” beverage. This means that it doesn't benefit us nutritionally, and we receive not vitamins or minerals, but we get the energy from it. Because the energy adds up so easily, the liver does it’s best to metabolize, or break down the alcohol molecules as fast as possible, but as it gets broken down in the body, much is stored as toxins and fat due to the high caloric value and high sugar content. Along with putting on the pounds, alcohol is known to inhibit absorption of certain nutrients, which all have different functions in the body. Proper metabolism of food, in turn could be inhibited because these nutrients aren't being stored and used to do their job.

As a college student, I know the struggles of wanting to be in shape, but also wanting to go out and have a good time. Fortunately, it’s not impossible to do both! Drinking occasionally will NOT make you fat, but getting into the habit of going out and getting schwasted every weekend, daydrinking, and going out for margaritas every Tuesday after school could have a detrimental effect on anybody’s weight loss journey. By no means is cutting alcohol from your life what it will take to lose stubborn fat, but it is a great place to start when looking at your strengths and weaknesses in your current lifestyle and diet. Downing multiple drinks in a row easily sets off a chain reaction and can steer you the wrong way if you’re not careful what you consume.

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