Across the globe, it seems to be the social norm to come home from a long day at work, get your comfy pants on, grab a seat on the couch and enjoy a nice glass of red. But what is your evening beverage really doing to your health and fitness goals.
We all know the saying, ‘everything in moderation,’ and that’s mostly true. In fact we are told that we can have 2 standard size alcoholic beverages a day and even that wine has health benefits. But can the same be said for drinking alcohol when your trying to loose weight or start a new exercise program. Let’s look into it…
Alcohol has what’s called ’empty calories,’ meaning they are calories that have no nutritional benefit to your body. Foods high in empty calories include processed foods, cake, chocolate, chips, sweets and yes… alcohol. You should aim to minimise anything that contains empty calories and stick to minimally processed foods.
As a result of its empty calories, alcohol can inhibit the fat burning process as it’s the first thing the body uses as fuel when working out. Instead of utilising your fat stores, the body will firstly burn off the alcohol, meaning the fat burning process is postponed, contributing to fat stores.
After a drink or two, those well thought out health goals can become mere afterthoughts, as you start to loose your inhibitions. Generally this makes us more susceptible to over indulging and eating those foods we may be trying to steer clear of. Also, alcohol doesn’t contain much, if any nutrition for the body, so you will generally find yourself hungry and craving salty foods.
Alcoholic drinks come in many forms, including cocktail and mixer, both of which have hidden calories and sugars. The more fruity, colourful and sugary the drink, the more empty calories your body is consuming. If you are going to have a drink in moderation, you should stick to straight spirits or wine and steer clear on concoctions like cocktails and mixers.
If you do drink regularly and are trying to loose weight or undertake a healthier lifestyle, perhaps try and cut down on the alcohol and see if you experience a change. If nothing else, at least you will save some money!