Alcohol and weight gain

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 01, 2009 6:11 AM GMT
    Other than the obvious caloric consequences, how much does drinking prohibit weight loss? I've noticed a small difficulty in maintaining weight since I've turned 22, although I've always had a poor metabolism. As I'm soon moving to a larger city to finish my degree, I cannot give up drinking completely, but would limiting it make a significant difference?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 01, 2009 8:39 AM GMT
    1 gram of alcohol contains 7 calories, you do the math.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 01, 2009 10:09 AM GMT
    Yea alcohol has lots of bad effects...

    Alcohol slows down the rate at which your body can burn fat

    and it makes you hungry so you eat more too. icon_exclaim.gif
  • junknemesis

    Posts: 682

    Apr 01, 2009 10:13 AM GMT
    Not to mention the inteligence penalties for when your drunk, and after a while of major abuse thoes penalties can become permenant.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 01, 2009 11:09 AM GMT
    According to an article I found, alcohol causes fat gain by two mechanisms in addition to the calories. There is a third problem and that is muscle wasting caused by excess alcohol

    1. Changes metabolism so that fat is burned less
    2. stimulates appetite and caloric intake
    3. Heavy drinking slashes testosterone levels which results in less muscle. Cortisol levels are raised. Cortisol causes catabolism of muscle.


    http://www.thefactsaboutfitness.com/research/alcohol.htm

    I usually summarize the article but I'm too lazy this AM so just cut and pasted parts of it.

    Not mentioned in this article is the fact that red wine may result in fat loss. There is a substance in red wine that is toxic to fat cells. This antioxidant is not found in other alcoholic beverages. This is one explanation why the French can remain thin in spite of the heavy wine intake

    Also it has been proven in multiple studies that men who drink around 2 alcoholic drinks a day live longer than non alcohol drinkers or drinkers that consume more than two drinks a day.

    Here is the article about alcohol, acetate, catabolic and anabolic hormones and caloric intake

    According to conventional wisdom, the infamous "beer belly" is caused by excess alcohol calories being stored as fat. Yet, less than five percent of the alcohol calories you drink are turned into fat. Rather, the main effect of alcohol is to reduce the amount of fat your body burns for energy.

    Some evidence for this comes from research carried in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [4]. Eight men were given two drinks of vodka and sugar-free lemonade separated by 30 minutes. Each drink contained just under 90 calories. Fat metabolism was measured before and after consumption of the drink. For several hours after drinking the vodka, whole body lipid oxidation (a measure of how much fat your body is burning) dropped by a massive 73%.

    Rather than getting stored as fat, the main fate of alcohol is conversion into a substance called acetate. In fact, blood levels of acetate after drinking the vodka were 2.5 times higher than normal. And it appears this sharp rise in acetate puts the brakes on fat loss.

    A car engine typically uses only one source of fuel. Your body, on the other hand, draws from a number of different energy sources, such as carbohydrate, fat, and protein. To a certain extent, the source of fuel your body uses is dictated by its availability.

    In other words, your body tends to use whatever you feed it. Consequently, when acetate levels rise, your body simply burns more acetate, and less fat. In essence, acetate pushes fat to the back of the queue.

    So, to summarize and review, here's what happens to fat metabolism after the odd drink or two.

    . A small portion of the alcohol is converted into fat.

    . Your liver then converts most of the alcohol into acetate.

    . The acetate is then released into your bloodstream, and replaces fat as a source of fuel.

    The way your body responds to alcohol is very similar to the way it deals with excess carbohydrate. Although carbohydrate can be converted directly into fat, one of the main effects of overfeeding with carbohydrate is that it simply replaces fat as a source of energy. That's why any type of diet, whether it's high-fat, high-protein, or high-carbohydrate, can lead to a gain in weight.
    Appetite

    The combination of alcohol and a high-calorie meal is especially fattening, mainly because alcohol acts as a potent appetizer. A Canadian study shows that an aperitif (an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to increase the appetite) increased calorie intake to a greater extent than a carbohydrate-based drink [5].

    Researchers from Denmark's Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University report similar results [8]. When a group of men was given a meal and allowed to eat as much as they wanted, they ate more when the meal was served with beer or wine rather than a soft drink.

    Not only does too much alcohol put the brakes on fat loss, it's also one of the most effective ways to slash your testosterone levels. Just a single bout of heavy drinking raises levels of the muscle-wasting hormone cortisol and increases the breakdown of testosterone for up to 24 hours [6]. The damaging effects of alcohol on testosterone are made even worse when you exercise before drinking [1].

    The effect of alcohol on testosterone could be one reason that people who drink a lot carry less muscle. In fact, a 1993 study shows that alcoholic men have bigger waists and smaller muscles than teetotalers [2].
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 01, 2009 1:14 PM GMT
    everything in moderation my friend...binge drinking is never good for you. It usually results in some bad decisions! icon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 01, 2009 1:18 PM GMT
    i heard that one beer or one shot are calorically equivalent to a really greasy hotdog. besides the enormous caloric value of alcohol (and the sugar in a lot of the mixed drinks), i think i heard that it actually chemically inhibits healthy metabolic rate and muscle growth, lowers testosterone levels, and makes your body more prone to gaining fat in general.

    all good things in moderation.... i hardly drink the stuff

  • Apr 01, 2009 1:53 PM GMT
    goldgecko4 saidOther than the obvious caloric consequences, how much does drinking prohibit weight loss? I've noticed a small difficulty in maintaining weight since I've turned 22, although I've always had a poor metabolism. As I'm soon moving to a larger city to finish my degree, I cannot give up drinking completely, but would limiting it make a significant difference?


    Yes, limiting would make a significant difference, your consuming less, meaning less calories, so if you cant give up entirely, well hey cutting back is fine.
    Consuming alcohol is not great for weight loss, I bartend, so what kind of alcohol do you like? Here is a pretty alright drink, has "fewer" calories than most drinks.

    Vodka Diet Tonic
    1.5 oz. Vodka
    6 oz. Diet Tonic

    Gives you around 65 calories a glass, not bad compared to other drinks out there. Most bars give you 2 oz. of liquor per drink.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 01, 2009 2:00 PM GMT
    Agreed on the moderation, although it can be challenging at times depending on your circle of friends (mine are the cosmo-swilling types). I enjoy a good drink at the end of the week; I guess one bit of advice that I consistently read is not to drink after working out - I'll usually do a friday / sat afternoon gym workout then go drinking those nights which is counter-productive *sigh*.

    I've also heard (and there's probably a whole thread on this) clear liquor and club soda or diet soft drink is better than other options. i.e. sugar-free (not calorie-free) drinks. Men's Health says this from time to time. You still have the calories/metabolism issues that others have pointed out in this thread.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 02, 2009 4:14 AM GMT
    @kneedraggen: WOW! You're my own personal Doctor Oz. I hadn't heard a lot of that before.

    @ryanmichaeltorres, @seanp7: you make a good point, and I try to mostly drink X liquor with Y diet soda, whiskey/diet, vodka/diet mt dew, etc. of course, the caffeine and the diet soda is another issue entirely.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 27, 2009 9:50 PM GMT
    Great thread.

    Here is what I have learned from my trainer:

    Alcohol is BAD! LOL! I used to be a believer that I could just do extra cardio, but as was stated here, it is a triple blow :

    1. When alcohol enters the system (regardless of the type), your organs begin processing the liquor and the fat-burning process all but ceases

    2. You are adding empty calories into your diet, while also slowing the fat-burning process, which is a double-blow.

    3. Alcohol diminishes the testosterone, which hinders musle growth and fat burning

    Up until about 3 months ago, I was a regular drinker, especially on the weekends. I committed to all but eliminating alcohol from my diet. During that time, I was able to drop a little over 3% of bf and gain some lean-muscle weight. So, I can tell you first hand the effects it has.

    Now, I will have a drink now and then, but never more than two at a time. When I do have one, it is club soda (DO NOT DRINK TONIC), vodka and a couple of lemmon/limes. Takes a bit to get used to, but worth it depending on your goals.

    Good luck!