Alcohol & Weight Loss

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Diet, Nutrition | Posted on 21-03-2012-05-2008


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People often ask me about the impact alcohol has on their weight loss and exercise programs. The answer? It’s not good.

What does alcohol do?

Drinking makes you more attractive, funnier, and more charming to the opposite sex, according to studies from the Coors Research Institute (sorry, I don’t have the reference for those studies…).

Just kidding. We both know that it adds unnecessary, almost nutrient-free calories to our diet, makes us tired the next morning, lowers our inhibitions around junk food, and dehydrates our bodies. None of these is helpful for a fat loss program.

In addition, alcohol also has negative consequences for your metabolism, body composition, and recovery. It should not be surprising that the more you drink, the more your fat burning is impaired. So drinking booze is not a smart choice if getting lean is a priority.

But most importantly, drinking alcohol leads to you consuming too many calories (both from the alcohol and the poor food choices you make while under the influence). It also hinders your recovery from exercise.

And man, do you know how many calories bartenders can pack into some of those drinks? A simple beer is 150 calories (the equivalent of 1.5 slices of bread), while a glass of wine or shot of alcohol is closer to 100 calories.

But then add the booze to a mixed drink like a margeurita or pina colada, and you’re up to 500 calories per drink. That’s the same as a big mac! And you’d never think of having 2-3 big macs at a single meal, would you?

So no matter if it is the holiday season or if you are on holidays, drink alcohol responsibly, or don’t drink at all. Regardless, expect the regular consequences – a tired mind and body that is not a fat burning machine.

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Mens Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit

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