Should you drink alcohol when you are trying to lose weight? Dietitians and weight loss experts will tell you categorically: no. But, the effects of alcohol on obesity have been extensively researched and the scientists did not find a positive correlation. On the contrary, several studies found that drinking in moderation can prevent obesity.
Calories from alcohol
Weight loss specialists will tell you many reasons why you should not drink when you are trying to lose weight, and many of their reasons make sense. For example, alcohol contains empty calories and has no nutritional value. Alcohol gets processed by our bodies much faster than food, so we get energy from it instead of from food. As a consequence, the food calories get stored ‘for later’, as fat. Alcohol consumption helps you to lose your inhibitions, what in many cases means loose common sense and do stupid things, like forget about your diet and overindulge in forbidden foods. But, does drinking alcohol make you fat? Scientists say no.
There is more to alcohol than calories. It increases body temperature and, as a consequence, increases metabolism, what means that our bodies burn calories faster. Alcohol decreases appetite. Many alcoholics are thin as rails because they do not get hungry.
The French Paradox
It has always puzzled Americans: why are French not fat, when they eat such a rich food and have a glass of wine with every meal, and a cognac with their coffee? The answer is, as usual, in moderation. One glass of beer or wine or one cocktail a day for women, and two for men, is considered beneficial for health. It seems that it helps with blood pressure and heart rate. It definitively tastes great. But more than one or two glasses of alcohol can not only affect our weight loss program, but our general health as well. ” “Liquid lunches’ affect many working professionals’ ability to function. Alcoholism is one of the big problems our society has to deal with.
How food gets processed by our bodies is much more complicated, and much less known, than the weight loss specialists, and scientists, are ready to admit. We learn from early childhood to count our calories, to worry about good groups, to eat our vitamins. But, there are people in different parts of the world who eat very different diets, missing many of the food groups we consider sacred, and they thrive. As long as they have enough to eat, what is not always the case.
There are many elements in the food question we do not know yet. What we do not know is that we are much happier when we have healthy weight and eat healthy food in reasonable quantities. The most successful weight loss programs are those which focus on well-being and healthy lifestyle instead of weight and calories counting. And a glass of good wine definitively has a place in a healthy lifestyle.