Let’s Have a Drink!
Very Often I get asked how much do I indulge in alcohol throughout the week? Occasionally, I will have a drink or two on my off days to help unwind, relax, and usually when I am drinking I am at some type of social event with friends which is always a plus. Nothing too crazy, but of course every once in a while I do have one of those nights that are usually pretty memorable in terms of alcohol consumption. The question is how much does this actually effect your weight loss, or fitness goals in general? Let dive in…
How Bad Can It Be?
Alcohol unfortunately disrupts REM sleep, which is the important sleep for those of you that may not remember the sleep cycle. REM sleep is the time when all the magic happens with your hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone release. By decreasing REM sleep, this will inhibit some of the hormone release you would normally get from a night sober. Additionally, alcohol is very dehydrating. In fact most researchers have agreed that most of the hangover effect that happens post drinking is attributed to your body being dehydrated. Having a lack of water in the body will have your energy levels low, and have you feeling less than your normal self. From a weight loss stand point the most important thing to understand about alcohol is that when you ingest alcohol, whether its something that is almost calorie free, such as a vodka and tonic water, alcohol itself is still converted over to an energy source once ingested. This means that the body will need to use this energy source up first before it can burn through whatever else you are taking in. To say it as simple as possible, alcohol consumption will decrease your metabolism by spiking your insulin and putting your body in a storage mode vs a burning mode. Now do not feel like you should try to quit drinking all together because you are destroying your weight loss goals. There is still room for a drink or two every now and then as long as it is in moderation. The problem truly lies in the weekend binge drinkers that have 5 plus drinks in a night, and then also while they are out, eat a burger with fries and various other bad meal choices. So if you are really trying to cut body fat you will really want to consider cutting down on the alcohol consumption to maybe a night a week, to try to ensure you are not impeding any of your results.