Alcohol remains a controversial subject, especially when it comes to dieting, some common question often asked include, is it okay to take alcohol every now and then? Does alcohol only have any adverse effects? In fact, a majority of diets will exclude alcohol right at the beginning. But this should not be the case. Certain studies have indicated that alcohol has health benefits. For instance, red wine has been associated with lower risks of having heart disease. This article looks at alcohol and how it impacts weight loss.
How many calories are in alcohol?
Three primary macronutrients make up your dietary calories, and this includes carbs, fats and proteins. Alcohol is also another critical macronutrient, though it isn’t generally included in this traditional macro-nutrient classification as it isn’t an essential nutrient. The truth is that alcohol is a calories source and has nearly as high calories as fat. Carbs and protein have about four calories in a gram, and fat has about nine calories in a gram. Alcohol is somewhere amid these two densities with about seven calories in a gram. Understanding this is key to understanding how alcohol can either work for or against your weight loss goals.
Does alcohol contribute to weight gain?
There are various ways in which alcohol can lead to weight gain, and these include:
- Alcohol upsets your digestion:Typically alcohol is a toxin, and by consuming it, the body gives priority to digesting and eliminating it. After having several alcohol drinks, you interrupt the body’s ability to burn fat efficiently and potentially increase fat storage by the body.
- Alcohol is an empty calorie source: Although alcohol adds to a person’s daily intake of calories, it isn’t of much nutrition value. While it has been argued that small alcohol amounts offer certain health benefits, research