Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Effects of Alcohol on Body Weight


Though people commonly joke about the “freshman 15” and beer bellies, the simple truth is that alcohol contains calories; regular or excess consumption of which can result in unwanted weight gain. 
OJ vs Beer


Calories

When considering the effects of alcohol on body weight, drinkers should take a look at the average alcoholic beverage calorie count:

-Wine: (4-oz) 62 – 160 Cal
-Shot of Liquor: (1.5-oz) 115 – 200 Cal
-Beer: (12-oz.) 140 – 200 Cal
-Light Beer (12-oz.) 100 – 150 Cal

Food

The main rule of weight maintenance and loss is burning the same or more calories per day than taken in via beverage and food. However, a few key characteristics of alcoholic beverages, in addition to calorie count, make them more prone to result in weight gain.

Alcohol consumption is typically associated with high-fat food choices: wine with steak – beer with pizza. Alcohol also lowers the body’s blood sugar levels, causing food cravings.

Body

In addition to the extra meals and snacks ingested, alcohol’s “empty calorie” content holds little-to-no nutritional value. Though beer may seem filling to some, it is no substitute for a well-balanced meal.

Once alcohol has been digested, our bodies convert portions of it into fat. The liver is then tasked with converting the remainder into acetate, which affects our fat metabolism rate. Simply put, when the body is faced with high acetate levels, burning acetate – not fat - takes priority. As such, the body must store the fatty calories, resulting in weight gain.

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