Drinking alcohol and losing weight

Many individuals trying to lose weight wonder if they can drink alcoholic beverages. Although it's best not to drink alcohol, moderation is the key. Drinking daily or more than a few times a week will definitely hinder your efforts, but an occasional drink with friends on the weekend is not going make a huge difference in your results.

Drinking excess alcohol harms weight loss efforts in several ways. When you drink, you are consuming additional calories. There are seven calories in every gram of alcohol. A single glass of white wine or an ounce and a half of hard liquor contains about 90 calories; a regular beer contains 150 (a light beer contains about 110). If you drink hard liquor with a mixer, such as fruit juice or tonic water, the calorie count doubles. A martini contains 210 calories while a Piña Colada can have over  300 calories.

When you're trying to lose weight, excessive alcohol works against you. The additional calories don't provide any nutritional benefits. Alcohol also slows the process by which your body burns fat. The alcohol calories you consume aren't stored. Instead, they're converted to acetate, a type of fuel that the body burns quickly. As a result, you burn off your alcohol calories before you burn fat.

If you plan on having an occasional drink with friends, you should be fine. If you make drinking a habit, you will have trouble losing weight and maintaining a healthy body, along with other health problems. The key is to have fun but do it in moderation.

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