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Effect of Alcohol on Weight Loss: Weight Loss Tips from Downsize Fitness


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Downsize Fitness is an international chain of gyms which helps our members lose 50+ pounds. Our weight loss program consists of Fitness, Nutrition, and Weight Loss Coaching sessions at our 6 facilities in the US and Canada. To become about Downsize Fitness memberships, our Certified Weight Loss Coach program, or Franchise opportunities, visit

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Effect of Alcohol on Weight Loss: Weight Loss Tips from Downsize Fitness

  1. 1. Are You Pouring On The Pounds? The Effects of Alcohol on Weight Loss
  3. 3. Are you going backwards?? Have you factored alcohol into your weight loss plan? A 2011 study determined that alcohol was in the Top 10 sources of calories for American adults over the age of 18. If we indulge in alcoholic beverages, are we sabotaging our fitness efforts?
  4. 4. First things first… Let’s face it…alcohol is not water. It is a unique beverage, and it has a certain appeal… although the reason behind the appeal varies from person to person. Why do we drink?
  5. 5. Why we drink: For pleasure – we enjoy the taste Because we like the way it makes us feel To bond with others – it is part of a social experience we enjoy
  6. 6. Each reason is valid At different times, we have different reasons for drinking alcohol. To be more general, it is usually a combination of reasons, but it is ultimately because we enjoy something about it.
  7. 7. However, alcohol is not water. When your goals are weight loss, it is important to recognize that your favorite alcoholic beverage is NOT helping you to make the progress you desire.
  8. 8. Let’s start with the obvious… Calories. Certainly that’s the reason we shouldn’t be drinking alcohol, right? Do you know how many calories are in your favorite drink?
  9. 9. Drinking our calories… We know food has calories, but it’s easy to forget about the calories in drinks. How does your drink stack up? 1 can 12 oz. beer = 135-155 calories 1 can 12 oz. light beer = 101 calories 1 glass 3.5 oz. red or white wine = 70-75 calories 1 shot 1.5 oz. gin, rum, vodka or whiskey = 97 calories 1 glass 6 oz. Cosmopolitan – 143 calories 1 glass 4.5 oz. Pina Colada = 262 calories 1 glass 2.2 oz. Martini = 135 calories
  10. 10. Just a couple of beers… …can add more than 300 calories to your diet – the equivalent of 30 minutes of jogging for the 150-lb. person.!
  11. 11. There are almost DOUBLE the amount of calories in alcohol as there are per gram of proteins or carbohydrates… Alcohol = 7 calories per gram Protein = 4 calories per gram Carbohydrates = 4 calories per gram Fats = 9 calories per gram Unlike carbohydrates, proteins and fats from whole foods, alcohol doesn’t provide any feelings of satiety, so you’re likely to drink these calories IN ADDITION to the calories you’re eating.
  12. 12. And those calories…well… They add NO nutritional value, whatsoever. This is what is meant when you hear that alcohol has “empty calories”… It means there is no benefit to the body from the calories consumed.
  13. 13. “Easy” energy When you drink, the alcohol is broken down into acetate (basically, vinegar)… …which your body cannot store, and will consume BEFORE any other calorie you’ve consumed or stored, including fat or even sugar.
  14. 14. This actually INHIBITS your body from burning fat, because your body prefers to use the acetate as fuel FIRST– instead of burning the fat you are storing.
  15. 15. Hard on the gut Alcohol… Irritates your gastrointestinal tract Can damage your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat Is toxic to the liver, even in small amounts, impairing your liver’s ability to utilize vitamins and nutrients from food
  16. 16. Eating and drinking…. Not only does alcohol add calories, it also makes It harder to stick to a healthy diet. After a few drinks, the healthy diet you’ve been following so diligently doesn’t seem all that important anymore.
  17. 17. And that food… When drinking alcoholic beverages, the brain produces a chemical called galanin, which stimulates cravings for fatty foods. On top of that, eating fatty foods ALSO causes the production of galanin, which then again causes cravings for more fatty foods. It’s a dangerous, fat-promoting cycle. A double whammy for drinkers who eat fatty foods while drinking.
  18. 18. The day after… Even if it’s just one too many, you are left vulnerable to temptation the next day! Too tired to exercise? Too hung over to get out of bed? Too exhausted to do more than the simplest of tasks? Dehydrated, clumsy, nauseous…all feelings that will get in the way of a workout and put you into a little funk about potential for success in your weight loss journey.
  19. 19. The bad and the not-so-bad news: First, the bad news: Alcohol consumption will not support or encourage weight loss. The not-so-bad news: Alcohol consumption does not have to cause additional weight gain.
  20. 20. Smarter strategies… You don’t have to completely avoid alcohol when you’re trying to lose weight, but limiting consumption and making smart choices are vital to success.
  21. 21. Don’t skip dinner. Don’t be tempted to skip dinner in order to “conserve” your calories! Instead, eat a healthy, satisfying meal BEFORE you indulge. That way, you’re less likely to drink too much or binge on less-than-healthy foods.
  22. 22. Be aware of what you are drinking. Investigate the calorie content of your favorite drinks. That knowledge alone may help you to find substitutions for higher calorie drinks! Example: Shot of coffee liquor Glass of wine = 150 calories = 75 calories
  23. 23. Drink your water too. Drink water between drinks. Having a full glass of water between alcoholic drinks can: Help you avoid drinking too much. Keep you hydrated. Keep you feeling fuller and more satisfied. Avoid a hangover the next day.
  24. 24. Know your weak spots. If you know you tend to drink too much and overeat at parties: • Prepare yourself by eating a good meal beforehand so you’re not there with an empty stomach. If you know that you will start eating all the pretzels on the bar: • Ask the bartender to remove the bowl as soon as you sit down. If you know your sweet tooth cravings come out when you’ve had a drink or two: • Ask your friend or spouse to help keep the dessert menu away from you!
  25. 25. Think about your goals. Keep your eyes focused on your prize! Think to yourself how awesome it is going to be the day you hit your mark in weight loss and health. Turning down a refill may be hard in the moment, but you’ll be glad you did when you wake up the next day – Refreshed, on track, and ready for your workout!
  26. 26. Moderation is still key. Just like with everything. Treat alcohol as something you can enjoy from time to time without going overboard. Be careful with the choices you make to ensure your success!
  27. 27. Bottom line for weight loss and health: Drinking alcohol can be pleasurable and does not necessarily cause additional weight gain. Alcohol = Empty calories with no nutritional value Any and all fat-burning STOPS with the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol consumption stimulates cravings for fatty foods. Drinking can diminish willpower to stick with weight loss goals.