Alcohol and Fat Loss Don't Mix
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image by Jenny Downing

Red wine may be good for your heart but it does nothing for your waistline.

With the popularity of a Mediterranean style diet for heart health, my clients often push back on my advice to limit their alcohol consumption.  I tell them moderation. One glass, once a week for a date night or a special occasion splurge is often okay but, for fat loss, a nightly cocktail is not part of the equation.

The problem is alcohol calories are different than other calories. Alcohol is more calorie dense than protein and other carbs with 7 calories per gram.  Also alcohol calories can’t be stored. This means our bodies must burn it off first – before the cookies or pasta we had with it. If you have a couple of glasses of wine to unwind before dinner, your body is going to be too busy burning off the alcohol to even deal with the other calories. They will be stored for later.

Alcohol not only suppresses metabolism, it also impairs your ability to make wise food choices.  After a couple of beers (even the lite ones) or glasses of bubbly you may be more likely to reach for the chips and salsa instead of the baby carrots, adding a few more calories that may or may not be burned off.

If fat loss is your goal, steer clear of alcohol this New Year’s Eve. Look for healthier alternatives to ring in the New Year and replace your nightly glass of wine to distress after a hard day. Need some ideas? Try one of these.

  • Yoga Journal published an awesome list of Merry Mixers. I love kombucha and the vegan egg nog.
  • How about a Virgin Bellini? The team at Clean Eating Magazine has a great alcohol free Raspberry Bellini recipe that will make any New Year’s Eve party a hit.
  • May I suggest a cup of tea to relax on a cold winter’s night? Try Cacao Mint or Ocean of Wisdom from Samovar Tea Lounge. Cacao Mint is rich but relaxing with just three ingredients: organic cocoa shells, organic lavender and organic peppermint. Ocean of Wisdom tastes like Masala Chai but is made from rooibos tea – making it caffeine free. The Samovar team also specially blended it for the Dalai Lama. What could be more zen then that?

What’s your favorite festive alcohol free drink? How do you unwind after a hard day?

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