Have a big weight loss goal, but also enjoy a glass of wine in the evening? Not sure if it’s really that big of a deal? So, check this out, mamas. I’m going to keep it real, as promised…and tell you the ugly truth. WARNING: I’m not candy-coating any of this for you.
Let’s explore the details in a three-fold bit of two’s, beginning with a brief 2-part lesson in biology.
1. Fat Burning
Sure, we’ve all heard of the studies about wine boosting metabolism and providing antioxidants. Truth is, whatever antioxidants and small metabolism boost to be gained by drinking wine long-term, can be gained elsewhere in much greater quantity and effectiveness, without the negative effects of drinking alcohol (matcha green tea, anyone?). When we drink alcohol, even in moderate amounts, our bodies are temporarily unable to burn fat. Since our bodies can’t store calories from alcohol for later (as they do with food), the metabolic system stops what it’s doing to focus on getting rid of the alcohol. Translation: instead of burning fat, your body must instead metabolize the alcohol. Hence the term “beer belly,” describing the physiques of those who drink excessively.
2. Blood Sugar Response and Malabsorption of Nutrients
Not only does alcohol void of nutrients, it can impair your body’s ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients from the nutritious foods you eat. What about the healthy resveratrol in wine? New research has found that it may not add years to your life or reduce the risk of heart disease or cancer, as previously touted. As far as weight loss and fat loss are concerned, maintaining a steady blood sugar to regulate insulin levels is crucial for success. Sadly, a healthy blood sugar level is one of the first elements of metabolism to be pushed aside in the body’s rush to rid of the toxins of alcohol as quickly as possible. Alcohol inhibits the body’s ability to make glucose and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. This is why, over time, heavy drinkers can develop glucose intolerance and become diabetic.
Oookay, so enough of the sad talk. Now you know why to avoid that drink, but how does all of this calculate into real life? Here are two practical suggestions.
In your goal-intensive phase:
Avoid all alcohol. I mean it! Why? Even moderately consumed, alcohol can reduce fat oxidation by up to 73%. So if you’re serious about burning that fat (especially belly fat), take the plunge and sacrifice even that tantalizing glass of wine. Make the most of your hard work and awesome dietary changes, and forego the alcohol until you reach your goal weight.
In your maintenance phase:
Once you’ve achieved your goal weight, celebrate! This doesn’t mean going crazy with the desserts and drinks…but you know that. A drink here or there may be a nice treat. Remember that drinking in moderation is defined as one drink per day for women. If you’re going to drink in moderation, below are a couple tips.
Tip #1: To keep your blood sugar from soaring after having a drink, nibble on foods with protein, fiber and healthy fat, which provide long-lasting energy. A couple of recommendations are almond butter with apple slices, or greek yogurt with berries. Eating a good snack or small meal with your drink also helps keep you from making poor food choices in the midst of relaxed social scenarios and throwing caution to the wind.
Tip #2: Stick to one drink a day. This doesn’t mean “saving up” a whole week’s worth of drinks for the weekend. The immediate effect those extra drinks have on your metabolism, blood sugar, and appetite remains. Also keep in mind that hangovers, on top of being totally unpleasant, are a magnet for unhealthy food cravings. Pasta and greasy pizza? Oh yeah. You know what I’m talking about.
Real talk, ladies. If you’re serious about losing that belly, ditch the alcohol. Not forever, but at least for now. Be honest: how badly do you want to reach those goals??
YOU GOT THIS.