Categorized | Healthy Weight

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Alcohol and Weight Gain – The Truth and Lies

There are a lot of misconceptions about alcohol and weight gain. It is absolutely true that alcohol has calories in it. In fact alcohol has a lot of calories in it. One shot of your favorite type of liquor could have as many as 50 calories. Because of this many people, including doctors and dieticians, have come to believe that alcohol should be cut if you want to effectively lose weight.

Unfortunately for them, they are dead wrong.

While alcohol consumption will increase the amount of calories you consume for the day, the type of calories you gain from alcohol will have very little, if any impact on your weight. The reasons for this are not really known. It may have to do with the fact that alcohol will actually increase your metabolic rate. That’s right, consuming alcohol will actual help your metabolism. It could also be that our bodies are not designed to effectively process calories gained from alcohol. Whatever the reason, it is well researched and documented that cutting alcohol will not significantly help you trim your waist line.

Keep in mind here that I am talking about alcohol. Not about the other additives, syrups and sugars that might go into a mixed drink. Certainly if you are doing a low carb diet and you keep drinking beer and sugary mixed drinks you will be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

From a health standpoint there is not really any reason for the average person, barring any diseases and physical problems that might make alcohol consumption debilitating, to stop drinking in moderation. Moderate consumption of alcohol is actually healthy. It will benefit everything from your heart, circulatory system, and even your immune system. In fact, on average a person who consumes moderate amounts of alcohol per day will outlive someone who either drinks to excess or does not drink at all.

That’s right. Not drinking alcohol will likely shorten your life. People in Europe have believed this for years. It is just in the last 5 – 10 years that science has really found the data to back this up.

The question that you need to answer is what constitutes moderate drinking? If you don’t drink at all you are hurting your health and if you drink too much you will hurt your health even more. The trick is finding the right balance. What that balance is depends a lot on you. Factors like your weight play a significant role in how much you can drink. Generally speaking men should limit themselves to a few drinks per night and women should have only 1 – 2.

Now do not take this article to mean that you should all run out and start drinking. There are a variety of factors involved in this issue that you should talk about with your physician. With that said I do believe that any health and wellness plan that does not factor in the positive effects of alcohol consumption and only considers the negative, is not only out dated, but causing far more health problems than it is solving. So next time you life a glass of wine to everyone’s health, don’t feel too guilty about it because you might just be saving someones life.

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