alcohol

Miami Diet Doctor Shows You How You Can Drink Alcohol and Still Lose Weight

alchol drinking in south florida

 

Few cities in the US are as conscious of weight and body appearance as Miami and South Florida- – the dance music and clubbing capital of the world.  There is a party happening every night of the week. This is America’s playground, and it’s somehow still classier than Las Vegas. The difficulty has been adapting this lifestyle to the huge amount of alcohol consumption that happens in the bars and restaurants that are on every corner of the city without causing serious weight gain and other health effects.

Alcohol and weight loss: Drinking alcohol may make weight loss difficult. Alcohol causes far more significant problems than might appear by looking at the number of calories in a drink. After all, a glass of wine is only 90 calories.

  • Alcohol has empty calories; it has no nutritional benefit
  • Alcohol has almost the same calories as fat (7 calories per gram)
  • Alcohol is often accompanied by high calorie snack foods
  • Alcohol lowers inhibitions making portion control difficult
  • Alcohol mixes are often even higher in calories than the alcohol itself
  • Alcohol stimulates appetite
  • Alcohol often interferes with sleep

All of these effects, especially the unplanned calories that often accompany alcohol, cause weight gain. Studies in the journal Angiology in 2008 found few problems with small amounts of alcohol, but significant increases in weight and medical complications with heavy drinking. No doubt the best and fastest weight loss is when there is the least amount of alcohol.

How Alcohol Stops Fat Burning

Alcohol Calories1. Alcohol Decreases Your Metabolism

When we eat protein, fat, or carbs, some of the food is burned immediately and some of it is stored for future use. However, this does not occur when drinking alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is used for metabolism first, and is used for energy until it’s gone from the bloodstream. As this is happening, the body cannot use protein, fat or carbs for metabolism. Less than 5 percent of the alcohol calories you drink are turned into fat. The beer belly occurs not because alcohol is turned into fat but because for long periods of time the alcohol, instead of the stored fat, is being used for energy.

2. Alcohol Stimulates Appetite as it Suppresses Control

Alcohol suppresses control, the brain’s ability to say it has had enough—of both alcohol and food. At the same time it, makes people more hungry. The combination of more hunger with less control is very dangerous for some dieters.

3. Alcohol Causes Poor Sleep Making Weight Loss More Difficult

Small amounts of alcohol make you feel sleepy but too much alcohol results in poor sleeping, often the result of falls in blood sugar in the middle of the night. Some people wake up and eat. Poor sleeping in itself contributes to weight gain. As we all age, our metabolism slowly decreases. Most of us don’t need to further decrease it with daily alcohol consumption!

4. Alcohol Encourages Overeating, Increases Food Mistakes

This is the big difference between Western Europe and the U.S. Few Europeans eat chicken wings with bleu cheese dressing, cans of nuts, chips, popcorn, trail mix, pretzels, crackers and cheese, dips and candy. They drink their wine slowly and with no snacks. When the main course comes the portions are small so that portion control is easy–they are small from the beginning and there are no “seconds.”

Look carefully at these two pictures. The pictures on the top are taken at Paris Cafes. Those on the bottom at American Bars.

Bars in Europe vs. U.S. Bars

The Secrets of Drinking Alcohol and NOT Gaining Weight

How Often to Drink Alcoholic Beverages:
It’s usually not the calories of the alcohol that are the problem in a diet plan, but the other effects that make weight loss difficult. A good plan is to limit drinking to no more than 3 days per week, usually the weekends and special events at the most. Drinking every night, especially for relief of stress, often alone, should be avoided. Most individuals, especially those with a slow metabolism due to age or a sedentary occupation, simply cannot afford to further lower their metabolism every day of the week by the nightly consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Choosing the “Right” Alcoholic Beverage:
Deciding to drink alcohol is a very personal choice. The secret, similar to the key to selecting foods, is to make the best choice among all of the many possibilities. Similar to the process of choosing foods, the smart dieter keeps the calories as low as possible and avoids high-calorie mixes that often contain lots of hunger-causing carbs such as juices or tonic. At the same time, she seeks drinks where there is possible “dilution” with zero-calorie fillers. Examples of the latter are soda water mixed with scotch, vodka, or whiskey; tomato juice mixed with vodka; and diet cola with rum. Using these zero-calorie “fillers” results in larger volumes of beverages, each having fewer calories.


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