There are countless articles on the effects of drinking alcohol on your weight (many of which you can find on this website). But with another St. Patty’s Day upon us, a day notorious for partaking in a pint or two, we thought we’d take a moment to remind you of why alcohol and weight loss aren’t greatest of chums.
Our intention is not to be the downer at the party, but facts are facts, and we want you to make wise decisions based on them. So here are some tidbits to carry with you if you’re planning on wetting your whistle.
- Most alcoholic beverages are higher in calories, clocking in at seven calories per gram. That’s nearly as high as the nine calories per gram in fatty foods.
- Even when consuming alcohol in moderation, you tend to consumer more calories overall from both food and drink. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men consume an additional 433 calories on days they drink a moderate amount of alcohol, with about 61% of the that increase coming from the alcohol itself.
- Alcohol is a fat-sparing substance, meaning that your body will look to it first to burn calories for energy. So the more you imbibe, the harder it will be for you to lose fat.
- On average, mixed drink cocktails have higher calorie counts than beer, wine, or hard alcohol (poured neat), mainly due to the high sugar content in the mixers. For instance, one margarita has over 700 calories, which is more than two slices of pizza!
What else does alcohol do besides cause weight gain?
Then of course there are the other serious hazards of alcohol, which include liver damage and higher risk of accident, which can be exacerbated by carrying around excess body weight.
The takeaway is of course you should enjoy yourself on this traditionally fun holiday, but be careful of your and others’ safety, and be conscious of how those libations can affect your weight loss efforts.