Drinking alcohol before meals is extremely common in western culture. One has to remember that alcohol does affect weight loss. Research has shown that alcohol halts fat burning and affects testosterone levels. It is also widely believed to increase appetite. In this article, we will look at the effects of drinking alcohol before meals and how this affects the meal eaten afterward.
What Happens When Drinking Alcohol Before Meals
An interesting study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition investigated the effects of drinking alcohol before meals. Researchers randomly gave 52 participants either one of the following;
- alcohol in the form of wine or beer
- fat in the form of cream fruit juice
- protein in the form of protein fruit juice
- carbohydrate in the form of grape juice
The participants were given a main course 30 minutes later. The highest meal calories were from those who were drinking alcohol before meals. These participants also had the highest eating rate and longest meal duration. These people took an average of 14 minutes longer to finish the main course.
Their bodies did not compensate for the calories that were in the alcoholic beverage. The researchers theorized that the reason for this could be the difference in taste in the beverages. The sweeter taste of the other beverages sent signals to the brain that calories were being consumed. The brain then tried to compensate by signaling a feeling of fullness faster. This was not the case with the relatively less sweet and more sour or bitter tastes of the alcoholic beverages.
The relatively larger meal size after the alcoholic beverages was also accompanied by a different pattern of being satiated. It appeared that satiety, which shows an increase a few minutes after the start of a meal, increased later when drinking alcoholic beverages. Delayed satiety resulted in the participants who drank alcohol to eat more.
Effect of Drinking Alcohol Before Meals
Drinking alcohol before meals affects how you eat your main course. The alcoholic beverage has calories which the body is not able to sense due to its non-sweet taste. These calories also add to the meal calories. The alcoholic beverage also caused participants to continue eating beyond satiety. The researchers suggested that alcohol could increase the satiety levels which explains why they ate more and ate longer.
There is not much doubt that alcohol effects weight loss. Drinking alcohol before meals results in increased calories consumed. in the main course This works against your weight loss efforts. As such, you should be more aware of these effects of alcohol.
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