A lot of people consume considerable alcohol while simultaneously trying to lose weight. This article is not intended to harp on the evils of drinking but rather to present the facts about the effect that it has on the body of someone trying to lose weight.
In the last article “Weight Loss and Alcohol” we disclosed in part, what science had to say about drinking and losing weight. Not only does alcohol prime you to consume more calories, it also practically shuts down fat burning by up to 70%. Do read this article if you are not totally convinced.
Anyway, in this article lets review further available scientific literature on the subject.
Table of Contents for Article
Alcohol and Testosterone
In a study published in the Journal Alcohol, 8 healthy adult males were administered a dose of alcohol and observed for a period of 48 hours. The researchers were quoted as saying that testosterone levels dipped for a period of 24 hours there after. Simultaneously the hormone cortisol increased and stayed elevated so long as testosterone levels were low.
Testosterone is a very potent fat burning and muscle building hormone besides its role for male/female libido. Yes that’s right! Women also naturally have testosterone but in very minuscule levels. Cortisol on the other hand, is a muscle destroying and fat storage promoting hormone. The results of the study shows that alcohol has a double whammy effect on weight loss. We have always stressed that Correct Weight Loss consists of losing body fat while preserving lean body mass. Drinking does the exact opposite!
Alcohol and Exercise
What about exercising before drinking? A lot of men could be doing this. They hit the gym on a Friday afternoon or evening before partying all night. The journal Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research published an article where the researchers concluded that exercising before drinking prolonged the depressant effect of alcohol on testosterone. It simply means that testosterone levels stayed depressed for longer than 24 hours. Conversely, cortisol levels stayed elevated just as long!
For those interested, look at another article that goes deeper into the effects of alcohol on exercise.
Alcohol and Muscle Building
On a lighter note, scientific research seems to suggest that drinking makes a man less manly. So it seems that teetotalers are more manly than men who drink alcohol!
Another publication in the journal Metabolism stated that men who regularly consumed alcohol had increased waist to hip ratios as well as smaller muscles compared to teetotalers.
Also do note that calories from alcohol do add up. See the typical calories for alcoholic beverages below;
- a can of 4-5% alcohol beer : approximately 150 calories
- 1 glass of table wine : approximately 125 calories
- single pack of gin : approximately 110 calories
- single pack of whiskey : approximately 110 calories
- single pack of margarita : approximately 170 calories
A 60 kg woman jogging at say 6km/h for 45 mins would burn off approximately 300 calories. That’s 2 glasses of margarita.
A 80 kg man jogging at say 6km/h for 45 mins would burn off approximately 420 calories. That’s 3 cans of beer.
The calories from alcohol do add up!
There is a strong link between alcohol and weight loss. The fat metabolism in both men and women reduces by 70%. Men have a large dip in testosterone and increase in cortisol. Incidentally, women also experience a rise in cortisol levels which ends up breaking down valuable muscles.
If you are absolutely serious about getting in shape and losing weight correctly, abstain from alcohol until you are happy with your body. Alcohol adds too many variables to the weight loss equation making it very difficult to manage the calories. Lose weight correctly. Alcohol is not a part of Correct Weight Loss!