Nfld. & Labrador

Bryan Harris | Alcohol and weight loss are not a good 'mix'

If dropping a few pounds of body fat is one of your wellness goals, pay attention to some tips from our wellness columnist.

Beer, liquor and wine may all set you up with calories your body does not need

Beer, like other alcoholic drinks, can pose a problem for people trying to lose weight.

If dropping a few pounds of body fat is one of your wellness goals, I always suggest limiting alcohol consumption.  Alcohol consumption can destroy a full week of healthy eating and exercise. Here is why.

The average one jigger shot of rum, whisky, vodka or scotch is approximately 125 calories.  The average beer 150 calories and light beer 110 calories, and a six-ounce glass of wine 130 calories.  

How many people do you know who finish off six to 10 beers will go looking for a salad?

Alcohol is full of calories and they are the worst type of calories because they are simple sugar calories.

Simple sugar calories enter the blood stream very fast and cause a very fast spike in your blood sugar level. 

This spike in blood sugar has a negative effect on your pancreas, because your pancreas now has to quickly produce insulin to deal with the alcohol-induced sugar rush.

This is only the start of the problem. 

The average female's daily maximum calorie level is approximately 1,400 to 1,600 calories a day. The average male needs approximately 1,600 to 1,800 a day.  In one alcohol-drinking event, it's easy to see how an individual can exceed their daily caloric needs. 

Remember these additional calories are over and above what you need, and most likely will be stored as fat. Oh, speaking of fat, how many people do you know who finish off six to 10 beers will go looking for a salad?

It's late at night, you just drank 1,000 alcohol calories, and now you're starving. But you're not starving for a green, healthy salad: you crave salt, fat and sugar.

So, junk food looks very inviting. Now another 500 high-fat, low-nutrient calories enter the body. We all know what happens to excess calories. 

I am not suggesting you abstain from alcohol, but if reducing body fat is one of your wellness goals, less alcohol is better.

Get some club soda and ice

Here are a few simple tips that will help you limit your alcohol consumption.

1. Try to drink a glass of water between alcohol servings. The water will keep you hydrated and spaces out your beverages. You will notice you will tend to drink less.

One of the best things to drink during a party: water. A glass between servings of alcohol helps hydrate your body.

2. Try adding club soda to white wine.  Once again, this will keep you hydrated and reduces the amount of alcohol consumed.

3. Switching from regular beer to light beer will save a lot of calories over the run of a night.

4. If you drink liquor, fill the glass with ice, use a low to no-calorie mix and only pour one ounce. This removes the mix calories, increases your water consumption and reduces the alcohol consumption.

5. Avoid the late night alcohol-induced eating binge. If you must have something to eat, keep it small and healthy. You will sleep better and feel much better in the morning.

About the Author

As an employee, health and wellness educator, Bryan has initiated dozens of programs and courses.


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