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eperka 09-20-2011 05:52 PM

Alcohol + weight loss
 
I've seen many articles and posts about achieving and maintaining motivation to stay on a healthy program for losing weight. One of my most challenging issues is the use of alcohol and how it affects weight loss. I'm not an alcoholic, but alcohol does provide a pleasurable mood change, and I've been reluctant to give it up completely (not forever, but for a period of time appropriate to my weight loss program). I think not understanding fully the role that alcohol plays with respect to weight loss has been part of this reluctance to give it up. The answer for me was in research. I just finished a review of several articles, and they convinced me that alcohol is a real culprit that can slow (or arrest) your weight loss efforts, even if you are doing everything else "right." Since your body cannot store alcohol, it is the first thing (or fuel source) that your body will use. So your fat burning effectively stops while the body uses the alcohol for fuel. In fact, alcohol can decrease you fat burning rate by as much as 73%. Alcohol can also stimulate your appetite and lower your inhibitions about eating. Not a good combination. So I've decided today to go alcohol-free for 30 days, to see how this affects the rate of my weight loss.

Here are some of my stats:
Gender: M
Age: 60
Height: 6'-4"
Current weight: 245 lbs.
Max weight (2003): 275 lbs.
Goal Weight: 215
Loss since 9/7/11: 7.3 lbs.

I'd be interested to hear from others who may have been dealing with this issue.

mecompco 09-20-2011 06:57 PM

I agree 100%, alcohol just isn't any good if you're trying to lose weight. I had to cut back substantially. Now I do have some from time to time (probably more often than I should) and I'm sure it has cut into my rate of loss.

So, I think we agree that the best be is to abstain entirely. The next best is to be as moderate as possible.

Regards,
Michael

snafuken 09-20-2011 08:51 PM

I do find that alcohol absolutely triggers an un-controllable eating frenzie with me.
I want to eat everything in sight that isn't nailed down to the floor !
On top of that it seems to set off cravings for the worse possible food choices I could make . ie: Potatoe Chips !!!!.
On top of that your research into the metabolc aspect in itself is a big eye opener and reason enough to abstain or cut way back .
That's my 2 cents :(

VitoVino 09-20-2011 09:04 PM

I hear ya about alcohol. I used to drink really heavy beers, then I scaled back to light beer to help keep my weight down. Recently since I've been watching the alcohol, I've switched to 64 which surprisingly is very tasty even though it's very low on calories and alcohol content. I must be doing pretty good now since a 12 pack has lasted me over 5 weeks and I've still got half left. I've read a lot about how alcohol can mess you up with your weight loss goals, so I'm only having one here and there as a treat. I'll never give up beer, but from now on I'm going to be very stingy about having one.

rpmcduff 09-20-2011 09:08 PM

While simple carbs like sugar and white flour are often identified as anti-weight loss foods because of their fast digesting calories, alcohol is often overlooked. Yet alcohol has 7 kcal per gram, simple carbs only 4.

In my opinion the freshman 10 or 15 pound weight gain isn't because there is plentiful food at the cafeteria. It is because of an increase in alcohol consumption. I enjoy a good beer as much as the next guy but my consumption has gone to less than 1 per week because I now understand the consequences.

sw07 09-20-2011 09:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eperka (Post 57357)
but alcohol does provide a pleasurable mood change, and I've been reluctant to give it up completely

LOL...ain't that the truth. I did quit for a while when I first started to lose weight,and that helped tremendously, but once I hit my goal weight, I slowly started back up and moderation is the key.
After a long run, I'm usually craving an ice cold beer, which probably isn't good for me or when my brother comes to town, he's usually packing some potent micro-brew...so ya, I know what you mean all too well.

RunbikeSki 09-21-2011 01:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sw07 (Post 57375)
LOL...ain't that the truth. I did quit for a while when I first started to lose weight,and that helped tremendously, but once I hit my goal weight, I slowly started back up and moderation is the key.
After a long run, I'm usually craving an ice cold beer, which probably isn't good for me or when my brother comes to town, he's usually packing some potent micro-brew...so ya, I know what you mean all too well.

Ditto, ditto and re-ditto. Eliminating alcohol was definitely the key to losing the first 35 lbs and has been a trouble spot in losing the last 5 to 10. Like you, eperka, I don't concider myself an alcoholic, but a beer or glass of wine while DH and I prepare dinner and another with dinner (and maybe 1 after dinner) is just part of our evening ritual.

A couple of days ago I heard an interview with an author of new book on will power who put things in perspective for me. His research found that we all have a finite amount of will power that gets used up during the day. If you have a particularly difficult day where you have to make yourself do things you don't want to do, or stop yourself from doing things you want to do, by the time you get home in the evening your reserves are depleted. Thus, the ability to resist that lovely bottle Red Hook in 'fridge is really tough.

When I was focused on losing the weight, I chose at time when work was flowing smoothly and I was able to overlook a lot of minor issues and just focus on eating properly. I developed good habits including not having my usual evening beer or wine. After a while it didn't really take much will power anymore. Once I was in maintence mode I added the evening ritual back in, but maintained the good eating habits. So I haven't gained the weight back and actually slowly lost a little more. BUT when I tried to get back on the losers track I haven't been quite so successful.

And I am pretty sure that is because work has be tremendously stressful lately and just getting myself to go into the office requires a lot of will power, as do many tasks once I am there. So my usual large resources are simple gone by the time I get home. At the moment I consider myself lucky that I am still maintaining (largely because I am a fitness fiend).

I do see hope for improvement with the work environment on the horizon, so, with luck, maybe I will see the 120's yet :rolleyes:.

Kumochi 09-21-2011 01:52 AM

I have sworn off alcohol till Dec 1st to try to get more pounds off. It's funny how you become aware of how many times a week socializing involves alcohol when you quit drinking. For me an absolute resolution to stop till a certain date works best. That way I don't need to use as much will power each time I'm faced with a drink.

The alcohol calories in one glass of wine aren't much. None is easier than just one for me. Mary

ZoeDuc 09-26-2011 01:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RunbikeSki (Post 57395)
Ditto, ditto and re-ditto. Eliminating alcohol was definitely the key to losing the first 35 lbs and has been a trouble spot in losing the last 5 to 10. Like you, eperka, I don't concider myself an alcoholic, but a beer or glass of wine while DH and I prepare dinner and another with dinner (and maybe 1 after dinner) is just part of our evening ritual.

You took the words right out of my mouth! :D That is exactly what I do now, that's why it's so hard to lose the last 10. Since I've lost the majority of my weight, and after having a hard day at work, I feel 'entitled'. I need to change my mind set. It's really hard though, because having some wine at night really relaxes me.


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