Most People Dream, But You Prevailed This Weekend
By Kevin DiDonato MS, CES--Level 1 Certified Precision Nutrition and Certified Personal Trainer
The media, government, and healthcare professionals have been preaching for years about limiting your consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda, juices, and others.
However, there is ONE area that they have failed to address.
And this one area – or shall I say beverage - could also be contributing to the rise in obesity in adults, regardless of age, social class, or sex.
It has been shown that one-third of men and roughly 18 percent of women consume at least one – if not more – of this type of beverage.
What am I talking about?
Alcohol in the form of beer, wine, or spirits!
This could be a growing trend and a major unspoken contributor to the intake of empty – and often times - excessive calories.
And guess what? Those calories may go straight to your hips, thighs, butt, and abs!
Alcohol and Weight Gain
Of course you know all the dangerous effects of alcohol.
It can impair your ability to drive a car…
Damage your liver…
KILL your brain cells...
And, may lead to weight gain!
However, there has been relatively little focus on the relationship between alcohol intake – be it moderate or excessive – and weight gain.
A new data brief by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that more CALORIES are consumed from alcoholic beverages!
Yes, even more than sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda or fruit juice!
Here are some key findings from the CDC:
• The U.S. adult population consumes an average of almost 100 calories per day from alcoholic beverages
• Men consume more calories from alcoholic beverages than women
• Younger adults consume more calories from alcoholic beverages than older adults
• Men consume more beer than other types of alcohol
And, they showed that alcohol may be a TOP contributor to caloric intake without providing any essential nutrition.
In fact, it has been shown that men – between the ages of 20 and 39 – consume the most calories (174 per day) from alcoholic beverages, which is more than one 12 ounce can of soda.
But here is the most surprising statistic:
At least 18 percent of men and 12 percent of women consume MORE than 300 extra calories per day – which is two or more drinks – which could add a great deal of empty calories, added sugar, and some fats to their day.
The current guidelines recommend that alcohol should be consumed in moderation (one drink per day for women, and two drinks per day for men) – which most people do.
However, for the small percentage of men and women who consume more, this may add to your caloric intake, which could spell trouble for your waistline.
The Steps to Take
Like anything else, there are steps to minimize the effects of alcohol on your body – in this case – for halting extra weight gain.
First step – and this may NOT be easy - cut down or limit the amount of alcohol you consume in a day.
By cutting down on your intake, you are limiting the amount of extra calories you are consuming, which could lower your chances for extra weight gain.
Remember, the recommendations are one per day for women and two per day for men.
Second step – if you did well with the first step – limit your alcohol intake to the weekends (in moderation of course).
This could limit the amount of calories you are consuming throughout the week, which could keep your weight loss on track.
Step three – eat a healthy diet
Now, a healthy diet is not going to erase the effects of alcohol, but it may help with your weight loss.
By watching what you eat, avoiding added sugar (soda, sugar-sweetened beverages, etc.), eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins may help maintain the right caloric amount, provide you with vitamins and minerals, and essential fats your body needs in order to burn MORE fat.
If you combine these three steps – a healthy diet, cut back on your intake, and limit your intake during the week – you may find yourself feeling better, losing weight, and looking your best!
Nielsen SJ, Kit BK, Fakhouri T, Ogden CL. Calories Consumed From Alcoholic Beverages by U.S. Adults, 2007-2010. NCHS Data Brief. 2012 November;110.