Can alcoholic drinks help you lose weight?

on 27/06/11 at 9:48 pm

Booze News

Can alcoholic drinks blow your attempt to slim down—or strangely, could they actually help you lose the weight.

Alcohol and your weight have a tricky relationship. So tricky, in fact, that experts have had a tough time nailing down exactly why some women wind up with a beer gut (or butt) while others drink daily and never seem to gain a pound.

Here’s what we know: Your average drink—beer, wine, martini, pick your poison—is usually a combination of carbs, sugar, and ethanol (pure alcohol). When it goes down the hatch, it makes a pit stop at your stomach, where some of the alcohol is absorbed through the lining and into your bloodstream, giving you that initial buzz. The carbs and sugar go the traditional digestive route, while ethanol, a toxin, is diverted to the liver.

This is when that innocent little drink starts messing with your internal fat incinerator. Ethanol has no nutritional value, so your body burns it off first. That means any remaining calories in your stomach—whether they’re from the margarita or the chips and guacamole you had with it—will likely be stored as fat. And the more fattening the foods you eat, the easier the calories are to store. (Bear in mind that research published in Physiology & Behavior found that alcohol makes us focus on immediate pleasure and ignore the consequences, which often results in eating junk food.) Unlike protein and carbs, which require some energy for the body to break down and store, fat can directly deposit itself, so those chips are first in line to be plastered to your thighs.

Still, the situation might not be as bleak as it appears, because the real problem may not be drinking itself, but how often and how hard we hit the bottle.

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