We all know that alcohol has calories, and it's effects can be enjoyable, especially during stressful times. Many of us consume a glass of wine with our dinner, some a few beers at a weekend birthday party, others a fruity cocktail by the pool. But how do these treats work in with our goals to find #balance? 🍹🥃🍺🍸
Alcohol, in terms of reaching a specific health goal, is what I like to refer to as "empty calories". When we consume these substances, they are broken down in our body as calories consumed, but we are not actually gaining any nutritional value from consumption. Essentially, we are taking in the calories, but not reaping the benefits of what actual food would do for us. As we focus on making better food choices in order to decrease our caloric and sugar intake, you might be completely blowing any and all progress with what seems like "just a glass of wine or two".
But, we're all trying to find our #balance right?! So I am never going to tell you that you can't have wine or a margarita ever again. But what are the "better" or "worse" choices when it comes to consuming alcohol while you strive to achieve a fat loss goal?
When your body consumes any substance, your blood sugar will naturally increase. Insulin will kick in (it's job is to bring down blood sugar), and while your insulin levels are spiked, your body is programmed to store body fat. When you consume sugary liquors, sweet wines, and heavy beers, you are essentially consuming an excess amount of calories with no nutritional value that is spiking your insulin and pausing your body from burning body fat. A single 5oz glass of wine or a pint of beer can range between 120-200 calories, with some fruity cocktails (like a Pina Colada) containing almost 600 calories! (Did you know that 1 pounds of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories?) These drinks can range anywhere from 5 grams to 80 grams of sugar in a single drink! And if we're being honest here, the majority of us are not having just 1!
When you consume regular liquor without any added sugars, flavors and syrups, you will yes be consuming excess calories, but not in excess of sugar and carbohydrates, therefore minimizing the insulin spike response in your body and the amount of calories consumed. So if you are to choose to drink alcohol while living in #balance, your "best" options include unflavored: