Tonic Weightloss Newsletter 35 - alcohol drinking


We do a lot of drinking during December. In fact the average Brit can drink two or three times their usual alcohol intake over the Christmas and New Year period. According to stats, Brits spend more than 165bn just on the alcohol we drink in our 165 million December pub outings, never mind what we cart home from the shops. So with Christmas only 4 weeks away, what is the best alcohol to drink without sabotaging your health and your weight, and why does alcohol cause weight gain?

Calories: Alcohol contains more calories per gram than protein and carbohydrates. Increased calorie intake leads to weight gain so the alcohol with the least amount of calories is the best choice. Don’t be fooled by low carb beers which have similar alcohol and calorie content as full strength beers. Our bodies cannot store alcohol calories as body fat or glycogen and will use it as an immediate source of fuel.

This may sound like good news but it results in fat mobilisation from your body fat stores being reduced and the calories from any food you are eating when drinking will be stored as body fat. This is an exceptionally good reason to eat well when you are drinking.

Alcohol contains lots of energy (calories) with no fibre. Fibre in the stomach tells our brain we are full and hopefully we stop eating and consuming too many calories. Without fibre it is easy to over consume the calories in alcohol. Drinking any level of alcohol regularly carries a health risk for anyone, but if men and women limit their intake to no more than 14 units a week it keeps the risk of illness like cancer and liver disease low. Here’s what you can do to limit the damaging effects that alcohol has on your body, yet not give up completely. These tips will help you stay on top of your health and weight this month while you still enjoy a drink or two.