The more I read, the more I realize that drinking can sabotage weight loss. In fact some of what I read says they are flat our enemies. Although one drink a day will not hurt, they say any more than that can put a stop to weight loss. Alcohol is metabolized differently than other foods and beverages. Under normal conditions, your body gets its energy from the calories in carbohydrates, fats and proteins, which are slowly digested and absorbed within the digestive system. However, this digestive process changes when alcohol is present. When you drink alcohol it gets immediate attention (because it is viewed by the body as a toxin) and needs no digestion.
When the body is focused on processing alcohol, it is not able to properly break down foods containing carbohydrates and fat. Therefore, these calories are converted into body fat and are carried away for permanent storage on your body.
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it causes water loss and dehydration. Along with this water loss you lose important minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc. These minerals are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, and muscle contraction and relaxation.
Alcohol affects your body in other negative ways. Drinking may help induce sleep, but the sleep you get isn't very deep. As a result, you get less rest, which can trigger you to eat more calories the next day. Alcohol can also increase the amount of acid that your stomach produces, causing your stomach lining to become inflamed. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to serious health problems, including stomach ulcers, liver disease, and heart troubles.
Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, which is detrimental to your diet plans. Alcohol actually stimulates your appetite. While you might be full from a comparable amount of calories from food, several drinks might not fill you up. On top of that, research shows that if you drink before or during a meal, both your inhibitions and willpower are reduced. In this state, you are more likely to overeat—especially greasy or fried foods—which can add to your waistline. To avoid this, wait to order that drink until you're done with your meal.
Bottom line, it is a slippery slope and nothing good will come of it. I hope to focus on balance… knowing it is OK to have a drink everyone in a while but any more than that will hurt my chances of losing weight and set me back a couple days beyond. I can only hope to make better choices going forward… wish me luck.