It’s common knowledge alcohol can cause weight gain. It has 7 calories per gram which is closer to that of fat (9 calories per gram) than carb and protein (4 calories per gram). Alcohol also inhibits fat burning and can reduce gains from strength training. To top it off, alcohol lowers our inhibitions and increases appetite. Consider these simple tips if you decide to indulge:
The type of drink you select can make a big impact on your waistline. For example, a regular beer provides a minimum of 10 grams of carbohydrate. Three of those a week over the course of a year is equivalent to 5 loaves of bread! In contrast, a light beer provides 2-3 grams of carb for the same serving size.
If there is no “light” version of your favorite drink, consider similar substitutes that can slash calories. For example, substitute seltzer water or almond milk in place of tonic or cream.
Managing your appetite when drinking is half the battle. Eating before drinking can help slow the release of alcohol into the bloodstream making it easier for your body to process the alcohol. Eating during or after drinking can be better managed with a little planning and awareness. Try drinking a large glass of water with your meal to curb your appetite and use a salad plate in lieu of the dinner size to control portions.