Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Alcohol and Weight Loss

Happy New Year! And with the new year comes many weight loss resolutions. As personal trainers, we get lots of questions about alcohol and weight loss. Alcohol, like junk food, is considered empty calories. Although technically, it's calories provide energy, alcohol is void of any nutrient value. Alcohol is categorized as a carbohydrate but provides 7 calories per gram instead of the 4 calories per gram of other carbohydrates.

Moreover, alcohol is processed differently than other carbohydrates. Most of the alcohol is processed by the liver like fat. Once the liver converts its by-products into fatty acids, the fatty acids will either be stored in the liver as fat or transported into the blood. Excessive fat stored in the liver leads to a fatty liver and eventually cirrhosis of the liver.

Furthermore, 1 serving of alcohol contains 100 to 150 calories. Therefore, when dieting for weight loss, one should treat alcohol like food and count the calories toward the daily caloric intake. One serving of alcohol is one 12 oz beer or one 4 oz glass of wine or 1.5 oz of liquor.

Source: Melvin H. Williams. Nutrition for Health, Fitness, and Sport.

No comments:

Post a Comment