Serious About Weight Loss? Cancel That Nightly Glass of Wine

I love the beginning of the year and do take the time to put together my resolutions along with everyone else. Why not take a little time to give yourself workable goals in the new year, and I do have high hopes for 2020.

Having worked with people in some capacity toward healthier lifestyle creation for close to three decades, you start to see trends in the goals they create. Weight-loss has to be at the top or at a minimum in the top two of the resolutions that people make each year.

I tend to think of this push toward weight-loss as a blanket statement for a host of healthy lifestyle modifications that people need to make to drop those extra pounds. Of those modifications, one that I see people struggle with is moderating their drinking.

You have maybe heard the adage you cannot outwork a bad diet? You should also know that you cannot lose weight and drink on a regular basis. Two habits will work against your efforts, nightly drinking and binge drinking on the weekends.

In this post, we will take a look at the impact that this type of drinking has on the body and the reason it is so hard to lose weight.

  1. Competition as a fuel source: Our bodies love alcohol! It turns out that alcohol is an amazingly quick and easy fuel source that is favored by our bodies. This means if you have a beer with that deep-dish pizza, your body will utilize the alcohol as fuel first. Do you want to guess what your body does with the rest of the calories you ingest? The fat and carbs from that meal will be stored for a rainy day. #beergutsareathing
  2. Compromises gut health: If you took a picture of a healthy intestinal tract, it would be the microscopic equivalent of a rainforest. We have an amazing symbiotic relationship with a host of microscopic flora and fauna that supports nutritional uptake. Now, when you introduce alcohol into this system, you get the same result that you would expect if you were to pour a vodka-tonic on a house plant. Poor absorption from the gut means that any food, regardless of how healthy it is, goes on through to the end, and you flush away any benefits you might get.
  3. Poor decision making: We all know that drinking in excess lowers inhibitions, and I’m sure many of you reading this have had regret-filled mornings after a not of overindulging. One of the more significant regrets that I hear about is the poor food choices that come with a night of drinking in excess. You know how it goes, you walk in the door after happy hour with coworkers when you realize that a super-burrito with extra guac and cheese is just a couple of clicks on Grubhub away.

I have put out some information here that might be surprising to many of you, and I hope that it helps to underscore the decisions you have already made in the new year. Keep in mind; I am not saying you can’t drink alcohol at all, but you need to do better about moderating your drinking. For weight loss, this means abstaining more days during the week than you drink and eliminating binge drinking.

Please feel free to note any success you have had with moderating your drinking in the comment section and look forward to more posts.

Matt Lawson, MA, NCC, LPC

Matt Lawson, MA, NCC, LPC

Hi, I'm Matt, and I'm a counselor who helps people achieve optimal health. I currently offer counseling services here at Chicago Compass Counseling and specialize in eSports and video game addiction. If you're interested, you can read more about me on my about page.