Alcohol should play only a small part in your life if you want your dream body.
In this article we’ll focus on how alcohol puts the breaks on your fat loss.
You read the title right, alcohol consumption can reduce the amount of fat burned by 73%!
Alcohol and Fat Metabolism
Alcohol consumption has a severe effect on fat metabolism and therefore your weight loss goals. Please heed my advice and stay away from it completely when your goal is to lose fat (you can be a little more lenient when your focus is on bulking/gaining size).
Here’s why you should avoid alcohol:
‘Whole Body Lipid Oxidation’ is a measure of how much fat your body is burning. Obviously if your goal is to drop body fat, you want to optimize the rate of lipid oxidation.
If you are a regular consumer of alcohol, you have no chance!
A study supplied subjects with just two drinks of vodka and lemonade separated by a 30 minute interval. Each drink contained just under 90 calories. Fat metabolism was measured before and after consumption.
The result: For several hours after alcohol consumption, whole body lipid oxidation dropped by 73%!!
That’s hugely significant! But is it just a question of calories?
Absolutely not. This effect has to do with the metabolic pathway that alcohol takes.
The Pathway Of The ‘Electric Soup’
When alcohol is consumed it is quickly absorbed into the blood and heads straight for the liver. In the liver alcohol is converted to acetaldehyde which in turn is quickly converted to acetate.
The amount of acetate correlates negatively with the rate of lipid oxidation i.e.
when acetate levels rise, fat burned decreases.
This is bad news and here’s how it works:
The body’s preferred source of fuel is determined by what you feed it. If you consume a high-carb diet, carbs will be your body’s main source of fuel. The high levels of blood sugar that arise from such a diet are a recipe for fat storage which is why I recommend a low-carb approach for bodybuilding. This diet ensures that fat is the preferred source of fuel and that levels of fat oxidation remain consistently high.
In the same way that carbs block the burning of body fat, alcohol puts a barrier between you and your fat-loss goals. Your body will burn the acetate you are creating first and foremost, leaving fat oxidation out in the cold.
Bear in mind that this study was carried out with 2 drinks. If you’re anything like the binge drinkers where I live (I know because I used to be one of them) you’re drinking a hell of a lot more than 2 drinks in a night. Hell, most people I know arrive at the bar already plastered!
So if fat-loss is your goal, you can forget about it until your body has burned all that acetate off.
Mark’s advice: Don’t be a piss-head.
In my next article I’ll stay on the subject of booze and discuss why alcohol is detrimental to building muscle.
Stay Sober, Your Buddy
image credits: picturejockey and Doug Schwarz
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