There are some questions that seem to be on the minds of Americans from one generation to the next; questions that seem to have no answer one day but a perfect answer the next. Questions like: Is Elvis really alive? Can you actually catch crabs from a toilet seat or Is it possible to lose weight with alcohol?
Depending on whose opinion you value, it appears that it’s entirely possible to consume adult beverages and still lose weight. It all comes down to that nasty little word we all hate: calories. And despite the fact that alcohol is a prolific purveyor of calories, it shouldn’t inhibit your weight loss program if you do things right.
Is There a Diet That is Foolproof?
We’ve all seen the Atkins diet, the fat-free diet, the low-carb diet, and even, believe it or not, the Twinkie diet. I kid you not, a K-State professor of nutrition science spent ten weeks doing something every postpartum woman has only dreamed of: He lost 27 pounds eating nothing but Twinkies, Hostess cupcakes, Doritos, and other assorted junk food. Of course, with the recent demise of Hostess, the Twinkie diet these days would consist of mere air.
In the end, he discovered what we’ve always known but have been afraid to admit: Losing weight is all about calories. Each individual needs a certain amount of calories to maintain the energy necessary for their daily routine. Take in more calories than you need and you’ll gain weight; take in fewer and you will lose weight.
One of our writers can verify this is true having lost 30 pounds last summer by counting calories however since we are not licensed doctors you should never rely on anything we say. The only adjustment he made to his diet was to moderate his rather voluminous intake so as to eat fewer high calorie foods and more low-cal alternatives. He did not alter his evening glass of Chocolate Lab wine, which was, in his opinion, the best thing he ever tasted. You should be able to start understanding why any medical school will not take our application serious right about now.
Are Female Drinkers Slimmer?
Ladies, if the idea of Twinkies and Hostess cupcakes has your mouth watering, there’s another study you’re bound to love. According to a 2010 article appearing in Time Magazine, women who consume moderate amounts of adult beverages are less likely to gain weight than those who practice temperance.
Researchers reached their conclusions after tracking women for more than a decade and observing the relationship between their drinking habits and their weight. Amazingly, women who consume more than two drinks every day are 30% less likely to be overweight and 70% less likely to be obese. Now there’s a diet you can live with!
The reasons behind all of this are irrelevant here; mainly because we don’t know what they are. We just like the fact that women can drink without fear of getting fat. Men don’t have that luxury; at least when it comes to slugging down our favorite beer at the local watering hole. Come to think of it, it’s rare to see a woman with a beer belly.
Why Would Men Gain Weight From Alcohol, But Not Women?
If you believe what’s written in Shape Magazine, the relationship between alcohol and losing weight it’s all about the individual ingredients. That may explain why women can drink and remain slim but men balloon to unbelievable proportions if they’re given to downing copious amounts of malt-based drinks.
While alcohol itself does have a certain calorie count, it’s not necessarily bad. The bad stuff comes from fillers like sugar and other mixers. Since the ladies are more apt to drink wine and spirits, they are putting fewer of those calories into their lovely bodies. The average man is more likely to stick to a calorie-laden brew in order to maintain his masculinity.
The other thing to consider is that the body burns certain types of calories in a specific order. For example, if you have a glass of wine with your meal, your body wants to burn the calories from alcohol before anything else. This might not sound bad, but it is you’re trying to lose weight.
The experts say that, as the body burns the calories from alcohol, the metabolism slows down and the body tends to store the calories from food as fat rather than burning them. So the key to losing weight while still consuming alcohol is not to drink with your meals.
Drink between meals, just after rigorous exercise, or even just before you go to bed. This may make you look like a lush, but that’s a small price to pay to get back into those skinny jeans.
Does Vomiting Count?
This topic is too rich to get by without some jokes, and we know someone out there is thinking about drunken vomiting as a weight loss program. Guess what? Vomiting doesn’t count unless you’re part of a fraternity where the goal of the party is to make a disgusting slob of yourself while wearing a bed sheet.
For the rest of us refined, social drinkers, vomiting is something to be left for either food poisoning or reading about Lindsay Lohan’s latest exploits. It is not a weight-loss strategy any more than the 1950s practice of strapping yourself to a vibrating rubber band that “does the work for you.”
And there you have it: Quite possibly, everything you ever wanted to know about drinking and weight loss. As for us, it’s time for a little Chocolate Lab.
- CNN – http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/08/twinkie.diet.professor/index.html
- Time Magazine – http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1970612,00.html
- Shape – http://www.shape.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-strategies/ask-diet-doctor-can-you-drink-alcohol-and-still-lose-weight
- Pleasant Valley Wine Company – http://www.pleasantvalleywine.com/pvw_order.taf