ALCOHOL and FAT gain

6 Feb

Successful weight loss is all about oxidizing (or burning), more calories than you eat. When they go on a diet, many people choose low-calorie alcoholic drinks, mainly because they contain fewer alcohol calories than their regular counterparts.

However, drinking too much has a far more damaging effect than you can predict simply by looking at the number of alcohol calories in a drink. Not only does it reduce the number of fat calories you burn, alcohol can increase your appetite and lower your testosterone levels for up to 24 hours after you finish drinking.  Unlike macro nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats, many alcoholic drinks are empty calories. They provide little nutritional value. make matters worse, it is the first fuel to be used when combined with carbohydrates, fats and proteins, postponing the fat-burning process and contributing to greater fat storage.When your liver is processing alcohol it will stop all other metabolic functions. It will do so until it rids your body of ethanol toxicity which is the by product of alcoholic consumption. This process leads many times to stubborn fat, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and  big belly.

But first and foremost, alcohol is a poison and your body must fight to get it out of your system. It directly impairs liver function thus severely hampering your metabolism of fat.


According to conventional wisdom, the infamous “beer belly” is caused by excess alcohol calories being stored as fat. Yet, less than five percent of the alcohol calories you drink are turned into fat. Rather, the main effect of alcohol is to reduce the amount of fat your body burns for energy.
Rather than getting stored as fat, the main fate of alcohol is conversion into a substance called acetate. In fact, blood levels of acetate after drinking the vodka were 2.5 times higher than normal. And it appears this sharp rise in acetate puts the brakes on fat loss.
A car engine typically uses only one source of fuel. Your body, on the other hand, draws from a number of different energy sources, such as carbohydrate, fat, and protein. To a certain extent, the source of fuel your body uses is dictated by its availability.
In other words, your body tends to use whatever you feed it. Consequently, when acetate levels rise, your body simply burns more acetate, and less fat. In essence, acetate pushes fat to the back of the queue.
So, to summarize  here’s what happens to fat metabolism after the odd drink or two.

  • A small portion of the alcohol is converted into fat.
  • Your liver then converts most of the alcohol into acetate.
  • The acetate is then released into your bloodstream, and replaces fat as a source of fuel.
  • While the liver is busy metabolizing alcohol, it is unable to metabolize fat.

The way your body responds to alcohol is very similar to the way it deals with excess carbohydrate. Although carbohydrate can be converted directly into fat, one of the main effects of overfeeding with carbohydrate is that it simply replaces fat as a source of energy and lead to a gain in weight.


Touched on briefly in point two, alcohol can increase appetite, making the combination of alcohol and a fattening meal all the more worse. A Canadian study showed that alcohol consumed before a meal increased caloric intake to a far greater extent than did a carbohydrate drink. Also, researchers from Denmark’s Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University showed that if a group of men were given a meal and allowed to eat as much as they wanted, alcohol, rather than a soft drink, would increase the amount of food consumed.
The combination of alcohol and a high-calorie meal is especially fattening, mainly because alcohol acts as a potent appetizer. .
Researchers from Denmark’s Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University report similar results . When a group of men was given a meal and allowed to eat as much as they wanted, they ate more when the meal was served with beer or wine rather than a soft drink.

Not only does too much alcohol put the brakes on fat loss, it’s also one of the most effective ways to slash your testosterone levels. Just a single bout of heavy drinking raises levels of the muscle-wasting hormone cortisol and increases the breakdown of testosterone for up to 24 hours . The damaging effects of alcohol on testosterone are made even worse when you exercise before drinking
The effect of alcohol on testosterone could be one reason that people who drink a lot carry less muscle. In fact, a 1993 study shows that alcoholic men have bigger waists and smaller muscles than teetotalers.Testosterone, which has a powerful fat loss effect, is reduced whenever alcohol is consumed, thus halting its full potential as a fat burner. Also, testosterone as an anabolic hormone, contributes to gains in lean muscle mass. Lowered testosterone means fewer muscle gains, and less muscle means a lowered metabolic rate.
A lower metabolic rate will make the job of losing fat all the more harder, as this is what governs the way we use energy. Those with a higher metabolic rate will burn more calories at rest. By interfering with testosterone production, alcohol indirectly causes the body to lower its metabolic rate (and thus the rate at which it uses energy) and directly prohibits testosterone from exerting its powerful fat burning effects.
Drinking Releases Cortisol That Suppresses Testosterone
According to studies in Journal Alcohol and in Bone Journal, drinking resulted in higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It lasted for  4 hours after the first drink and remained elevated for 24 hours. Cortisol acts directly on cells in the testes to inhibit the production and release of testosterone.
Stress hormones in our bodies help us during panic situations or “fight or flight” situations. In such conditions, the body shuts off the reproductive system by suppressing testosterone to channel blood into the muscles.
This helps someone flee from an oncoming tiger and I am sure that reproduction is the last thing on one’s mind in such a situation. Testosterone levels will stay suppressed as long as cortisol levels are elevated.

Why is it That Some People Drink But Still Have a Respectable Physique
As the research has shown, alcohol affects everyone. Every male testes has the ability to breakdown alcohol. Drinking will suppress testosterone production. There will be those who will be able to lose fat and build muscles while drinking. But these same people can achieve more without drinking. Those who may have  reached a plateau in their weight loss or muscle-building efforts should  take a step back to examine if alcohol is having a negative effect.
Alcohol Increase Estrogen
“Ask any guy and he’ll tell you that the LAST thing he wants is shrunken testicles, enlarged breasts, and difficulty getting an erection. But those are the inevitable side effects that should be expected when alcohol is involved. Alcohol lowers testosterone and increases estrogen, often bringing about gynecomastria (male breast enlargement) due to increased conversion of testosterone and other aromatizable androgens to estrogen. It can also lead to testicular atrophy, low sperm count, and difficulty in performing sexually via erectile dysfunction. Furthermore, if you work out to feel and look stronger you should be aware that alcohol is preventing you from making as much progress as you should. It does this by destroying muscle gains in several ways, including lowering testosterone, dehydration, preventing vitamin absorption, and much more.”

By Paul McTamney   From Article located at:

This doesn’t mean you need to avoid alcohol completely.
According to nutrition writer Ori Hofmelker below is a list of good to bad:

  • Red wine – Good
  • White wine
  • Champagne
  • Vodka
  • Gin
  • Rum
  • Whiskey
  • Cognac
  • Sweet wines
  • Sweet mixed drinks
  • Liqueurs
  • BEER! Ugly

Follow the European model; eat some fat or protein with your wine. The more food you have in your belly the slower the absorption. It also aids in insulin regulation. Avoid high carbohydrates snack with alcohol. It carries many metabolic problems like insulin elevation and high fat levels in your blood stream.
Drinking red wine is much better for you then drinking beer. Red wine contains some good things that can benefit your health. On the other hand consuming beer, which contains hops and are highly estrogenic, will lead to more fat gain and harder fat loss.
Try to stay away from extra sweet drinks with added sugars. This will keep your blood sugar from a massive spike while having a drink. Have you ever wondered why are these drinks are so popular?

So, what’s the FINAL WORD?
Although an alcohol-rich meal does increase your metabolic rate, it also suppresses the number of fat calories your body burns for energy — far more so than meals rich in protein, carbohydrate, or fat . While the odd drink now and again isn’t going to hurt, the bottom line is that alcohol and a leaner, stronger body just doesn’t mix.
Consuming alcohol again stops all fat burning, adds extra calories, increases estrogen level (stubborn fat), increases appetite and makes you more easily persuaded to eat that entire cheese cake.
I would suggest eating an anti-estrogenic, well- balanced diet and minimize alcohol consumption until you reach your fat loss goals. This will also aid in your quest for a set of six pack abs.

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