Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, “Break the rules. Not the law. Just rules.“. I think that sentence can be used in this situation because a common unwritten rule says “if you are losing weight, you should not drink alcohol“.
Alcohol is not that bad at all!
Alcohol can be used for many purposes. People always tend to see negative sides of everything and let’s face it, alcohol has many of them. But hey, hamburger does too! Why does no one speak about the sodium level from hamburgers, who kill twice as many people every year than alcohol?
Overconsuming anything is not good for us. Hamburgers and alcohol both can cause addiction and early death. But being moderate with quantities of both of them can actually give you some health benefits.
In this case, we will put the hamburgers aside, and talk about party liquids.
Health benefits of alcohol
Where I come from there’s a saying: “Everything in this world is healthy for you, if you don’t overconsume it“. Well, we consume the air all the time, and after 80 years, we die, so saying makes sense.
You would be surprised how many people out there have over 100 years, and their testimonies always contain something like:
“Yes, I drink a glass of wine every second day”
Old people have a virtue of modesty, something we forgot ages ago. And the living example of that is Richard Arvin Overton, once the oldest living World War II veteran. Richard died in 2018 at the age of 112.
But Richard is not only famous because of his age. He shocked the public when he said that he is still “smoking every day, drinking whiskey every day, and enjoying life every day“. Enjoying life is not a surprise, but alcohol and cigarettes are always written colored in red.
Well, again, modesty.
He doesn’t smoke 2 packs every day, and he is not drinking a bottle of whiskey every day. He simply smokes 12 cigars a day and 1 shot of whiskey with coke.
We will talk more about the benefits of certain drinks later.
There are numerous health benefits of consuming alcoholic beverages (scientifically proven, and bro-scientifically proven) but we must not forget that statement is valid only if consumed moderately. Science also warns us that consuming too much ethanol can cause coma and death, which we witnessed (sadly) many times.
For example, scientists from the University of Western Australia found out that drinking moderately can improve your health and even sexual function in men and increase libido for women. But if you don’t use that “moderately” part, it comes the other way: you may suffer from sexual dysfunction and decreased libido.
So you get the point. Be moderate, and you will be fine.
But the main point we are asking here is where does alcohol stand when it comes to weight loss?
Alcohol and weight loss
We will break it down in detail like we always do because we believe the answer always hides where everything begins.
What is alcohol actually?
So the first thing you have to know is that alcohol is the only alias. What you really like is ethanol.
Ethanol is a substance that makes you drunk. It’s also addictive, so basically it’s a world-popular legal drug. Ethanol can be produced in many ways, but the most famous way is by the process of fermentation. Long story short: yeast breaks down sugar into ethanol, and voila, alcohol is born!
How does my body process alcohol?
Now when you know what are you drinking, you need to know how your body process.
One of the strongest organs in your body is the liver, who also has the ability to neutralize alcohol. Not so fast as you may think, but when you wake up sober (and alive if possible), you know that your liver did her job.
However, your liver didn’t enjoy it. Constantly drinking alcohol may cause some serious liver problems like liver cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis. It can also cause pancreatitis, cancer, brain problems. and gastrointestinal problems.
Well, not everything is so black.
No one told you this but alcohol can actually help your weight loss. For example, I used alcohol sometimes to break a plateau. Alcohol has dehydrating powers and can flush out excess water from your body. Water retention can be tricky little B if you are not balancing your minerals, and not paying attention to potassium level.
Some alcoholic beverages contain various vitamins which can also boost your weight loss.
There was also a study where scientists found out that alcohol can help you fight colds, boost your memory, strengthen your bones, reduce diabetes risk, and… make you feel awesome!
Again, ONLY IF USED MODERATELY!
Weight loss friendly alcoholic drinks (Dos)
Defining is alcohol or ethanol good for you can be pretty much difficult. When you read all the studies you practically find out that ethanol as the substance is a big no-no when it comes to health. But when you add ethanol to some fruit juice and make an alcoholic beverage, it’s not a that big no-no.
No one sells pure ethanol, and I don’t believe it’s because of its taste.
Let’s see what alcoholic beverages we can find that can help our weight loss
If you buy a quality tequila, you have big chances to boost your weight loss.
Tequilas do not contain artificial sweeteners. Instead of that, they contain a natural sugar called agavin. Like most of the other natural sugars, agavin doesn’t cause a huge insulin spike as refined sugars do. People who consume natural sugars have lower glucose levels and they are fuller longer.
1 shot of tequila has around 65 calories and depending on the manufacturer, tequila is known to contain some carbs (around 5g per shot).
Take a shot. ONE will bring you no harm!
I believe whiskey is a number 1 weight loss friendly alcoholic drink. It’s, however, one of those drinks where you either drink a shot a day and move all doctors out of the way or you develop addiction and… You know the rest.
Whiskey has big health benefits:
- It contains ellagic acid which controls how much glucose is being released from the liver, so basically it keeps diabetes under control
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol is increased when you drink whiskey
- Prevents cancer
- Let’s you live much longer because it’s full of antioxidants
And the best thing about whiskey?
It has around 70 calories per shot and absolutely no carbs! Totally sugar-free!
Ahhh Italy… Those beautiful 15th century stone buildings and the best vine in the world…
Wine is known to be the best weight loss-friendly alcoholic drink, right after whiskey. It’s made of grapes and there are many sorts like Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Moscato, etc. I love how wine carries its special story over the centuries and how people used it even as a cure for some diseases.
- It contains antioxidants which are very important for normal body functioning
- It can lower the bad cholesterol
- Reduces the risk of stroke
- it improves cognitive functions
- And chances that you will not like the taste are impossible because you have so many options!
White wine has around 83 calories per 100 ml serving. and around 3g of carbs.
If you are on the keto diet, you can drink a max of 400ml (13.5 fl. oz) of white wine per day.
In vino veritas people!
Okay, so vodka is kinda something that I normally wouldn’t recommend but the fact is that it can help you lose weight.
I wouldn’t recommend it just because of its taste. People who love solo vodka are the people I admire. And of course, we are talking about pure vodka with no flavors, just… vodka! It tastes like nothing! If someone asks me how does ethanol taste, my answer would be vodka!
But hey, if you love it, it’s all yours. And if you don’t there are alternatives. Either way, it has big health benefits and it can help you with your weight loss!
- Vodka is known to be a stress reliever
- It has a super-power of healing arthritis. Actually, it can reduce inflammation but the latest studies have shown that it has a significant impact on arthritis.
- Reduces hypertension
- it helps digestion
One shot of vodka has about 100 calories and 0 carbs.
Be careful with the quantities… You know how they say: In mother Russia, vodka drinks you!
Which alcoholic drinks you should avoid during weight loss (Don’ts)
When it comes to weight loss I would say besides vodka, tequila, whiskey, and white wine, avoid everything.
That’s because all other alcoholic drinks have bigger amounts of calories or carbs (sugar). There are some of them that are actually good and healthy but, I’ve tried them all and none of them were helpful in losing weight.
In the grey zone, you can find cognac, gin, bourbon, etc. They have some awesome virtues but they are all kind of neutral.
Here are the few drinks you should avoid (Don’ts).
The beer has huge health benefits like providing bones with strength, improving cholesterol levels, etc. but it also has many downsides.
The first downside would be that beer is extremely caloric. They go up to 250 calories per bottle, and thing is, you never drink one. It also has plenty of carbs, so beer is definitely something you should avoid while losing weight. Also, beer is known to slow down your metabolism, and getting that thing up and running again is possible, but hard.
Worse than regular beer is craft beer. Craft beers usually have a bigger amount of calories and carbs than regular beers. That is because lots of different flavors are added, and all of them have their caloric values.
Even though it’s very healthy wine is kinda the same story as beer. It is caloric and it won’t help you lose weight.
Of course, it always comes down to calories in vs calories out. If you can remain in a caloric deficit while drinking red wine, go ahead. However, I haven’t met cases where red wine promoted weight loss.
Cocktails are the bigger no-no than beer and red wine.
If you love to mix drinks, try keeping as simple as possible. Complicated things like Pina Colada, Tequila Sunrise, Margarita, Long Island Ice tea, have a huge amount of calories and will do no good to you. They also have lots of carbs and fats from which you will find no benefit.
Lime Tequila, soda vodka, ice rocks, stay with those while you are cutting.
Alcohol CAN be healthy if it’s used moderately and it sure CAN help you lose weight. There is a big difference between alcoholic beverages and ethanol. If you are losing weight stick to the vodka, tequila, whiskey, and white wine. Avoid red wine, beer, craft beer, and cocktails.
If you decide to add it to your diet I strongly recommend taking some multivitamin complex. Due to dehydration or the body loses vital minerals and vitamins. However, if you didn’t know daily vitamin balance is different for men and women, so, therefore, it’s very important to take formulas adjusted to your metabolism.
If you are a female then the best one out there is definitely Opti-Women – it’s created especially for women’s body and it protects your body and immune system.
If you are a guy like me, then Optimum Nutrition has also a solution for us, which I personally take, and that is Opti-Men:
I’m not telling you to drink alcohol for health benefits. The content displayed here is for informational purposes only and the product of personal research. Every action you take is made by your own personal decision, based on your judging, and this article has nothing to do with that. Sorry for the formal part, but just wanted to make that clear.
That’s it, folks!
Check out the articles relevant to this topic:
- Fat Burning Detox Drinks: Stay Fit and Healthy Always [RECIPES]
- How To Lose 10 Pounds in 7 Days: FREE Meal plan and Tricks
- 7 Healthy Diets For Serious Weight Loss That Actually Work
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