This is not surprising given it has long been etched into the minds of dieters that alcohol is the devil when on a diet. In fact, results further revealed that 56% felt they had to avoid alcohol and 67% threw in the towel because alcohol was strictly forbidden on a particular diet plan.
Touted as the kryptonite of weight loss, alcohol has a notorious reputation for derailing diets, but what if it were possible to have a tipple with that grilled swordfish and salad and still be on the path to body superstardom? Alcohol and dieting can be friends.
On average, alcoholic beverages contain 7.1 calories per gram. To put this in perspective, fat contains 9 calories per gram. When alcohol enters the body it recognizes it as a toxin; its immediate priority becomes ridding it from the system. This means it takes precedence over metabolizing carbohydrates, protein and fat. While these stats don’t lend themselves to a harmonious relationship between alcohol and a healthy diet, when consumed in conjunction with a low-carb, high-protein diet, a vodka/lime/soda will not actually impede weight loss.
According to a study on alcohol and weight loss, moderate drinkers (less than 50g per day) actually lost weight. It is believed that ethanol (alcohol) induces an increase in the sensitivity of muscle to insulin with a down-regulation of the effect of insulin on adipose tissue, so fat mass decreases. One can safely drink up to 30g alcohol per day. Findings suggest that light to moderate drinking is not associated with weight gain but that heavier levels (>30g alcohol per day) contributed to weight gain and obesity in men and women. Overall evidence from prospective studies supports the concept that while alcohol is a risk factor for obesity, if the energy derived from alcohol consumption was added to a diet high in protein, low in carbs, the effect would not be as higher a risk factor.
So when 52% of people felt they could not order a glass of wine at dinner because it would infringe on their diet, they should know it is not going to significantly impact on overall weight management.
This does not give license to guzzle Pinot Grigio by the bottle, but a glass of wine or two can be enjoyed with dinner. There is no need to storm out and vow never to see that friend again because they have led you into temptation (5% of respondents chose that option).
From the April 27, 2012, Prepared Foods’ Daily Update