Question: how much does alcohol consumption really affect weight loss?
Answer: in moderation – about one to two glasses per day – alcohol may not affect your ability to shed kilos. One study found that moderate drinkers were 27 per cent less likely to be obese than those who skipped the booze. “Some folks have a pronounced hunger response to alcohol consumption, and getting the munchies in a state of inebriation can be a bad thing when your judgment is on the far side of hazy,” says nutritionist Alan Aragon.
Researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that men consume an additional 1810 kilojoules on days they drink – 61 per cent of the kilojoule increase coming from alcohol and the rest from food, especially saturated fat and meat.
“If you can limit your drinking to one to two drinks per day at most and maintain good choices despite being buzzed, then alcohol consumption isn’t likely to negatively impact your weight loss,” Aragon says. “However if you can’t drink unless you go full-out fratboy, then limit these episodes to one to two times per month, max, if you don’t want to sabotage your weight loss efforts.”