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  • Darren Baker

The Effect of Alcohol on Fat Loss

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Like most adults, I drink alcohol.

Not a lot, but I do enjoy sharing a bottle of red wine with my wife on a Friday night, in fact I look forward to it as a treat.

From working with many clients it is clear that it has become acceptable to drink alcohol every night of the week, or consume huge amounts over the weekend.

Though I am not going into detail on the benefits of alcohol in this post, in my opinion and from information derived from study I do believe a small amount of alcohol could be beneficial and help you to live longer. However alcohol can be very addictive, and it is a toxin to the body, so moderation is key.

When out on the town it is very easy to forget that liquids do contain calories and it is easy to consume large amounts in a very short period of time.

There are the well known three macronutrients which are Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats, but did you know that alcohol is sometimes considered the fourth macronutrient? Why is this?

It’s because alcohol has it’s own unique calories per gram which is 7.  Protein and carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram and fats have 9 calories per gram.

Alcohol therefore has more calories per gram than protein and carbohydrates and can be consumed extremely fast which can quickly spend your daily calorie intake.

Now this is the low blow to all alcohol drinkers; when alcohol is consumed it oxidises faster than the other three macronutrients which means that your body will burn all the alcohol calories first, then turn to any calories consumed from protein, carbohydrates and fats (food).  So if you have a “skin-full” the chances are your body will be too busy burning the alcohol calories and not the calories from foods which in turn will be stored as body fat.


And here lies the problem, as we often chase our alcohol consumption down with unhealthy high calorie snacks and as the saying goes “a dirty kebab”.

This greatly increases our chances of storing fat as adipose tissue which makes us likely to gain body fat.

Now you know where a beer belly comes from.

The solution?

Don’t drink too much alcohol! Now, for most that’s a tall order, so the key is to be sensible and plan accordingly if you are on a fat loss diet. If you know you are in for a hard night’s drinking, limit your calories by ensuring you eat some highly nutritious low calorie meals in the day which will offer you additional calories to utilise later. Try to drink water in between alcoholic drinks (with Gin & Tonics being so on trend, sparkling water, ice and slice or slimline tonic with a dash of lime cordial wouldn’t look out of place), and try not to go nuts on the post-drinking snacks!

I am not advocating that you don’t eat all day and then get shit faced, this is a rare occasion hack to implement if on a fat loss diet.

Here’s a challenge – we quite often casually say, “I could go without alcohol, no problem” – don’t just tell yourself that you can go without, actually take a break to prove you can.  Your body will thank you for it.

We hope you find this interesting so please like and share if you do so other people can benefit from this.  If you give the challenge to take a break from alcohol a go we’d love to hear how you got on and maybe you will inspire others to give it a try!


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