Alcohol plays a major role in our society and trying to avoid it can prove extremely difficult. Going out and hanging out with groups of people plays a major role in our happiness, with summer coming on at full force, it is a time when most of us will be spending weekends at the cottage, heading to music festivals, and enjoying social gatherings. There are not a lot of ways to avoid alcohol when it comes to social gatherings, so we may as well arm ourselves with all of the knowledge we need to make the best decisions when it comes to drinking alcohol. If your goal is to lose weight and still have the odd drink, you are in luck! This is 100 percent possible. Over the course of this blog we will discuss how you can enjoy a beverage or two while being armed with all the knowledge you need to make the right choices to lose weight and still having the odd drink.
Energy values of macronutrients
As we have talked about in several blog posts before, protein, carbohydrates and fat all have an energy value associated with them. Protein and carbohydrates both contain 4 calories per gram, while fat contains almost double at 9 calories. Alcohol sits between with 7 calories per gram.
Alcohol is metabolised by several processes or pathways. The most common of these pathways involves two liver enzymes; alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). White dudes have two major liver isoforms of ADH and ALDH, cytosolic and mitochondrial, both isoforms assist in the breakdown and elimination of alcohol. 50% of East Asians possess only one, the cytosolic isoform, which is why there is a higher frequency of alcohol intoxication amongst East Asians. Once consumed, alcohol is first oxidised to acetaldehyde, a toxic substance and known carcinogen. It is then further metabolised to a less active by-product called acetic acid. Here, it can be eliminated via the urine or used for energy production in the TCA Cycle Now you know the science behind all of the great choices you have made while intoxicated.
Substituting carbohydrate out for alcohol
If you know your favorite beer contains 32 grams of carbohydrates, by using the above formula you know that there are 4 calories in every gram of carbohydrate. So, that beer contains 128 calories. If you know on a Friday night out with a few buddies you want to have 5 beers, simply eat 640 less calories that day. That will leave you at a 640 calorie deficit which in turn will allow you to consume a few beers without putting on the extra pounds. If you are going to drink one evening, simply just eat lighter that day so you can afford the extra calories at night. This is a sure fire way to ensure you do not overeat an insane amount and leave yourself in a bad position.