A large glass of wine or post-meeting beer after work may seem like the perfect way to wind down after a long day, but it could be hindering your health goals. Recent research has revealed that ‘slimmers’ consume a quarter of their weekly calorie allowance through alcohol alone.
On top of the calorie-laden tipple, alcohol typically destroys any willpower we once had, leading us down the garden path and head first into the kebab shop. According to recent statistics, four out of 10 of us drink heavily once a week, consuming up to 1,000 liquid calories – and that’s before we even order our usual double cheeseburger at the end of the night.
While this weekly binge is undoubtedly bad for both our livers and our waistlines, what is even more concerning is our tendency to drink during the week. About 34% of us drink three times a week, usually after work to wind down. After-work tipples of choice include white wine (185 calories per 250ml glass) and lager (230 calories per pint).
Three quarters of us have a takeaway after a night out; this could include anything from a fatty cheeseburger and chips to fried chicken and pizza.
So why do we eat more after a few drinks? Apparently alcohol suppresses a hormone called leptin, and this is the hormone that normally tells your brain when to stop eating. This hormone suppression also affects other brain chemicals involved with appetite, making us think we’re hungrier than we really are.
So, not only is alcohol calorie laden itself, it encourages us to eat when we’re not hungry. Could there be any more bad news? Well, yes actually. It turns out that alcohol also slows down the body’s fat-burning process by 73%. This means we don’t burn what we’ve consumed as quickly and much of it will be stored as fat.
As the evidence mounts, it is becoming clear that alcohol really is the enemy of weight loss and must be addressed if you’re looking to lose weight and keep it off.
Tackling habitual drinking while adopting a healthier attitude towards food can be incredibly difficult – especially around Christmas. For some people, hypnotherapy can prove useful. To find out how this type of therapy can help, please see our alcohol and weight loss pages.
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