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Sat, Feb. 29

Diet Center's Tip of the Week: Is alcohol a weight loss deterrent?

Alcohol provides the second most amount of calories per gram next to fat.
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Alcohol provides the second most amount of calories per gram next to fat.

Socializing with friends, coworkers or family can add a lot of pressure to stray from your Diet Center or other weight loss program. Many people gather socially for coffee or drinks. This may be a difficult behavior to change, but it’s one that is important to your weight loss success. It doesn’t mean that you must avoid going out with friends or family. However, you may need to if you know that you cannot limit yourself to appropriate beverages for your program.

Work on developing new habits that will help you with your weight loss efforts. For example, when going out for drinks, select non-alcoholic beverages. Alcohol provides the second most amount of calories per gram next to fat (fat contains 9 calories per gram, alcohol contains 7 per gram). Alcohol provides little nutritional value. Alcohol negatively impacts the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. It interferes with the production of protein and increases the accumulation of fat. Clearly this impact on metabolism of nutrients can hinder your weight loss efforts.

That might leave one wondering, “Can I eat less and still consume alcohol?”

Reducing fat and body weight requires reducing calories. Therefore, since less food is consumed, foods and beverages need to be selected wisely to ensure adequate nutritional intake.

Blood sugar levels naturally drop toward the end of the day causing the body to crave fuel.  If a meal is skipped the drop in sugar level is exacerbated.  The lower it is the hungrier a person gets.

Remember physiological and psychological reasons cause people to become hungry at night. If you find yourself wanting to eat at night, ask yourself a couple of questions.  Are you eating all meals and all the food in your Diet Center or other weight loss program?  Are you working on limiting yourself to two cups of coffee per day? One might ask, “Why that is important?” Because caffeine causes elevated insulin levels and cravings to kick in. 

You may be able to avoid hunger at night by spreading out your meals so that you are eating every 3 or 4 hours.  For example, eating breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, a mid-day snack, and dinner can help maintain blood sugar levels. Please note that your metabolism slows down and your digestive system needs time to rest during sleep so try not to eat large meals before sleeping.  

A good rule of thumb in socializing is that the best beverage choices you can make are to drink water, decaf coffee or tea, herbal tea, mineral water, diet soda, or seltzer water with a lemon or lime twist. Choosing to refresh yourself with an appropriate beverage will help lead to positive results with your weight loss.

Thank you for reading Diet Center’s tip of the week if you have made changes like the ones suggested here and are struggling with weight loss please call 928-753-5066 or stop by 1848 Hope Ave. here in Kingman.

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