Contrary to popular belief, it are not the calories in alcohol that produce a beer belly. The problem with alcohol is that it reduces the amount of fat your body burns to get energy.
Here’s how it works:
- Only a small percentage of your alcohol intake turns into fat.
- The liver converts a major portion of the alcohol in acetate, which enters your blood.
- Your body uses the acetate as a source of energy instead of fat.
The second problem with alcohol is that it is a strong appetizer and increases your calorie intake.
Alcohol also raises levels of the hormone called cortisol (“stress hormone”), which increases the breakdown of testosterone. People who drink a lot have smaller muscles because of this. Muscles have a positive effect on weight loss because they burn a lot of calories and keep your metabolism up (more about this here: Build Muscle to Burn Fat).
Now, you can ask yourself the question why some heavy drinkers don’t get fat. Simple: most alcoholics skip meals and replace food with alcoholic drinks.
What about the positive effects of alcohol on your cardiovascular health? I wouldn’t recommend daily drinking… Despite of the positive effects, alcohol has many negative effects that outweigh the advantages.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a drink now and then, just don’t make it a habit!