Alcohol has long been portrayed as the devil’s juice with regards to weight loss. Beer bellies, drunken munchies, empty calories…we’ve heard it all. But pop the champagne corks, because there’s another side to it.
Scientific studies suggest that there are several ways alcohol can actually help you keep the pounds off.
First, there’s moderate drinking — women who had just one or two glasses of alcohol a day were less likely to gain weight, according to a 2010 study from Archives of Internal Medicine.
It argues that you can “train” your metabolism to burn off alcohol more efficiently by regularly consuming moderate amounts, rather than binge-drinking on the weekend. This metabolism boost can help people lose weight more easily than teetotallers.
Moderate alcohol intake can also increase your HDL (good) cholesterol. In terms of which drinks are best for healthy weight loss, try and avoid sugary cocktails and craft beers.
White wine typically contains fewer carbohydrates than red wine. However, red wine contains more antioxidants.
According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, ellagic acid modulates lipid accumulation. In English, that means that red wine can delay the growth of fat cells and slow their development. Vermouth and other fortified wines tend to have a higher alcohol and lower calorie content, as well as containing polyphenol compounds.
A 2004 study suggested that these could actually promote weight loss. Ditch the flavoured vodka or spiced rum, however, and opt for the plainer, less sweet liquors. Mixing them with low calorie tonics or soda water can help them go down more smoothly.
Beer, while traditionally associated with the growth of a gut, occasionally come in “light” versions that contain far fewer calories. Second, there’s excessive drinking, which can lead to harmful weight loss.
Consuming massive quantities of alcohol can actually trick your body into thinking it’s full, which triggers a huge increase in stomach acid.
This can also escalate into a serious issue — those known as ‘drunkorexics’ swap food for binge drinking in order to fill their stomachs, which has potentially life-threatening consequences for your health.