How Alcohol Affects Your Body Composition

WellCentric Health & Aesthetics, alcohol, weight loss, weight gain

Your body is a finely tuned machine that relies on balance in order to function at its best. While some fat is good and provides your body with protection and fuel, too much can tip the scales into myriad health problems brought on by carrying extra pounds.

Here at WellCentric Health & Aesthetics, our primary goal is to help our patients in Reno, Nevada, look and feel great, both inside and out. One of the most effective ways to accomplish both is to shed extra weight, which isn’t always an easy journey.

To arm yourself with the tools you need to lose weight, or just feel better, we take a scientific approach that works with your body’s unique composition. And alcohol can be throwing that composition off, making your weight-loss journey all the more difficult. Since your overall health and wellness can be affected by the ratio of fat in your body, an alcohol check isn’t just for weight loss, but for healthier living.

Here’s a look at how alcohol affects your body composition.

Your composition is your own

Before we get into the effects of alcohol on your body composition, it’s important to review what we mean by the word “composition.” Each of us has a unique musculoskeletal structure that’s surrounded by varying percentages of fat and tissue, and determining what these percentages should be is different from one person to the next.

The body mass index (BMI) calculator is a jumping-off point in figuring this out — it simply provides a number that gives a rough estimate of your body fat using your height and weight. But there’s much more to understanding body composition than just your BMI.

To better understand what’s the right composition for your body, it’s important that we perform a comprehensive body composition analysis that measures your:

Armed with this information, we can design a program that tackles deficits and surpluses to bring your composition into the right balance for you.

The booze factor

If we determine that you’re carrying too much fat for your body type, we come up with a weight-loss program that tackles the extra fat from several different angles. From diet and exercise to supplements and vitamins, there are many ways we can help you shed unwanted fat. But you can do your part by identifying some problems areas that may hinder these efforts, and alcohol is a big one.

In order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in. Simple, right? Putting that into practice, however, can be anything but simple as you try to figure out how to effectively burn fat while cutting back on your caloric intake. With alcohol, the calories it delivers are at the front of the line when it comes to fat burning.

The moment you have a drink, your body stops what it’s doing and uses the caloric energy from the alcohol, which it burns more easily. This means that it’s no longer burning up those excess carbs (glucose) and fats (lipids) and these end up being stored as adipose tissue, which is another word for fat.

On top of this, since many people don’t really consider alcohol to be “food,” they tend to turn a blind eye to the calories in alcoholic drinks‚ and there are plenty. Consider that each glass of wine is around 120 calories, and those mixed drinks can be veritable landmines of calories, as sweetened juices and sodas become part of the equation.

The secondary effects of alcohol on body composition

Alcohol can affect your body’s composition in other significant ways, starting with hydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, which causes you to urinate more frequently. This means that your body is losing valuable hydration as your kidneys flush out fluids more quickly.

Alcohol can also make your liver work harder in its detoxification duties, and you may end up with fatty liver, which can then lead to fat buildup in your bloodstream.

Lastly, alcohol can bring your guard down and wreak havoc on your willpower. After a couple of drinks, that slice of cake seems like an awfully good idea and, before you know it, you’ve wolfed down two pieces. Now your body is dealing with alcohol and two pieces of cake, and getting back to the point above, it will use the alcohol as an energy source and store your cake.

If you’d like to learn more about how alcohol can influence your body composition, please feel free to give us a call or set up an appointment using the online scheduling tool.

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