OK, I admit my downfall is I want cocktails when I get home from work. I drink 1 1/2 oz of whiskey in water. What is this doing to my weight loss plan? What are the long term results of drinking vs the long term results of not drinking? I know I am not the only BFL person out there who wants to lose weight and achieve the body they want but still have the desire to drink each night.
Alcohol raises your acetate level, which causes your liver to process that and not fat. It can hold up your metabolism for up to 3 days.
I can certainly appreciate the desire to have a drink sometimes, but desire to have a drink each night is maybe something you should explore further.
Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!
Blueglass - this brings up the question of commitment. What are you willing to give up or postpone for your transformation? Is it worth it to you to enjoy a cocktail on free day and abstain during the rest of the week?
This program is called a challenge for a reason. It's not easy. It requires participants to dig deep for the determination to change our destructive habits into healthy ones.
Halfhearted effort will produce halfhearted results, if that. The BFL program asks for just a 12-week commitment and allows for a free day. I don't mean to be harsh, but unless you are willing to jump in with both feet and do the program as designed, then you haven't reached the point of crossing the abyss yet.
I believe that you can do a by-the-book truly effective challenge.
Want it. Plan it. Do it.
I am by no means a BFL expert, but I feel your pain. I attempted to start a challenge earlier this year in March and failed miserably because I couldn't keep myself from having a drink. I used to drink every night. Granted, for me it was more circumstantial because my friends were heavy drinkers and not trying to lose weight. I moved recently and started the challenge again on July 30th. I drink once a week on my off days now (even though after a long day grabbing a drink is EXTREMELY tempting) and am already seeing results. I know it's hard to give up drinking but once you really start seeing your results it's enough to keep you motivated. Cutting back is seriously worth it. Alcohol may momentarily make you feel better but being fit is something that makes you feel better all the time. Good luck!
bluegrass - I drink alcohol on occasion.. give up on occasion... have been on and off all this BFL challenge.. there are MANY differing views in athletics and body building communities on the subject... The bro-science view is it is bad.. I know if I have too much then I end up eating.. but fwiw I attach an interesting article which links research..
Further - many of my family are or were pro footballers, cyclists and athletes... some drink some don't...
I went out walking through the city center, it happened just the other day. Sometimes Sydney Harbor in the winter, blows a little luck my way.
There are many different views in athletics, but not body building. Body building is more about precision so the acetate really matters. Bro-science really tends to apply to supplements and stupid tricks, like having Smarties, a candy, as the post workout carb.
It is true that Bill notes in his BFL original book that the consumption of alchol does disrupt the metabolic rate for about three days that is truly a big set back, especially if you are doing well in the middle of a challenge. (This is why I have told my wife that unfortunately the wine and beer etc celebrating of our anniversary on this coming Monday will have to wait until next month when I am done with the current challenge and I believe she understands this due to my level of commitment)
For what it is worth, I recently completed the 12 week challenge and am currently at the end of week 2 of my second challenge. No missed workouts and have only eaten "wrong" one time not counting off days, and I don't get carried away on my off days. I am 6'1" and started at 232 lbs. At the end of the first challenge I weighed 201. Currently at 197. I drink whiskey and water 2-3 times a week. I don't know if I would have had better results without alcohol. What might have been. But I am pretty happy with my results so far. Alot less fat and more muscle than before. For me this is body for Life, and in my life, I drink sometimes. I have friends who are bodybuilders and some say whiskey is OK and some refrain from alcohol altogether. Maybe I will finish this challenge w/out alcohol and see if I can tell a difference.
Some very interesting reading, and not just about alcohol. Thanks for the link.
This is my downfall overall. The balanced carb / protein thing is easy for me. Eating 6 times a day - yaaaahoooo! Wake up early - work out - it's done. I love the "always trying harder" part. The free day - eat and drink anything you want - I am SO IN! But damn - it is just "What We Do" - drink and eat as a group of friends. So I decided to make this work I would modify and add 3 drinks, 2 times a week. I'm sure that there are many, many reasons I shouldn't do this, but this way, if it is part of my plan, I can stay on track. And, it took me 18 weeks, instead of 12, to lose 20 pounds - but I did it, anyway!!!
It is science, but life and life-style also have to work if you want this to stick, so blueglass60 - here is my take: If you are used to drinking every night and can cut it down to 1 1/2 oz and add a workout and 6 meals a day - I promise you it will be better than what you were doing previously. AND, along the way, one day you just might think - I don't think that the whiskey/water is quite worth it verses progress today. And that's when it all changes....
Can i have alcohol on my free day?
I completed 2 challenges and started a 3rd and still drink 2-3 times a week. In my earlier post 1 said I was 197 lbs. I went down to 185 and am currently 187-188 but I have lost most of the fat that I wanted to lose and am now concentrated on building lean mass. I think it depends on what you drink. Beer and wine have a much higher carb content than whiskey or other spirits and that may be a problem for some. Drinking is like alot of things in life, moderation is the answer. Just my $.02
The carb content is not really the issue with drinking. Alcohol raises your acetate levels, which can hold up your metabolism for up to as much as 3 days. For me, that's just not worth it. I'm not saying others feel the same. Maybe you want one at a special occassion. Regular drinking, even on free day only, will impede results.
Saying raised acetate levels hold up metabolism for up to as much as 3 days may be accurate, but most likely it is much much much less than that for a night of moderately drinking....
Alcohol is labeled as containing 7.1 calories per gram. But the real value is slightly lower. That’s because alcohol elicits a thermogenic response, which means it raises your metabolic rate for some time after you drink it.
Once this rise in metabolism is taken into account, which is larger than the rise seen with carbohydrate or fat, the “true” number of calories in a gram of alcohol is somewhere between 5.7 and 6 calories.
Whether or not alcohol is “fattening” is a very controversial subject, mainly because the main fate of alcohol is NOT to be stored as fat. In fact, less than 5% of the alcohol you drink is turned into fat. Rather, the main effect of alcohol is to reduce the amount of fat your body burns for energy.
In fact, just two drinks of vodka and sugar-free lemonade, with each drink containing just under 90 calories, has been shown to cut whole body lipid oxidation (a measure of how much fat your body is burning) dropped by a massive 73%.
Rather than getting stored as fat, the main fate of alcohol is conversion into a substance called acetate.
In fact, blood levels of acetate after drinking the vodka were 2.5 times higher than normal. And it’s this sharp rise in acetate that puts the brakes on fat loss.
To summarize and review, here’s what happens to fat metabolism after the odd drink or two.
1.A small portion of the alcohol is converted into fat. Of the 24 grams of alcohol consumed in this study, roughly 3% was turned into fat.
2.Your liver then converts most of the alcohol into acetate.
3.The acetate is released into your bloodstream and takes precedence over the metabolism of protein, carbohydrate, and fat.
The way your body responds to alcohol is very similar to the way it deals with excess carbohydrate.
Although carbohydrate can be converted directly into fat, this doesn’t happen unless you’re eating massive amounts of carbohydrate.
Instead, one of the main effects of overfeeding with carbohydrate is that it simply replaces fat as a source of energy. By suppressing fat burning, it enables the fat in your diet to be stored a lot more easily.
It’s important to point out that alcohol is only having this effect while it’s being metabolized by your body.
When researchers have looked at the effect of alcohol calories over an entire day, rather than just for a few hours, they find that alcohol increases fat storage only when you take in more calories than you burn off.
So if you drink and take more calories than you burn off, you’re more likely to store the fat from the food you’re eating because your body is getting all its energy from the acetate in the drink.
The reason that alcohol has such a bad reputation when it comes to weight loss has a lot to do with the fact that it acts as a potent appetizer.
In other words, you’ll eat more food if a meal is served with an alcoholic drink than you would if that same meal was served with a soft drink.
So you get hit twice — once from the calories in the alcoholic drink, and then again from the subsequent increase in appetite and calorie intake.
Talking from personal experience, alcohol also seems to make me feel hungry the next day. The morning after a few drinks I always wake up with a stomach that feels as empty as a hermit’s address book, even if I’ve eaten a large dinner.
Let’s cut to the chase. Can you drink alcohol and still lose weight?
The answer to this question is a definite yes, just as long as you’re sensible about it.
In one German study, 49 overweight subjects were assigned to one of two 1500-calorie diets. The first diet included a glass of white wine every day and the other a glass of grape juice.
The wine group actually lost slightly more weight — 10.4 pounds versus 8.3 pounds in the grape juice group — although this wasn’t a statistically significant difference.
Earlier research also shows that drinking two glasses of red wine with your evening meal is unlikely to lead to weight gain.
Obviously there’s a balance to be struck. You don’t need to cut alcohol out completely, but if you’re trying to lose weight, cutting your intake in half is a good place to start.
The simple way to do this is alternate whatever you’re drinking with water or some other low-calorie drink. So you’d have a cocktail… then a glass of water… then a cocktail… and so on. If you drink a glass or two of wine every night, try drinking every other night instead.
In summary, the idea that alcohol automatically turns into fat and goes straight to your waist is mistaken. Alcohol does put the brakes on fat burning while it’s being metabolized by your body. But it’s no more likely to put the brakes on weight loss than excess calories from carbohydrate or fat.
Calories were never part of the equation here. To say it's no more likely is to dismiss acetate altogether, which would be a mistake.
You are quoting studies that are generic nature. What's relevant is someone closer to their fitness goals and looking to get off that last something.
Define "massive". If we are talking free days with most, then we are often talking about massive.
© Abbott Laboratories,2013