Weight Loss Support - Is alcohol messing up my mo-jo?




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NinaV
06-21-2006, 12:22 PM
I have been exercising about 5 days per week 40 min. per day on the elliptical machine since June 1st. At first I lost about 6 pounds and now it sort of stalled. I have noticed though that if I have a glass (or two) of wine with dinner, next morning I am a pound or two higher on the scale then if I skip the wine the night before. Is it making me retain water? I know it couldnít be real weight gain because Iím keeping my calories at around 1200 Ė 1800, maybe 2000 with the wine.
Iím a little confused on this issue. I was under impression that a glass of wine couple of times a week is not a bad idea. But is it messing with my body? I know the exercise is a good thing and I even noticed that I am starting to have a bit more energy, but should I cut out alcohol completely in addition to diet and exercise?
I would appreciate any input.


teapotdynamo
06-21-2006, 01:08 PM
As long as you are keeping an eye on your *total* calories (including the wine), you should be fine. Yes, you may see a slight blip on the scale in the form of retaining water (although my body reacts the other way with wine, and I'm actually *lower* the next day -- totally falsely!).

I wouldn't worry about temporary scale fluctuations, although they can be irritating. That said, if you've been maintaining on 2000 calories, maybe try dropping down to 1800 (again, including the wine) to see if you get a better result.

I've lost over 115 pounds with glasses of red wine here and there (especially on my vacation in Italy), so I can attest that wine in moderation is absolutely not a weight loss deal breaker.

Salud!

NinaV
06-21-2006, 01:20 PM
Well, thatís good to know. I guess Iím obsessing a bit over the little numbers on the scale, ha? I mean I know Iím doing a good thing and I need to take it easy, so Iíll just keep it up and see where that takes me.
Jennifer, wow, 115 pounds, thatís impressive. How long did it take you? What was your general plan?


ellakay
06-21-2006, 01:22 PM
I'm pretty sure that red wine can't be causing you to retain water. Alcohol is a diuretic, so it should cause more water loss. Maybe you should drink a couple extra glasses of water to balance it out and flush out your system.

Maybe you happened to consume more sodium that day? or maybe it's just natural fluctuation.

But I also agree that 2000calories is prob a little too much.

veggielover
06-21-2006, 01:26 PM
^ yeah, I would think so too.

Beach Patrol
06-21-2006, 02:00 PM
Article (I couldn't get the URL to work properly!)

Alcohol and weight loss are enemies but an occasional drink can have a place in a healthy lifestyle. In fact, many experts note the health benefits of consuming a single drink per day, including a reduced risk for hypertension and high blood pressure. If, however, you are exceeding one drink daily, you might be sabotaging your weight loss plans.

Alcohol is metabolized differently than other foods and beverages. Under normal conditions, your body gets its energy from the calories in carbohydrates, fats and proteins that need to be slowly digested in the stomach—but not when alcohol is present. When alcohol is consumed, it gets special privileges and needs no digestion. The alcohol molecules diffuse through the stomach wall as soon as they arrive and can reach the brain and liver in minutes. This reaction is slightly slowed when there is also food in your system, but as soon as the mixed contents enter the small intestine, the alcohol grabs first place and is absorbed quickly. The alcohol then arrives at the liver for processing. The liver places all of its attention on the alcohol. Therefore, the carbohydrates (glucose) and dietary fats are just changed into body fat, waiting to be carried away for permanent fat storage in the body.

Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it causes water loss and dehydration. Along with this water loss you lose important minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc. These minerals are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, and muscle contraction and relaxation.

Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram and offers NO nutritional value. It only adds empty calories to your diet. Why not spend your calorie budget on something healthier?

Alcohol affects your body in other negative ways. Drinking might help induce sleep, but the sleep you get isn't very deep. Ultimately, as a result, you get less rest. Alcohol can also increase the amount of acid that your stomach produces, causing your stomach lining to become inflamed. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to serious health problems, including stomach ulcers, liver disease, and heart troubles.

Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, which is detrimental to your diet plans. Alcohol actually stimulates your appetite. While you might be full from a comparable amount of calories from food, several drinks might not fill you up. On top of that, research shows that if you drink before or during a meal, both your inhibitions and willpower are reduced. In this state, you are more likely to overeat—especially greasy or fried foods—which can add to your waistline. To avoid this, wait to order that drink until you're done with your meal.

Many foods that accompany drinking (peanuts, pretzels, chips) are salty, which can make you thirsty, encouraging you to drink even more. To avoid overdrinking, sip on a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage.

Skipping a meal to save your calories for drinks later is a bad idea. Many drinkers know they'll be having some alcohol later, whether going to a bar, party, or just kicking back at home. Knowing that drinking entails extra calories, it may be tempting to "bank" some calories by skipping a meal or two. This is a bad move. If you come to the bar hungry, you are even more likely to munch on the snacks, and drinking on an empty stomach enhances the negative effects of alcohol. If you're planning on drinking later, eat a healthy meal first. You'll feel fuller, which will stop you from overdrinking. If you are worried about a looming night out with friends, include an extra 30 minutes of exercise to balance your calories—instead of skipping a meal.

What are more important, calories or carbs? You might think that drinking liquor is more diet-friendly because it has no carbohydrates, while both wine and beer do contain carbs. But dieters need to watch calories, and liquor only has a few calories less than beer or wine. Plus, it is often mixed with other drinks, adding even more empty calories. Hard liquor contains around 100 calories per shot, so adding a mixer increases calories even more. If you are going to mix liquor with anything, opt for a diet or club soda, instead of fruit juice or regular soda. Sweeter drinks, whether liquor or wine, tend to have more sugar, and therefore more calories. In that respect, dry wines usually have fewer calories than sweet wines.

The list below breaks down the number of calories in typical alcoholic drinks. Compare some of your favorites to make a good choice next time you decide to indulge in a serving of alcohol.

DRINK SERVING CALORIES
Red wine 5 oz. 100

White wine 5 oz. 100

Champagne 5 oz. 130

Light beer 12 oz. 105

Regular beer 12 oz. 140

Dark beer 12 oz. 170

Cosmopolitan 3 oz. 165

Martini 3 oz. 205

Long Island iced tea 8 oz. 400

Gin & Tonic 8 oz. 175

Rum & Soda 8 oz. 180

Margarita 8 oz. 200

Whiskey Sour 4 oz. 200


AS FOR ME.... I look at it like it was "dessert" - alcohol is just empty calories, no matter what you drink, but some alcoholic beverages DO have less calories than others. Personally, for me, I refuse to give up anything that I really enjoy :tantrum: ...

...HOWEVER... :chin: I CAN 'cut down, cut back, etc' and I truly believe 'all things in moderation'. So I drink light beer (that's ONE! -not 3 or 4...) or white wine and stick to my trusty water the rest of the time. And I don't do it everyday, usually just socially when I'm out with co-workers or friends.[/COLOR] :wave:

NinaV
06-21-2006, 06:01 PM
But I also agree that 2000calories is prob a little too much.

I would like to point out that 2000 cals including wine only happens when I do about 40-45 min on the elliptical, so that's about 350-450 cal burned right there. And yes, I would definitely have the wine AFTER the elliptical ;)

This is all good stuff here. I think I might just try reducing it from a couple of times a week down to once every week or two. This way I don't have to wonder if I'm sabotaging my self.

As long as you are keeping an eye on your *total* calories (including the wine), you should be fine. Yes, you may see a slight blip on the scale in the form of retaining water (although my body reacts the other way with wine, and I'm actually *lower* the next day -- totally falsely!).
Salud!
This is also a good point, I have noticed though that my taste buds like salty things to go with the wine, so maybe that's where the water retaining comes in to play.
I'm glad I posted this question here, as usual, ya'll rock and give me some good stuff to chew over.:D
Thanks

LLV
06-21-2006, 06:56 PM
Therefore, the carbohydrates (glucose) and dietary fats are just changed into body fat, waiting to be carried away for permanent fat storage in the body.
I don't understand this at all, as I'm a regular drinker and I've lost over 80 pounds. Heck, a friend of mine is skinny as a rail and drinks like a fish.

Let me add to say that yes, I agree the liver focuses its attention on the alcohol when it's present in the body before it will anything else. That's because the body sees alcohol as a toxin and the liver goes to work to metabolize it the best it can. But I can't see where they get that everything else is turned to fat. I know people that drink every night and not one of them is fat.

Again, as with anything else, it boils down to calories. Sure, if you drink 1000 calories worth of alcohol on top of the calories you take in as food, yeah, you're gonna gain weight.

NinaV
06-22-2006, 10:42 AM
Again, as with anything else, it boils down to calories. Sure, if you drink 1000 calories worth of alcohol on top of the calories you take in as food, yeah, you're gonna gain weight.
Yikes, 1000 calories, that would have to be a lot of alcohol, I think that much would just put me out even before I could finish it:faint: . No, I'm talking more like an extra 200-300 calories for about 2 glasses of red wine. I'm thinking it probably varies by the type, brand etc.
I guess the lesson here is that everyone is different and I need to judge by my own reaction to alcohol in order to figure out how acceptable (or not) it is in my diet.

cemetarysiren25
06-22-2006, 11:34 AM
It is definate that everyone is different. You will learn on your "journey" what you can eat/drink and what you can't. I've been eating pizza once a week from the beginning (always with veggies) and it never affects my weight. Same thing with drinking. I've drank wine and light beer during the week (not every night) and go out with my DH and friends to the bar on weekends and drink. I've never gained a pound from it.
So, I think it all depends on the person, how much you eat, how much you exercise, etc.

LLV
06-22-2006, 12:52 PM
Yikes, 1000 calories, that would have to be a lot of alcohol, I think that much would just put me out even before I could finish it:faint: .
Depends on what ya drink. There are some drinks out there close to 500 calories each, lol

dragonwoman64
06-22-2006, 01:06 PM
Jennifer! I didn't recognize you in your new avatar! You look hot, woman!!

I like to drink wine and beer every once in a while. I try to keep it down, though, because I do find it makes me feel hungrier and I feel tempted to eat more.

ralph
06-22-2006, 04:17 PM
Hello~

How late do you usually have the wine? If your having a later dinner with the wine, that might be part of the problem.

Personallly, I think the way your having the wine is probably more benefical for you then taking it out completly. Its something you enjoy and there is some evidence that shows a smalll glass of red wine one meal a day could decreaes your chances of heart disease and some cancers.

Just food for thought...haha ;)

heather