Alcohol and Your Metabolism (and a story I don't normally share)

There is no easy way to say this …

Alcohol and your metabolism just don’t mix when you want to lose weight.

Some would disagree of course..

‘Alcohol makes you LEAN’ … they say …

‘Against chairs, tables, walls and good friends’ I say!

Jokes aside, alcohol makes it harder to lose weight.

Let me explain…

You body burns energy (calories) in this order


  1.    Alcohol calories
  2.    Simple Carbohydrate calories
  3.    Complex Carbohydrate calories
  4.    Fat calories

Did you notice how many calories your body burns BEFORE it looks for FAT to burn?  Alcohol, simple and complex carbohydrates

 If you are over 40, and have lost muscle tone, chances are you have a SLOW metabolism.  A slow metabolism will have troubles burning enough calories to ever get to your fat stores.

So what is a fun loving, social girl to do that wants to lose weight and still have a drink?

Let’s face it, life is a juggling act and sometimes just getting to the end of the day feels like a marathon and sitting down to a quiet evening drink can be tempting. 

I understand! (read about how I understand at the end of this blog).

Here are my 3 TIPS to drinking alcohol and STILL losing weight:fitone san francisco

* based on you currently drinking 2 glasses of wine a night at 123 calories per glass.

  1. Cut down to 2 nights a week. You will save a HUGE 1,230 calories a week!!!   AMAZING! If you do this for 1 year you would lose 8.5 kilos making NO OTHER CHANGES.
  2. Drink 1 Vodka, lime and water a night (7 nights a week).  Make it ½ a nip instead of a full nip. You will save 197 calories a day OR 1382 calories a week!  If you do this for 1 year you will lose 9.3 kg a year
  3. Go for a 1 hour walk a day and give up alcohol all together!  Ohhh… the toughest challenge of the lot!  You will burn 2,380 calories a week powerwalking at 3.5-4km per hour AND you will save 1722 calories a week in alcohol calories.  All this equals over 25 kilos of fat loss!

I know that giving up alcohol isn’t easy and I really admire those that have taken the leap. 

I don’t normally share this story but many years ago when the kids were home, I would have a drink every night cooking dinner.  My father was a daily drinker and died of liver disease.  I knew my personality was an addictive personality and I knew I was at the stage that I was looking for a drink every night.  My life started to revolve around being home around dinner time.  I knew deep down that I had lost control but I would just say ‘it’s only a couple OR it relaxes me – I’ve had a big day.  The truth was that when I tried to stop, I would stop for a day or two and back to having my drink a night. 

I now call this ‘addiction’. 

5 Years ago I went through a really difficult personal time and in that moment, the dark night of the soul, I just knew if I drank alcohol to console myself I may never stop and made a promise to myself to STOP drinking until I had got through my grieve that I was experiencing.

And so the journey of giving up alcohol began.

I am proud to say that today I do not drink. It took 4 years for me to really give up COMPLETELY.

Have you ever heard the saying Life dosen't happen TO YOU it happens FOR YOU?  Well i am a believer of that saying now ... My dark moment ended up being a blessing in disguise!

I can honestly say that next to having my children giving up alcohol completely is the thing I am most proud of in my life.  To some reading this it probably sounds ridiculous but I’m hoping that some will resonate with my story. 

sunflower   I do understand it is difficult to give up drinking completely but let me share with you the benefits I have      found by giving up alcohol:

   I sleep better

   I wake up feeling clear headed

   I feel healthier

   I don’t say things I regret (as often)FAB 6070

I feel that I have control over choosing to drink alcohol or not drink

I don’t waste any of my precious days hung over

I feel less moody

I see the world differently

And best of all ….

I get to save LOTS of money to buy other things I enjoy including travelling, buying new clothes or indulging in a little me time getting my nails and hair done!

My tips if you decide to give up alcohol completelyDanaGC

  1.    Take it one day at a time AND be kind to yourself. If you mess up,  simply start again the next day!      Practice makes perfect
  2.    Do something DIFFERENT at the time you normally drink.  I would take myself for a powerwalk          before cooking dinner.  By the time I got home, I was no longer craving a drink
  3.    Keep alcohol out of the house COMPLETELY. 
  4.    Try to avoid situations that will make it difficult for you to stick to your goal in the first few weeks.      Once you have a handle on not drinking alcohol, it will be easier to socialise.
  5.    Give yourself a regular ‘pat on the back’ and treat yourself to a little something to say –    congratulations – I’m trying!

In my experience determination is key to freedom.  Be determined to work on your mindset and create a body – a life that you are happy to live in.

Would you like to connect with Dana Eden?

about danaDana is a fully registered, qualified Personal Trainer with the Australian Fitness Council.  She specialises in womens health and is the creator of the 12 Week Lean Body System, The 4 Week Waist Whittler and The 2 Week Detox Diet Challenge.  Dana is a speaker on health and fitness and inspires women how to improve their health, fitness and best of all speed up their metabolism as they age.