According to a study done in the UK which was published on Saturday, April 14th, 2018, for every alcoholic drink consumed over the daily recommended limit will cut half an hour from your lifespan by increasing the risk of stroke, fatal aneurysm, heart failure and death. One alcoholic drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine and a 1.5 ounce (one shot) of hard liquor. Above two drinks a day, risk of death starts to go up. The study estimates that drinking four units of alcohol a day (equal to about three glasses of wine at night in America), cuts about two years off of life expectancy. Scientists even concluded that habitual and excessive drinking could be the same as smoking in terms of life expectancy if one is a heavy drinker.
But what about the Mediterranean diet? Mediterranean cultures are associated with longer life expectancies and some of the lowest cancer rates in the world despite being notorious for having wine as a staple in their diets. So, how can this be? Well in the Mediterranean diet, they drink only about 6 ounces of wine per day with a single meal. On the other hand, here in the American culture we tend to overdo it. We’ve all been there. It was a long and stressful day, you finally get home and that bottle of wine is calling your name. Except instead of just a small glass with dinner, you end up having half the bottle. Moderate drinking can be a part of a healthy diet, but remember that one alcoholic drink equals about 100-150 calories that contribute no nutrients. For more information and tips, watch my video on how to lose weight without giving up alcohol.
Take note: When your liver is processing alcohol, it cannot process fat — it only does one function at a time. So, the fact that you’re not metabolizing fat when you’re drinking means you’re holding onto the fats that would otherwise be processed. If you drink, this doesn’t mean you need to stop drinking. It only means that drinking too much too often may slow or even stop your fat loss.
To be successful, follow the Flat Belly 365 principles:
1) Think of a drink as a special occasion situation and not a daily habit.
2) Consume no more than four to six servings of alcohol per week for ideal weight loss and a fat belly.
3) For a flat belly, although there’s no specific research, observations suggest that men may have six servings per week, while women may have four servings per week.
4) Be aware: The oversized globe wine glasses in restaurants usually contain 6 ounces a pour which is one and a half servings. A glass of wine in your house usually equals 8 ounces (two servings). Cocktails in restaurants may include two shots and equal two servings. Also be mindful of what these shots are mixed with (soda, fruit juices, etc.) as they contribute extra calories.
5) Alcohol stimulates appetite, which puts you at risk for higher calorie intake. Alcohol also lowers your inhibitions, making it easier to choose unhealthy foods.
6) Many people enjoy a glass of wine with dinner as a matter of course, or because they are foodies. Instead of wine at every dinner, enjoy it when you’re at restaurants on weekends, or once a week, not every day.