A lot of fitness professionals would tell you not to drink it at all if you want to lose body fat. That's not my style I'm afraid...

But there's no getting away from the fact that the more you drink the slower you will lose fat and, even if your nutrition is spot on, if you drink too much your fat loss will stall.

I've seen an amusing image going round on Facebook that says something like:

"A banana is 120 calories, a gin and tonic is 80 calories...choose wisely!"

It's not wrong technically BUT it does highlight the gaping hole in relying purely on calorie counting as a method of ensuring effective fat loss.


It ignores what your body does with ingested food and drink.

Yes the G&T is less calories than a banana but here is what happens when you take in alcohol.

You body's ability to burn stored body fat drops by around 70% as long as alcohol is in your system.

This doesn't happen with food, even the 'dreaded' carbohydrates.

It takes your body around 1 hour to 'use' 1 unit of alcohol.

So if you have a bottle of wine which is around 10 units you'll be burning body fat at 30% efficiency for 10 hours afterwards.

Here's another kicker, that is an average amount of time to process a unit of alcohol.

If you're an older (40+) female, who is overweight and has ingested said alcohol with food your body will be much less efficient at processing alcohol so that 10 hours suddenly could be 12 hours, 14 hours or even 16 hours...

With 168 hours in a week, it's easy to see how a single bottle of wine can have a significant impact on your ability to burn body fat.

Drink a couple of bottles of wine a week and suddenly your only burning body fat at a rate of 30% efficiency for 25% of the week.

Clearly that is going to have a huge impact on your fat loss.

Even if you're counting calories, including alcohol, and hitting your daily target you'll still hinder your fat loss

So that is a bit doom and gloom but as you know I like a drink and believe life is for living so here's my advice to still be able to have some booze but still lose weight:

Switch to something like a G&T with a slimline tonic.

It has less calories (yes they still count) than wine and has 1 unit a shot. If you can drink 10 G&T's in a night then I take my hat off to you. Much harder to do than drinking a bottle of wine I think.

So you'll take in less calories AND have less of an impact on your body's ability to burn body fat.

That works with any spirit and mixer so Vodka, lime and soda will be as good.

You also need to train with weights which will boost your metabolism and help you process any ingested alcohol quicker. It's one of the reasons you probably know someone who has lost quite a bit of weight but still drinks like a fish. They exercise a lot!

Finally, as you lose weight you become better at processing alcohol so when you get slim the amount you drink will have less of an impact on your weight as you'll process it more efficiently.

As ever it's a balance. Get it right and you can have the best of both worlds.

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