Lifestyle

Make this ONE change to help you lose belly fat

So you are doing really well on your healthy eating plan and eating well – but are you struggling to ditch the extra weight around your tummy?

A lot of people have stubborn tummy fat, so you’re not alone.

See results from Hannah on the 28 Day Challenges 

The good news is – you can help banish it by doing this ONE SIMPLE thing…

Sit ups
Source: iStock

Make this ONE change to lose belly fat

Here’s the answer: Cut back dramatically on your alcohol intake.

Here we look at the effects of alcohol and weight loss – especially alcohol and stomach fat.

When you take in more calories than you burn, the excess calories are stored as fat. Where your body stores that fat is determined in part by your age, sex, and hormones. Alcohol is metabolised differently than other foods and beverages.

Under normal conditions, your body gets its energy from the calories in carbohydrates, fats and proteins, which are slowly digested and absorbed within the gastrointestinal system.

belly fat

Digestion changes when alcohol is present

However, this digestive process changes when alcohol is present. When you drink alcohol, it gets immediate attention (because it is viewed by the body as a toxin) and needs no digestion.

Generally speaking, alcohol intake is associated with having a bigger waist, because when you drink alcohol, the liver burns alcohol instead of fat.

Girl drinking winewhile on a hiking trip picnic

Alcohol suppresses testosterone

Alcohol also suppresses testosterone production, the primary metabolic hormone, this can last up to 24 hours following consumption.

So not only does alcohol delay your liver’s ability to break down fat, it also obstructs your body’s access to the hormones it needs to help you break down fat.

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When the body is focused on processing alcohol, it is not able to properly break down foods containing carbohydrates and fat.

Therefore, these calories are converted into body fat and are carried away for permanent storage on your body. Even though alcohol contains calories, alcohol doesn’t satisfy us in the same way that food does.

This means we don’t end up consuming fewer food calories to compensate for those we’ve drank.

pizza

Alcohol makes you want to eat more!

In fact, alcohol can make us want to eat more! Alcohol increases your appetite by suppressing leptin, the hormone which normally tells your brain to stop eating and negatively effects many other brain chemicals that are involved in appetite suppression.

It can also makes us lose our inhibitions, making the decision to grab a slice of pizza or a greasy kebab all the more easy. Our healthy food choices become less important to us!

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Alcohol causes dehydration

Another important fact to remember is 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.

Young woman awaked by the sunlight coming in the hotel room. She is covering her face with her hand.
Source: iStock

Alcohol hinders sleep

Alcohol hinders your body in other negative ways. For one, it may help induce sleep, but the sleep you get isn’t very deep. You get less rest, which can trigger you to eat more calories the next day.

See results from Hannah on the 28 Day Challenges 

Hannah-Pech-38kg-weight-loss-before-after

How to enjoy alcohol while trying to lose weight

All this information can be good and well, but a drink here and there can be okay too.

Two glasses of red wine and glass of water on the wooden bar counter

But just remember that when drinking, try to have one low calorie drink, ideally water, between each alcoholic beverage to limit your intake.

Have a meal before you start drinking and choose low energy density foods. Filling up on foods that provide few calories is a good way to reduce your overall energy consumption. Vegetables and fruit are ideal for this and are also highly nutritious.

But if you are totally serious about losing that belly fat, we encourage anyone to rethink their drinking habits, as alcohol consumption will lead to a larger waistline and a bigger belly.

Bust belly fat on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Regain your body confidence with The Healthy Mummy’s 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.

Our Challenge is designed by mums FOR MUMS – to help them reach their goal weight and tackle their health and fitness.

The Challenge is home to customisable meal plans, 24/7 social support and realistic exercises mums can do AT HOME.

To find out more on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge click here.

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The Healthy Mummy

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