I believe that moderate drinking with friends is OK and can actually prolong your life.  Why?  Because there are literally tons of studies showing this to be the case.  However, moderate drinking is a whole lot different than excessive drinking.  I believe consuming alcohol, if it’s in the company of good people, is a great stress reliever and this is probably why it helps you live longer.  But excessive drinking leads to a host of other issues.

Moderate alcohol consumption to me is drinking 1-2 drinks a day, or even a week.  Most people go above and beyond this, and we all know the ones who drink so much that you can’t even be around them.  The problem with drinking excessively, or 3+ drinks per day, is multi-fold.  Since this could take a while, I will only go over 3 ways (for now) that alcohol can hinder your progress.

  1.  Drinking excessively comes with a huge spike in calories, depending on your drink of choice.  Even a vodka soda, which I consider to be the healthiest alcoholic drink, is 63 calories.  That means that if I have 4 of them I’m still over 200 calories.  If it’s beer you’re drinking, which is common in Central Oregon, then you are talking 200 calories PER DRINK.  That’s 800 calories or a double-double at In-N-Out Burger!  800 calories is enough to halt weight loss and put weight back on.
  2. Drinking excessively dulls your senses and makes you crave foods that are highly stimulating- such as greasy, fast-food.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve eaten the wrong foods because I was intoxicated (especially in my formative years).  Are you really going to go for a salad when you’re drunk?  Not likely.  Also your body needs greasy food to absorb some of the alcohol in your stomach and to sober you up.  A salad’s not going to do it.  A meal when you are drunk on alcohol is typically very high calorie (over 500), and can add the pounds right back, even if the rest of your week was perfect.
  3. Excessive drinking can lead to terrible hangovers, which can prevent you from working out the next day.  Hangovers are an awful effect of drinking to excess, and no one wants to work out hungover.  And most don’t!  That day of rest and relaxation can cost you hundreds of burned calories, and can add calories back on with the crappy food you decide to eat to get rid of the hangover.

Those are 3 reasons why heavy drinking is bad for your body, and while there are many reasons more, I’ll stick to these three for today.