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There is a lot of difference between being fit and being overweight. The latter comes with a lot of illness, physical inhibitions and mental disturbances, and not to say the shame of being called “fat” or “out of shape”.
Gone are the days when being fat was considered equivalent to being fit, and the world has now accepted the definitions of being leaner and energy-driven as the more appropriate ones. While there could be n number of reasons that are keeping you obese, alcohol is one of the most obvious reasons you are gaining weight unnecessarily and you must keep a tab on it. You should also try to replace that drinking habit with some better workout plans.
We are offering this article to help you know just why you should care for losing your extra weight and to help you stay away from the malpractices that you might be following till date. Two such malpractices could be an inappropriate consumption of alcohol and an inactive lifestyle. We start with the consequences of the former first.
A.) Is alcohol making me fat?
Excessive drinking isn’t good for you, this is no secret, but recent studies reveal that it may be worse than we originally thought it was, and this is why most of us go crazy on the weekends. This fries up your liver and also lowers the quality of your blood supply, and also creates a mass of unused calories that only lead you to weight gain and lots of cardiac diseases.
How does alcohol affect your body?
When you consume alcohol, it enters your stomach and about 25 percent of it is absorbed into your bloodstream immediately. The remainder of the alcohol continues down your digestive tract and is absorbed into the bloodstream via the small intestine.
Once the alcohol reaches your bloodstream, it enters the liver where it is broken down. It is a stimulant that makes you feel relaxed from the first drink. As you increase your alcohol intake, its effects amplify and you become “drunk.”
How it causes weight gain?
Alcohol has zero nutritional value and it is rich in calories, so there’s no doubt that it is going to cause weight gain.
o Alcohol is burnt first in your system for fuel. This means that the rest of the calories in your body are not used and will thus, be stored as fat
o Alcohol stimulates the production of insulin, a hormone that stimulates fat storage
o Alcohol dehydrates you and that usually induces you to drink more because of thirst. Furthermore, it causes the body to remove exceedingly high amounts of fluid which can be bad for the body.
o Alcohol comprises of liquid calories. They are easy to consume so a drinker may consume more alcohol than he intends to, even without realizing it.
How to drink smart?
Alcohol, if consumed in moderation, can relax you and make you feel good. This helps in eliminating stress caused by huge workloads, a nagging partner, a failing relationship, etc. Stress is a major factor that is directly linked to weight gain and a myriad of health issues. If having a glass of wine helps you unwind, then the positive effects of alcohol outweigh its negatives effects in this particular situation.
1. Never use alcohol to run away from your problems. If you use alcohol to remedy your misery, you may want to consider seeking professional help and reducing alcohol intake.
2. Red wine is packed with antioxidants so it’s best to stick to this alcoholic beverage. Note that only one glass of wine is recommended.
3. If you’re the type of person who intends to drink one or two and ends up drinking six, reevaluate your goals and try to abstain from alcohol altogether.
4. If your goal is to lose weight and gain muscle fast, avoid alcohol as much as possible because it is devoid of nutrients and packed with calories.
5. If you need to lose weight because of a wedding or a competition, it’s best to eliminate it from your diet completely. Alcohol can mess with your sleep patterns and cause hormonal imbalances which can hinder you from reaching your goals on time.
6. If your goal is to simply feel better and create a healthier lifestyle, ease into drinking less. Start by having a glass of red wine or beer after work (if you drink every day) and couple this with this healthy eating and regular exercising. If this allows your body to progress in the right direction, continue with the routine. If it doesn’t, reduce alcohol consumption even further to one or two glasses of wine per week.
This should offer you a clearer picture as to why the consumption of alcohol is so bad, even if taken in moderate amounts every day. The effects only become worse once you become habitual to drinking and it only leads to a downward spiral of poorer health and weaker financial endeavor.
B.) How excess weight affects your health?
Alcohol is a prequel or a sequel to unwanted weight gain and it only creates more problems than the solutions that it offers. We are discussing the mal-effects of increased weight and the risks that come with it.
Over half of the world’s population is suffering from the serious problem of obesity, which is the leading cause of many life-threatening diseases. As per the classification from WHO, obesity is mainly of 3 types:
a. Severe obesity: a BMI of ≥ 35 or 40 kg/m2
b. Morbid obesity: a BMI of ≥ 35 kg/m2 and experiencing obesity-related health conditions or ≥40–44.9 kg/m2
c. Super obesity: a BMI of ≥ 45 or 50 kg/m2
If you are overweight or obese, the probabilities of developing heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure increase significantly. They only add up to more physical and mental woes because one generally tries to ignore them till the point they can’t be because they have become way more significant over the years.
The result usually comes in the shape of the following 10 obesity-related diseases:
1. Heart diseases
American Heart Association has highlighted that obesity is a major risk factor for developing coronary heart disease, and can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Overweight people are at a higher risk of suffering a heart attack before the age of 45. Obese adolescents have a greater chance of having a heart attack before the age of 35 as compared to non-obese adolescents.
2. High cholesterol levels
Cholesterol is transported through your blood in two ways: the low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which transports cholesterol to the cells that need it, and the high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is the healthy cholesterol that reduces your risk for heart attack. When you are overweight the levels of LDL increases in your blood, thus raising the risks of heart diseases by 20%.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has indicated that more than 90% of diabetes patients worldwide have Type 2 diabetes. Obesity is the most significant factor responsible for Type 2 diabetes as it leads to the development of insulin resistance in the body. Being overweight contributes to the development of diabetes by making cells more resistant to the effects of insulin.
American Heart Association has highlighted in one of the studies that being overweight increases your chances of developing cancer by 50%. Women have a higher risk of developing cancer if they are more than 20 pounds overweight. Regular exercise and weight loss can significantly decrease this risk.
Gallstones are caused when the liver releases excessive amounts of bile, which is stored in the gallbladder. Being severely overweight increases the risk of developing gallstones.
6. Skin problems
Obese individuals may have skin that folds over on itself. These creased areas can become irritated from rubbing and sweating, which can lead to skin infections and serious skin problems as well.
Our bodies need to be at an appropriate weight to produce the right number of hormones and regulate ovulation and menstruation. Being overweight for females can result in ovarian failure. Also, overweight men have a greater chance of developing motility and a low sperm count.
Gastric ulcers occur when there is an imbalance between the amount of hydrochloric acid that is secreted and the enzyme pepsin. National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted a study and highlighted a result that obesity can be a contributing factor to the development of gastric ulcers. Overweight men are at a greater risk of developing gastric ulcers than women.
9. High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure tends to increase with weight gain and age. High blood pressure is the primary cause of death among Americans older than 25 years. Studies have shown that obese patients displayed an increase in blood volume and arterial resistance, which is responsible for diseases high blood pressure levels & related diseases.
10. Back pain
Obesity is one of the contributing factors of back and joint pain as the body has to bear the burden of excess weight. Excessive weight can cause injury to the most vulnerable parts of the spine (spinal injury or structural damage increase), which carries the body weight. Along with this, excessive weight increases the risk of osteoporosis, lower back pain, arthritis, and osteoarthritis.
So, it is clear that obesity and lack of weight loss referrals are considered such serious issues because there is a direct correlation between obesity and disease risk. Now is the time to reduce the probability of these diseases in your life by simply shedding off those extra pounds.
Start today with a proper fitness plan
One smart way would be to get on with a result-focused workout plan starting today. An equally sane approach would be to stay away from alcohol and other related drinks that only create havoc on your liver and make it worse. You can well imagine what a risk being overweight and being indulgent maybe, and it would thus be best to focus your energy on a better physical fitness routine than anything else.
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