If you're like me, you probably don't always make the healthiest choices and may have some bad habits associated with eating or snacking or drinking or perhaps even the trifecta! We all have had that late night where we've knocked back maybe a couple too many and Ubered through the Taco Bell drive thru. It happens. Whether you have a beer belly, suffer from the occasional bad case of the drunken munchies, or have just given up on all the things and find your way to a lot of empty calories, there may be a silver lining for you when it comes to drinking bourbon as a gateway to your weight loss dreams. Also, no, we're not talking about not eating and only drinking bourbon...although that sounds interesting, it's a recipe for discovering your mortality, but if you're focused on keeping weight off, dead people as a general rule don't tend to put on weight so there's that.
For our female readers, according to a study from the Archives of Internal Medicine, out of a group of nearly twenty thousand women that were reviewed, by in large, all women gained weight as they aged. Well, that doesn't sound overly great - but wait - for those who didn't drink alcohol, that cohort in the study gained on average eight pounds, while the women who did drink light to moderate amounts of alcohol each day gained much less. A bourbon or two a day keeps the love handles away!
For the men reading this, the picture isn't as rosy. Men tend to gain weight at a greater rate in comparison to our female counterparts - possibly due to metabolic differences. Men have a higher amount of an enzyme called "alcohol dehydrogenase" which not surprisingly is a workhorse of breaking down alcohol that is consumed. Better work at breaking down alcohol means greater uptake of calories into the system.
It's not the end of the world however as an individual can "train" their metabolism the aforementioned study suggests to burn off alcohol more efficiently. Simply by regularly consuming moderate amounts of alcohol (e.g. bourbon) you essentially accustom your system to metabolize the alcohol more efficiently. The bodies of moderate drinkers "use more energy, burning the calories in the drink - or even more than that - while digesting it." Of course, that does mean that you cannot binge drink anymore on the weekends. This level of moderation is also suggested to increase your good cholesterol (HDL).
Beyond the metabolic aspects of how bourbon interacts with your body, simply drinking bourbon neat without being diluted by mixers can also help with weight loss. Compared to beer or other alcohol choices bourbon is lower in calories, with no carbohydrates. In fact, a 1.5 ounce shot of bourbon contains only approximately 97 calories and 0 grams of carbohydrates. On average, compare that to a pint of beer which contains 208 calories and 17.6 grams of carbohydrates. If you're on a diet and still want to have an alcoholic beverage, or two, make the switch to bourbon and transition to a healthier you.
If you're curious about other potential health benefits of bourbon, we of course have a whole post on that...."Drink Bourbon...for your Health."
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