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Beyond the calories: How alcohol impacts weight loss

A drink or 2 may seem harmless enough – the additional calories alone are not so substantial they’ll tank your weight loss goals. But often overlooked is the effect alcohol can have on your metabolism, a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and achieving weight health.


Appetite – alcohol can disrupt the balance of hormones that regulate appetite, leading to increased food intake, overeating, and weight gain.

  • Ghrelin + Leptin - alcohol can increase ghrelin, the hunger stimulating hormone, while decreasing leptin, the satiety hormone that sends signals you are full.

  • Insulin – alcohol can also spike appetite by disrupting insulin signaling. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels and also contributes with messaging to the brain that you are full.

  • Cortisol – alcohol consumption can increase cortisol, the stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels can increase appetite and cravings for unhealthy, high-calorie foods.

  • Serotonin – alcohol can temporarily increase serotonin levels, which can initially suppress appetite. However, as the effects of alcohol wear off, serotonin levels can drop, leading to increased cravings for high-calorie foods.

  • Disinhibition – Alcohol can also lower inhibitions and impair judgment, leading to overeating or making poor food choices.

Even without the adverse effects of alcohol impairing appetite, the experience of hunger while trying to lose weight can be difficult to overcome. Metabolism Ignite can help by giving your metabolism a boost and regulating appetite hormones – making you less hungry and prone to cravings. It’s powered by all natural ingredients with zero health harming side effects.

Sleep – as a central nervous system depressant, Alcohol can initially act as a sedative, making it easier to fall asleep, but actually results in poorer sleep quality overall. Quality sleep is essential to maintaining a healthy metabolism, with lack of sleep significantly impacting the ability to lose weight.

  • Brain Activity Inhibition – alcohol enhances the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and decreases activity of glutamate, neurotransmitters that inhibit brain activity, producing the calming and uninhibited effect we associate with alcohol. This contributes to drowsiness, and initially induces sleep.

  • Sleep-Wake Cycle – however, alcohol also affects the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that regulates sleep-wake cycles. By interfering with this process, alcohol can disrupt your normal sleep patterns, particularly REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is crucial for restorative rest. This sleep disruption also impacts sleep quality by making sleep more fragmented, meaning you may wake up more often during the night without realizing it. Some people experience early morning awakenings after drinking, cutting short the duration of their sleep.

A solution for better sleep, sans alcohol? Cortisol Calming counteracts spikes in cortisol with a blend of adaptogens, amino acids, and a powerful nootropic that work in combination to calm the body and improve sleep cycles.

Nutrient Absorption – when you consume alcohol, it is rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine. The body prioritizes processing alcohol over other food or drinks you consume, and can interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E, K, and B vitamins. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies and set off a cascade of negative health impacts.

If you do choose to imbibe, protect your nutrition stores with a daily multivitamin. BioEvolve Multivitamin is packed with 30+ bioavailable vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients that provide the daily nourishment your body needs for optimal health.

Liver Function – the liver plays a central role in metabolizing alcohol, breaking it down into acetaldehyde, a toxic compound, and then further metabolizing it into acetate, which is eventually converted into carbon dioxide and water. This process can put a strain on the liver, disrupting its normal functions and its ability to rid your body of other toxins.

Muscle Recovery + Growth – alcohol can interfere with muscle recovery and growth by impairing protein synthesis, which is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue. Reduced muscle mass lowers your body’s resting metabolic rate – meaning your overall calorie burn is reduced.

Dehydration – alcohol is a diuretic, which means it increases urine production and can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can impair metabolic functions and contribute to fatigue and headaches – symptoms typically associated with a hangover.

This doesn't mean you have to give up alcohol completely – the benefits of connecting with friends, toasting successes, and just plain letting loose once in a while have their own merits. However, understanding how alcohol can impact your health and weight loss goals can help you to make informed decisions!

Read our story on the "healthiest" alcohol choices. 

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