Alcohol is known to suppress fat burning. This is because our bodies choose to metabolize alcohol first, so fat burning is on pause. However, once that alcohol is burned off, our body will switch back to fat burning.
Considering that caloric deficit Is the main driver of weight loss and knowing that alcohol contains 7 calories per gram of weight, the amount of alcohol consumed will be the main determinant whether you will lose fat or no.
This is perfectly illustrated in one of the studies where study participants either:
1. Consumed alcohol in addition to regular meals so they were consuming more calories than they were expending OR
2. Replaced carbohydrate calories with alcohol calories so the participants remained in calorie balance.
In both conditions, it was found that alcohol suppresses fat burning (short-term effect), but only participants in the first group gained weight over the course of study since they consumed more calories than they expended (long-term effect).
So if your goal is to lose weight, there is no harm in adding alcohol as long as you control for calories.
Health effects of alcohol are the totally different topic and obviously, the less is better when it comes to alcohol and health.
We provide personal training, kinesiology, and nutrition coaching services in Toronto, Canada and online wherever you are in the world. We are Registered Kinesiologists and certified personal trainers with years of experience successfully helping people reach their health and fitness goals.