“Women Who Drink Tend to Lose Weight”

Alcohol-it’s the number one reason why most women gain weight, but there’s good news for women who want to indulge in a cocktail or two and lose weight.

A 2010 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that women who drink 1-2 alcoholic beverages a day are less likely to GAIN weight than heavy drinkers and non-drinkers and are at a lower risk for becoming obese. The researchers suspect the bodies of long term, moderate drinkers somehow adapt to metabolize alcohol differently than non drinkers and heavy drinkers.

But before you start stocking your kitchen with vodka instead of vegetables, experts caution that the relationship between alcohol and weight may not be that simple.

What researchers failed to look at was how the participants drinking may have affected other areas of their health besides weight gain.

Here’s what they found- Danish researchers discovered that women who drank two or more alcoholic drinks a day over a 5 year period saw a 30 percent increased risk of developing breast cancer. Why? Because alcohol not only damages DNA cells, but it also triggers higher levels of estrogen and other hormones linked to breast cancer.

And if that’s not bad enough, maxing out on margaritas can also take a toll on your immune system, thyroid, adrenal and liver function. Alcohol also plays a significant role in the development of leaky gut syndrome; a contributing factor in weight gain.

With a healthy gut, the intestinal lining remains tightly sealed keeping toxins and waste in the digestive tract where they belong instead of spreading throughout your body. However, when the gut is leaky from alcohol, gluten, dairy or stress the lining gets damaged and big holes develop. These holes allow gluten, bad bacteria, toxic waste and undigested food particles to leak from the inside of the intestinal wall into the bloodstream causing an immune reaction.

This leads to inflammation throughout the body and can cause symptoms that include: hypothyroidism, bloating, headaches, joint pain, digestive problems, fatigue, weight gain and syndrome X. Syndrome X is a group of five risk factors that can increase your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

After reading all that, if you still believe that having a few nightly cocktails is a good weight loss strategy - here’s what you need to know about the aforementioned study:

All alcohol, food intake and weight information was self reported by study participants. Unfortunately, most people tend to under-report what they really eat and over report their adherence to healthy eating habits and exercise. Unlike in a laboratory setting where subjects are in a controlled environment, studies that use self-reporting to gather data should always be taken with a grain of salt; like this one.

In conclusion, whatever potential benefits a glass of wine or beer may have on slimming down the love handles; they must be balanced against the other potential gains and risks and also common sense.