LIFESTYLE

Zach Galifianakis' Dramatic Weight Loss Is (Probably) Down To Cutting Out Alcohol

17/10/2014 10:48 BST | Updated 17/10/2014 10:59 BST

Earlier this week, Hangover star Zach Galifianakis stepped out in public looking as svelte as ever.

The actor, who hasn't made a public appearance since last October, didn't disclose the secret behind his dramatic weight loss. However we've got an inkling behind what might have helped him to shed those pounds.

It all revolves around alcohol. Or lack of it.

zach galifianakis

The 45-year-old actor told Conan O'Brien last year that he'd lost a lot of weight after cutting out alcohol. "I was having a lot of vodka with sausage," he told the TV host.

This got us thinking about alcohol and the fact that, although everyone loves a tipple every now and then, we often excuse its calorie content because it's liquid.

Many people are unaware that alcohol can play a huge part in weight gain.

Among adults who drink, alcohol accounts for nearly 10% of their calorie intake according to Alcohol Concern.

Many people have little idea about how many calories they are consuming in alcohol - and if they did, we think they'd be a little more conscious about their drinking habits...

alcohol

Let us break this down for you:

+ 1 gram of alcohol provides 7kcal. This compares with 9kcal per gram for fat and 4kcal per gram for carbohydrates or protein. Eek.

+ One unit of alcohol contains 8 grams or 10ml of alcohol, which provides 56kcal.

+ There are other ingredients in alcohol such as sugar, cream and fruit juice which increase the calorie content even more.

+ In a glass of wine there are 130 calories.

+ A pint of beer contains 182 calories.

+ And a can of lager features a whopping 250 calories (the same as a Mars Bar, FYI).

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Alcohol vs Food

People who calorie count often forget to include alcoholic drinks in their daily round-up, says a spokesperson from Alcohol Concern. This means that it’s easy for calories to add up quickly and go unnoticed.

In addition to this, alcohol is an appetite stimulant and can lead to overeating at mealtimes and late at night.

Professor Kevin Fenton, executive director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England also notes the increased health risk which surrounds this high calorie content.

“Alcoholic drinks have a high calorie content and excess calorie intake can lead to being overweight and obese. This increases your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers," he says.

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Currently there are 9 million adults in the UK who drink at levels that increase the risk of harm to their health - that's also a lot of high-calorie consumers.

How can drinkers work around this?

Public Health England recommend eating a healthy balanced diet, being more physically active and reducing alcohol intake in order to live a longer and healthier life.

Alcohol Concern also suggest that it's best to moderate alcohol intake to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

While it's a widely known fact that drinking too much can cause liver disease, it’s not as well known that alcohol is also linked to over 60 medical conditions.

The advice? Don't exceed your recommended alcohol limits, which for women is 2 or 3 units a day, the equivalent of 1 standard glass of wine, and for men is 3 or 4 units a day, the equivalent of a pint and a half of beer.

Additionally, try cutting out alcohol for a month and see if it helps you to lose weight.