The body has no storage capacity for alcohol like it does for carbohydrates and fats. Since alcohol must be detoxified as quickly as possible, the oxidation of the alcohol takes top priority over the oxidation of other macronutrients. In other words, while the liver is busy metabolizing alcohol, the utilization of fats, carbohydrates, and protein has to be temporarily suppressed. The burning of fats is suppressed the most, because it's positioned at the bottom of the oxidative hierarchy. Lyle McDonald, author of "The Ketogenic Diet" says, "The consumption of alcohol will almost completely impair the body's use of fat for fuel." In the book "Power Eating," dietician Susan Kleiner writes, "Alcohol puts fat metabolism on hold. It's not your friend if you're trying to stay lean."
When alcohol is in your system, your body will simply convert more of the food you normally eat into body fat. Regardless of whether the calories come from food or drinks, if you consume more calories than your body needs, the excess will be stored as fat. Since most people usually consume their alcohol in addition to food instead of as a substitute for it, the accumulation of body fat is usually the result.
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