It’s simple. If you want to party like it’s 1969, then be prepared for consequences:
Inability to lose weight or fat
For most of us, drinking is a part of our celebratory “culture”, it helps us “unwind” after a hard day, gives us the “courage” to socialize and is even consumed out of boredom. But what some people fail to realize is alcohol is a major deterrent for weight loss and fat loss. If you’re wondering why you just can’t lose that fluff, READ on!
Messing with your Metabolism
Your body can’t store alcohol, so it must metabolize it right away. When you drink alcohol, your body makes metabolizing it a priority over all other metabolic processes. Your body sends alcohol to the liver, which produces the enzymes necessary for the oxidation and metabolism of alcohol.
Drinking alcohol also interferes with the way your body burns fat, a vital component to successful weight loss. Normally, the liver metabolizes fat calories allowing you to use them for energy. But when alcohol is present, fat metabolism takes a backseat to the breakdown of the alcohol because the liver must metabolize the alcohol first. So instead of using fat for energy, your body turns to the calories from the alcohol. This impairs the livers ability to metabolize fats therefore causing a buildup of fatty acids – which can hinder weight loss.
Disrupting your Sleep
A night out with booze will most likely cause you to sleep deeper during the first part of the night, but later on the chances are you will be more restless than usual. This is known as the rebound effect, and is the reason why drinkers often find themselves wide awake in the early hours of the morning. Deeper sleep will also promote snoring and poorer breathing. So, you definitely shouldn’t expect better sleep with alcohol. Oh hey, and as you age, this will happen more frequently. AWESOME.
*Fun Fact: Women metabolize alcohol more quickly than men. This means that the sedative properties of a late night drink wear off more easily, causing women to feel the second, more fragmented part of their sleep more quickly. This study found that “women objectively had fewer hours of sleep, woke more frequently and for more minutes during the night, and had more disrupted sleep than men.”
HOORAY FOR BEING A FEMALE!
Wreaking Havoc on your Gut
Because your body can’t store alcohol and must metabolize it right away, other metabolic processes suffer. If you’re a long-term drinker, alcohol can cause inflammation in the organs of the digestive tract. Why? Because the liver loses it’s ability to properly absorb nutrients, vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat. So even if you eat squeaky clean, your body can’t process and digest nutrients – leading to inflammation, poor gut health and slew of other issues.
Ever notice that little “poof” around your midsection? Well, you are likely retaining fluids in your belly area because your body is dehydrated! Alcohol consumption decreases the antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which means your body will simultaneously hang on to fluids and lose body water. This in turn will lead to morning The only thing that can stop this vicious cycle is water!
Top 10 Tips
For a lot of us, our lifestyle requires us to be social and have “drinks” on occasion. So when you do, just follow these tips:
- Plan ahead — If you know there’s an event or dinner coming up where you will have a glass or two of wine, then keep the other days of your week alcohol-free. And always eat before you go to a party, especially when you don’t know what they will be serving.
- Don’t skip dinner in an effort to conserve calories. Instead, eat a healthy, satisfying meal before you indulge. That way, you’ll be less likely to drink too much or binge on unhealthy foods. Keep your meals lighter by limiting your carbs and not going to heavy on the fats.
- Keep healthy food on hand when drinking. Drinking will relax the inhibitions and cause one to compromise their nutritional habits. Keep unhealthy foods out of side a even have a protein bar in your purse as a back-up!
- 1 for 1. For every alcoholic beverage you consume, have a glass a water on the side. Especially with wine. You’ll end up drinking more wine because you’re “thirsty” and will end up overconsuming. This will also increase feelings of fullness. Keep lemon water or seltzer on the table as well and alternate between the alcoholic beverage and water.
- Order or pour smaller portions. Keep smaller wine glasses at home, and if you’re out ask for a 4 or 5 oz. pour. You can also order your cocktail in “tall” glass so there is always more club soda or diet tonic to help keep you full!
- Don’t refill your glass unless it’s empty — Sometimes we add a little wine to our glasses, even though it’s not yet empty. Wait until you’ve finished the entire glass and then pour a little more if you absolutely have to have it.
- If you’re fond of beer, try a healthier alternative like Kombucha. Not only is Kombucha great for your gut (it is fermented tea), but it comes in all types of flavors! Also, drink diet sodas with various spirits to significantly lower the calorie content of these drinks. Like this stevia-sweetened Ginger Beer. PICTURE
- Avoid high-calorie liqueurs. These are extremely deceptive (they taste so good) and will add enormously to overall caloric content.
- Forget Anything Frozen. Anything requiring a blender could be a major offender! This includes margaritas, Froze’s, and Pina Coladas. Not only are these frozen drinks typically high in calories, but they also tend to be served in goblet-sized glasses and sometimes made with store-bought mixes.
- Only Add a Splash of Juice. Juices are sugar bombs. Try adding fresh lemon, lime or an orange wedge.
Check out these “Nina-approved” tasty mixers for Vodka, Rum or Tequila!
But Nina, what about Wine??? Oh, I gotcha ladies!
And if you’re at the bar or a restaurant:
Glass of Red or dry White Wine
Glass of dry Champagne
Vodka and seltzer (club soda)
Scotch/Bourbon “neat” or “on the rocks”
Rum and Diet Coke
Safe “Specialty” Drinks:
Vodka/Gin Martini with a twist
Gin Martin with Cucumber
Cucumber Gimlet – no added sugar
Mojito – no added sugar
Paloma – with fresh grapefruit, no salt on the rim