The Skinny on Alcohol
By Kate Horney
Toasting in the New Year is one of my favorite traditions, but the effects of alcohol can be staggering on your metabolism. The body does not metabolize macro-nutrients (sugar, fat, carbohydrates) as efficiently when trying to metabolize alcohol; halting any fat loss potential during this period of alcohol oxidation in your bloodstream. My recommendation, toast in the New Year with a more fat loss friendly option such as some sparkling water or one of our herb and fruit infused drinks and limit your alcohol intake. Doing so will help you keep your metabolism on the right track and not de-rail all of your hard work & fat loss efforts!
If you do want to enjoy some alcohol in moderation to toast in the new year, check out the skinny on alcohol…
- If you go for wine, go for red – Studies show that red wine may be good for your heart, so if you’re deciding between white and red, go for red. The antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. A polyphenol called resveratrol is one substance in red wine that’s gotten attention. Resveratrol may help prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and prevents blood clots. Some research shows that resveratrol could be linked to a lower risk of inflammation and blood clotting, which can lead to heart disease. But other studies found no benefits from resveratrol in preventing heart disease, so the jury is still out. Both white and red wines contain resveratrol, but red wine has much more.
- Low calorie wine isn’t worth it – There are very few low cal wines floating around (and I couldn’t find any that were red). The low cal wines that are on the market are made from the first grapes picked in the season because younger grapes contain less sugar and, therefore, less alcohol and fewer calories. The thing is, these wines still contain about 97 calories per 5 ounces which isn’t too bad…until you consider that regular wine only has around 105 calories per 5 ounces. With the numbers being so close, I’d recommend just sticking to good old regular wine.
- Go clear – Look for clear or light-colored alcohols and instead of soda or fruit juice, add a seltzer to your drink. A one-shot drink over ice with a calorie-free mixer like seltzer water with a squeeze of lemon or lime will keep sugar content to a minimum.
- Avoid dessert drinks – Steer clear of the dessert drinks that are loaded with creams and syrups. It adds loads of extra fat and calories, not to mention sugar!
And lastly, whatever you decide to drink for New Year, watch for dehydration!
Alcohol causes dehydration and water retention due to lack of electrolytes. You will retain water for several days after a long night of drinking. For those of us practicing the fat loss lifestyle, staying hydrated is a key aspect to curbing hunger and cravings. Be sure to re-hydrate your body after any alcohol intake. For every alcoholic beverage you consume, drink a glass of water. This will keep you from getting dehydrated and the dilution creates less strain on your liver and kidneys.
Stay safe and have fun!
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