Feb 15, 2018

Health and Fitness - Why is alcohol worse than a fatty cheat meal?

Now that summer and the holiday season are over, it's time to go back to serious dieting, exercising and weight watching. Remember: Summer bodies are built in Winter time!

I do not claim to be the perfect diet guru or health specialist but I am good in reading, research and I love learning about health and diets.  I know what the dietitian is going to advise me because I'm good in theory. And I know that if I followed the theory I know, I would definitely be having the model's look by now!

Based on the theory talk, I noticed lately from everyone who is on diet or on a weight watching program their eager wait for the "cheat portion" in order to consume alcohol.  Personally, I wait for my cheat meal to have a burger or a pizza. What can I say: I love food! But my choice falls away from alcohol for several reasons and the main one is that the after-effect of alcohol is worse than the after effect of a fatty cheat meal.

Now read on.....

"This drink is on 86 cal" some would say. "The salad you are having has more calories than my drink" others would utter. True! But is the calories count the only criteria to binge on alcohol consumption?

To make it all easy, below are some simple facts about alcohol:

1- Alcohol contains what we call "empty calories" i.e. calories without any nutrition to the body.
2- Alcohol contains twice the calories than proteins and carbs.
3- Alcohol is an appetite simulative; the intake never stops at a drink or two. There is always a big meal that follows!
4- Alcohol slows down your metabolism. How? It lowers your testosterone (which is responsible of fat burning and lean muscle gains), which lowers your metabolic rate, which makes you burn less calories for the hours to come. Asking yourself how many hours? 48!! Yes. 2 full days after only 1 drink!
5- Aside from its negative effect on your metabolism, alcohol directly damages your stomach, liver and kidney, while affecting your heart indirectly.

Now while drinking is a social activity and some really enjoy -and need!- a good drink from time to time, what's the best choice to make?

1- Never drink on an empty stomach, it facilitates alcohol absorption.
2- Avoid "bubbly" drinks as they are faster to get through your system.
3- Cut cocktails! They are full of sugar and therefore extra fat!
4- Keep healthy snacks at hand. Vegetables go perfectly with drinks.
5- Have water in parallel of your drink and between drinks.
6- Sweat it out! Let your cardio be your breakfast tomorrow morning!

All that being said and while your drink totally fits your calories count for the day, think twice before taking your next sip!

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