Posted December 5th, 2012 under Nutrition Tips
How Does Happy Hour Fit into My Fitness Regimen
Tags: How Does Happy Hour Fit into My Fitness Regimen, bootcamp, personal training, boot camp, health and wellness, fitness and nutrition
April is Alcohol Awareness Month.
I enjoy a glass of wine just as much as the next person does! And it's unlikely I'll give up having a glass of wine while gabbing with friends over dinner! But since nutrition is HALF or MORE of the battle to being healthy & fit, I know I must understand how my body processes alcohol; be able to set limits; & plan for the extra calories that day. Warning: some of you may not like what you're about to read. :)
OUR BODIES METABOLIZE ALCOHOL THE SAME AS FAT! Huh???
1. The PATHWAY: Alcohol has an effect on ALL cells in our body.
ALCOHOL-->Esophagus-->Stomach-->20% to Bloodstream-->Tissues, Brain, Liver for Detoxification
80% to Small Intestine-->Bloodstream--> Tissues, Brain, Liver for Detoxification
Once in the liver, alcohol is metabolized in our body like fat!!! Yes, that's right! The body treats alcohol like fat. Using an enzyme known as alcohol dehydrogenase, the liver converts the metabolic by-products of alcohol into fatty acids, which are stored in the liver or transported for storage in other tissues.
If we all stopped at one "normal" or modest- sized drink, this may not be all bad for our fitness goals.
The issue becomes when we overconsume alcohol and still want to get healthy, fit, or lose weight. Drinking has a toxic effect on our body, causing it to hold onto fat in order to protect itself.
2. THE SCIENCE: The TOXIC Effect of Alcohol
Aside from the fact that alcohol kills brain cells, increases cancer & depresses immunity, alcohol has a toxic effect on the intestinal cells, impairing absorption of vitamins & nutrients. Therefore, alcohol can cause malnourishment, despite a normal diet.
The more regularly we drink, the less efficient our liver becomes at de-toxifying other substances in our environment, whether they be food, drink, air, etc.
The Equation: Too much alcohol = malnourishment + (alcohol + other toxins stored as fat).
3. TOXINS & OBESITY: THE DANGEROUS CYCLE!
a. Our body stores toxins in fat cells to protect us from the toxins (alcohol) circulating to vital organs. As one is exposed to more toxins, more fat cells are needed as a storage place.
b. In an effort to prevent harmful effects on the cells, our body dilutes the toxic body fluids. The result is additional fluid weight gain.
c. Toxicity interferes with satiety signals. It takes longer for the brain to realize we are full & need to stop eating.
d. Toxins slow our metabolism & damage the mitochondria that provide us with energy.
NO WONDER we feel tired and overweight! We develop "toxic obesity." Something not everyone realizes is happening, but so easily fixed.
4. COCKTAIL CALORIES:
On top of the toxic effect, don't forget the calorie factor! We often forget to count "liquid calories" consumed into our daily caloric intake.
Wine - 80-100 cal. in 4 oz glass (who REALLY has a 4oz glass of wine??)
Beer - 95-145 cal., per can, depending on light or regular
Margarita - 340 cal. for 6 oz.
Bourbon and Coke - 105 cal. for 4 oz. (double this for a regular size glass)
Gin and Tonic - 170 cal. for 7.5 oz
Martini - 155 cal. for 2.5 oz
CONCLUSION - The old addage applies here: "Everything in Moderation!"
It's unlikely I'll give up my chance to have a glass of wine with friends. But moderation is key!
In a nutshell, alcohol counts as empty toxic calories that are metabolized by our bodies like fat. ALL toxins, no matter the source, will sabotage our effort to lose weight & obtain maximum results. NO fitness program, now matter how wonderful, is perfect enough to outweigh our body's response to proper (or improper) nutrition!
**Don't consider this information a "party-foul," but as another GOOD tool for becoming healthier, fitter, stronger, & feel younger!
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