Thursday, May 11, 2017

Drink Too Much and Still Lose Weight!

Uh... there’s not so much truth in this statement.  It's very difficult to lose body fat while drinking beyond moderation.  This is not only due to the calories consumed but also the food choices one makes when they're drinking.  Let's face it, they put restaurants like, La Bamba- Burritos as Big as Your Head, Insomina Cookies and Papa John's Pizza next to bars for a reason.  That’s because when you're drunk, you ain't eating salad.  Salads as Big as Your Head restaurants next to bars just isn't a thing. 

Compounding the excess calories of drinking and the subsequent drunk-eating is the problem with the next day.  Being hungover doesn't exactly make you feel like getting up and seizing the day.  Waking up late, or worse, having to get up early due to kids' schedules, lethargically schlepping through the day and being unable to complete anything close to exercising leads to your clothes becoming too small fairly quickly.

Alcohol has been shown to decrease fat metabolism immediately and dramatically.
In one study, eight men were given two drinks of vodka and lemonade separated by 30 minutes. Each drink contained just under 90 calories. Fat metabolism was measured before and after consumption of the drink.  For several hours after drinking the vodka, whole body lipid oxidation (a measure of how much fat your body is burning) dropped by 73%.  That's immediately.  It's also been shown to decrease strength for up to 48 hours after blood alcohol content is at .08% or higher. 

As registered wellness consultant and nutritional counselor Haylie Pomroy states, "In short, alcohol is an enormous pain in the metabolism.  It's a huge tax on your liver- the organ that's supposed to be burning fat for you.  Your liver also has a second job:  ridding your body of chemicals (like alcohol).  Every time you swallow a drink, your liver has to take time off from its fat-burning job while it evicts the chemical intruder."

I did a consult one day and a potential client said to me, "I don't drink at all...". During this long pause I excitedly picked up my pen and began writing her statement down on our 15 to Fit Consultation Form.  My eyes wide with enthusiasm and shock, I knew I'd be able to help her quickly with her goal of toning up and losing weight if she didn't drink at all.  Then she added, "...Monday through Thursday.  After Thursday, I don't have any rules and drink as much as I want."  Uh...things just got more complicated for her weight loss goals. Another way of saying what she said, "I drink as much as I want and don't limit it at all almost half the days of my life."  People are very adept at lying to themselves.  She was not ready to change.  I joke about it, but it's really not funny.  My earlier post chronicles the rise of excess alcohol consumption and its deadly effects, particularly for white women.  The Lake Norman area is smack dab in the middle of this demographic.

If you're trying to boost your metabolism, lose weight and improve your health consider the possibility of giving up alcohol for a short time. Start with two weeks and see if it makes a difference in how it impacts your life.  Don't jump on the scale after two weeks and say "I haven't lost any weight this isn't working."  Focus on how you feel and if you have more energy and your health is going the right direction. 

Look, I'm a person too.  I live at Lake Norman where many people's normal life is to live on vacation.  My husband often quotes the line from the movie 'Animal House' when Dean Warmer says to Dorfman "Overweight, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life."  Well, thin, sober and smart may just not be as much fun all of the time. Ha!  There's a lot of social drinking that goes on here but it's not too difficult to be social and still be healthy.  If all or most of your friends drink and you'll be a social pariah if you don't imbibe, you can still drink less and not have anyone really notice, especially if they start getting drunk.  They're not watching your alcohol consumption all night, just in the beginning.

Some examples of how to appear like you're drinking as much as your friends:

Consume drinks with less alcohol in them.  Go for very light beers like Michelob Ultra or Miller Draft 64. 

Drink soda water with a lime (they don't know if you're drinking, they just think you are.)

Give up or reduce wine.  It's a bottomless glass.  I personally did this about a year and a half ago.  In situations where I would normally have had a glass of wine, I switched to Michelob Ultra.  There's a bottom to a bottle of beer.  Wine, not so much.  Yes, it appears that wine is more sophisticated and "healthy".  It's not.  That is a delusion or the CDC would be suggesting people start this habit.  They don't.  If you haven't developed a drinking habit, don't start is their stance.  Nobody says this about exercise.  Drinking wine is not that good for you. 

What about the argument that Europeans do it and it's good for you?  I recently began working with a client from Belgium.  She stated that when she moved to the Lake Norman area three years ago she gained weight.  She was amazed at the amount of drinking that happens here.  She said in Europe she drank wine but the glass was 2 1/2 ounces and was sipped over dinner.  Here the glasses are three to four times that size and it's guzzled.  That's not the healthy Mediterranean diet moderate drinking prescription.  We like excess here in the U.S.  We're Americans after all!

If these suggestions seem preposterous to you and there's no way you're giving up alcohol it doesn't mean you can't lose weight, just know it makes it harder.  You can always download the app "Get Drunk Not Fat" for additional tips. Calories in, calories out is what ultimately works for weight loss.  Caveat:  This app is not based upon improving your health. Its only intent is to help you cut calories when you do drink.  

No comments:

Post a Comment