The Hidden Secret of Alcohol

Ever have those long days at work, where you can’t wait to get home and crack open a beer or uncork a bottle of wine?

Yes, these beverages can help your stress levels tremendously in moderation, but unfortunately, as we’ve learned, everything comes at a price. Alcohol’s price? Calories, calories, calories!

Not only are these drinks adding hundreds of calories to your daily intake, but according to integrative medicine specialist Dr. Pamela M. Peeke, author of the book “The Hunger Fix,” alcohol temporarily keeps your body from burning fat.

She says that drinking puts a “pause” on your metabolism, shoves away the other calories and says, “Break me down first!” The result, she explains, is that whatever you recently ate gets stored as fat — typically in the form of the well-known “beer belly.”

Fortunately, for those who would like to keep indulging, a long-term study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine and International Journal of Obesity has found that middle-aged and older women who drink approximately one drink a day gained less weight than those who do not drink. The study also found that those involved in the study were less likely to become obese.

In this CNN article, a few tips have been passed along in case you’re looking to lose or maintain weight while continuing to drink in moderation.

  1. Always eat while you drink. While it’s wise to factor in the calories of your drinks, this doesn’t mean you should skip out on getting the nutrition you need, especially because alcohol is loaded with carbohydrates. If you go out drinking without eating something, your blood sugar will likely go through the roof, causing a crash, in other words, binge eating. This is why you see all the cars piling up at McDonald’s or Waffle House at midnight or later. If you eat right while you’re drinking, it will curb the sudden craves later in the night.
  2. Keep it simple. If you’re wanting a strong drink, go James Bond style and get a plain martini. The fancy drinks like Long Island ice teas and margaritas are tasty, but all the extra sugar will make you want even more. Keep in mind that a shot of vodka is nearly 100 calories.
  3. Be classy and keep a two-drink max rule. Not only will this tip help you from going over your limit (hopefully), but this way you aren’t going to bed with several hundred to a thousand calories, most of which are fat in your body. Also, when you reach intoxication, you likely won’t be thinking about what a number that Big Mac will do on your body after taking in all the alcohol.
  4. Watch what you eat the morning after. Waking up with a hangover is the worst. Not only do you get a headache, the spins, or even worse, the stomach issues, but your body will want the richest source of energy it can find and you will likely turn to greasy food because all the carbs and grease can help settle your stomach.  Try something high in fiber to help flush out all the alcohol. And the most important cure – water, and lots of it! Try to drink a glass of water for every beverage you have while you’re out, then another glass before you go to bed.

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