Tuesday, March 20, 2012

{Food For Thought Tuesdays: Alcohol}

I would love to say this pic is from many years ago, but in reality is was just last Thursday. In fact, I had a few drinks last week as it was a very trying week, on top of one of my co-workers/dear friend was leaving the company…and the state. So to get me through the week, we went out for a bunch of liquid lunches and dinners {did I just admit I had a drink for lunch? While working? Yep I did! Lol}.
Big beer
Now that I’ve admitted I went on a binge last week, honestly drinking alcohol is something that I don't do that much. Don’t get me wrong, I usually have a glass of wine or a single cocktail on Saturdays {my cheat day} but now that I literally count everything that goes into my mouth – I’ve decided to eat my points rather than drink them. The beer shown above was easily 10+ points {and I only get 29 points a day}. So it got me thinking – what does alcohol do to your body as you’re trying to loose weight? Sigh…..here we go:

Alcohol is metabolized differently than other foods and beverages. Under normal conditions, your body gets its energy from the calories in carbohydrates, fats and proteins, which are slowly digested and absorbed within the gastrointestinal system. However, this digestive process changes when alcohol is present. When you drink alcohol, it gets immediate attention {because it is viewed by the body as a toxin} and needs no digestion.

On an empty stomach, the alcohol molecules diffuse through the stomach wall quickly and can reach the brain and liver in minutes. This process is slower when you have food in your stomach, but as soon as that food enters the small intestine, the alcohol grabs first priority and is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. You still with me?

When the body is focused on processing alcohol, it is not able to properly break down foods containing carbohydrates and fat. Therefore, these calories are converted into body fat and are carried away for permanent storage on your body.

Alcohol can easily be the enemy when it comes to weight loss. It adds extra calories to your diet, encourages you to eat more food, and alters the normal digestive process. Not only are the extra calories a hindrance, but the changes in food breakdown sends turns those extra calories into unwanted body fat. Alcohol does have a bad reputation when it comes to weight loss, and rightfully so, so be smart about your alcohol choices if you're watching your weight.

In summary – while we all need to let loose from time to time, we simply need to be smart about our alcohol consumption and frequency. For a full list of alcoholic drinks with calories and points - click here.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for sharing ... although i would argue in this case, that ignorance is bliss :)


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