Melissa Paris Fitness

May 28, 2015

Alcohol 101

by Emily Jane

If you’re trying to get in shape, chances are you’re focusing a majority of your attention on your diet, and the work you put in at the gym. People often sabotage their own efforts by forgetting one of the most detrimental aspects of the average adult’s diet. I’m speaking, of course, about alcohol. Especially during the summer, wine, beer, and liquor flow from an almost endless supply, and you are bound to encounter these sneaky saboteurs at least several times a week. Unless you are completely sober, or have a fondness for reenacting the days of Prohibition, chances are you’ll be indulging in the occasional cocktail or glass of wine. Most functioning adults know by now that beverages like beer can wreak absolute havoc on your waistline, and I truly recommend avoiding beer altogether. If not for the caloric content, for the excessive bloating and water retention that come along with that nice frosted glass. If ever you’re tempted to pick up a brew, we hope the image of that one uncle, (we know you have one, everybody does), sitting in front of the TV, semi-comatose, clutching his koozie like it was a bar of gold, flashes through your brain. You cannot outrun a beer belly. Remember that. So what exactly is

alcohol doing to your body?

When you take a sip of alcohol, it is almost immediately absorbed into your blood stream. (Hence the term, Blood Alcohol Level.) It will absorb more slowly if you drink while eating, especially if the food is high in fat. And no, the previous statement does not give you license to smash a double bacon cheeseburger on the premise that you’re being a responsible adult and delaying the onset of your drunk symptoms. Your liver, that hardworking organ we all jokingly throw under the bus with the statement, “I’ve definitely destroyed my liver this weekend”, has to work overtime to rid your body of the toxins in alcohol. While it is attacking the foreign substance you’ve ingested, digestion of nutrient rich food gets placed on the back burner, effectively giving your body more time to store other food you’ve eaten as fat.

Unless you live under a rock, the information provided is nothing new. Alcohol can certainly derail a weight loss program but that does not mean you need to go all intervention crazy and ban it completely from your life. You just need a little strategy. There are however, some drinks that have no place in anyone’s life, much less someone trying to treat their body and waist nicely.

Long Island Iced Teas- Contain as much as 300-350 calories, and about 33 grams of sugar. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to ingest those numbers, I’d sooner eat an entire cake.

Margarita- This one’s kind of sad. While I don’t think anyone is mourning the loss of their college frat days by cutting out long islands, margaritas are a delicious summer staple, especially at bbq’s, beach days, and outdoor gatherings. (You know, if you’re into that sort of thing). Margaritas can pack as much as 780 calories into a glass. They do vary greatly in size and content, so if you must, order yours in a small glass, on the rocks.

Mai Tai- Much like margaritas, the Mai Tai’s come out with a vengeance in hot summer weather. At around 260 calories per glass and 29 grams of sugar, you’re going to have to kiss them goodbye.

White Russians- Anything with heavy cream as one of it’s main selling points should be an automatic veto. We’re just going to leave it at that. (250-300 calories).

It is important to keep in mind that alcohol is relatively high in calories, no matter how you pour it. What differentiates the above drinks, from below, is the sugar content, you can read all about the harmful effects sugar has on your body, HERE

So, what now? How will you ever survive without your margarita on the beach this summer? There are several options that, though toned down in the flavor and sugar department, will certainly do the trick. The easiest, and (we struggle to use the word “healthy” in reference to alcohol), so we’ll say lesser of two evils, is liquor. Note- liquor and not mixed drinks. Always keep in mind however, THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS IS STILL EVIL

Mojitos- This is an absolute favorite, especially if you’re partial to “tropical” drinks such as margaritas and mai tais. To slim it down even more, avoid making it with fruit, and load your glass with lemons, limes, and herbs such as basil and mint. (Calories, approximately 160).

Classic Vodka Martini- It hurts so good. Ouch. (150 calories)

Dirty Martini- A 4.5 ounce classic dirty martini has about 240 calories, but very little sugar.

Coconut Vodka with Club Soda- Go ahead, go wild, you island goddess.

Wine for the Win: If you so choose to drink, your best bet, for (and we stress minimal), health benefits, and caloric consumption, is a lovely glass of wine, which on average contains about 160 calories per glass.

*Disclaimer- By no means are we at Melissa Paris Fitness, encouraging, endorsing, or suggesting the use of alcohol as a daily or even occasional indulgence. Always drink responsibly, never ever get behind the wheel after drinking, and limit your use of alcoholic beverages as much as possible*

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