Sunday, July 25, 2010
Alcohol and weight loss are enemies,
but an occasional drink can have a place in a healthy lifestyle.
Alcohol is metabolized differently than other foods and beverages.
When alcohol is consumed, it gets special privileges and needs no digestion. The alcohol molecules diffuse through the stomach wall as soon as they arrive and can reach the brain and liver in minutes.
This reaction is slightly slowed when there is also food in your system, but as soon as the mixed contents enter the small intestine, the alcohol is absorbed quickly.
The alcohol then arrives at the liver for processing. The liver places all of its attention on the alcohol. Therefore, the carbohydrates (glucose) and dietary fats are just changed into body fat, waiting to be carried away for permanent fat storage in the body.
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it causes water loss and dehydration. Along with this water loss you lose important minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc. These minerals are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, and muscle contraction and relaxation.
Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram and offers NO nutritional value. It only adds empty calories to your diet.
Drinking might help induce sleep, but the sleep you get isn't very deep. Ultimately, as a result, you get less rest.
Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to serious health problems, including stomach ulcers, liver disease, and heart troubles.
Alcohol actually stimulates your appetite. While you might be full from a comparable amount of calories from food, several drinks might not fill you up. On top of that, research shows that if you drink before or during a meal, both your inhibitions and willpower are reduced. In this state, you are more likely to overeat.
Many foods that accompany drinking (peanuts, pretzels, chips) are salty, which can make you thirsty, encouraging you to drink even more.
To avoid over drinking, sip on a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage.