Cheers to 2012 and the New Year...Now, Let's Drink!

Did you know the average New Year Resolution lasts 19 days?  The average person is just 2 days shy of establishing a routine (that’s 21 days to establish a habit if your math is rusty.)  I am going to teach you how to drink like me, a professional.  Growing up in Chico I learned how to handle hoppy pale ales and many, many mixed drinks. That’s called college and a lot of people have experience that.  So how am I still able to maintain a healthy figure and continue to indulge 1-2 times per
week?  Genetics?  Age?  Type of training?  Could be, but there is also more to it. So let me teach you about alcohol, over consumption and a few tricks to attain that body you’ve wanted for decades while still enjoying those Friday and Saturday nights and maybe even a Sunday Fun Day or two!

What is alcohol?
Alcohol is a clear liquid that can be made by adding yeast to a substance that contains sugar (corn, barley, grain, rye, potatoes.)  The yeast begins the fermentation process, which turns sugar into ethyl and carbon dioxide gas…. BAM! Now you have alcohol which is a by-product of yeast digestion.  The term “empty calories” comes from the fact that alcohol is not one of the 6 nutrients (carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals or water) and has no essential role in the human body.  However, it does yield 7kcal/g upon consumption, which is almost two times that of carbs and protein – bring in the beer belly and love handles!

Digestion Process: 
As we all know, alcohol is a toxin; hence praying to the porcelain God when you over consume- it’s your body’s way of trying to purge itself from all the bad stuff!  Our body doesn’t like toxins; as a matter of fact it puts them on our #1 priority list for elimination.  So when we begin to over indulge, the normal metabolism procedures (carbs first, fats seconds and proteins third) are taken over by Mr. Booz.  The liver HATES alcohol and puts detoxification extremely high on its “to do list.” However, the liver can only metabolize roughly 1 drink every 45-60 minutes.  After that, alcohol and its metabolites begin to accumulate in your blood – .08BAC and you’re screwed!

So why do some of us get fat from drinking alcohol?
There is science and then there is reality.  First of all, I will discuss the science.  Alcohol lowers testosterone levels and interferes with calcium metabolism and bone structure which increases the risk of osteoporosis.  Now the reality part: overeating and hangovers.  Like it isn’t enough to have 10 drinks consisting over 1500kcals, but now you decided to go to Denny’s for the big slam and shovel down an additional 1000kcals.  Remember the fact that your liver is still trying to detoxify those 10 drinks! So now, all that food you just digested must be put on hold.  This is why you wake up the next morning and feel so full.  If all those extra calories and the storage of fat isn’t enough for you, combine the next day of complete worthlessness, i.e. total inactivity!  Now for the old wives’ tale about the best hangover cure -GREASY FAST FOOD!!  This may help you feel better momentarily, but it won’t diminish your waistline.

What can I do? Reality says two things:
1. You can either drink less or consider these options.
#1. LIGHT BEER Calories: 110
#2. CHAMPAGNE (4.2 ounce glass) Calories: 95
#3. RED WINE (4.2 ounce glass):  Calories: 80
#4. JACK DANIELS (single shot):  Calories: 55
#5. VODKA (single shot):  Calories: 55

2. Make yourself a compromise.  I love to go out with my brothers, drink and boogie the night away. So I challenge myself and make a compromise. If I am going to drink and turn into Chris the Tank, then I HAVE to work out the next day- no ifs, ands or butts.  If I don’t exercise, then the next big event that comes out, I have to regretfully decline.  You are the only one who can hold yourself accountable. So give it a shot and try to work out the next day.  If you are too big of a wimp, then just do a double day on your “drinking day” so you can rev up your metabolism.

CONCLUSION
To limit the “negative” effects of alcohol, employ some, if not all of the following:

  • Drink light beer instead of dark ones
  • Limit the extra calories from soda; stick with soda water or rocks
  • Try not to eat food while alcohol is present in your system because your decision process will be poor
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
  • Train before and after your night out
  • Utilize a qualified personal trainer such as one from Show Up Fitness TNT to hold you accountable for those late night binges!

CHEERS to a New Year and your best figure yet!!!!!