Sunday, April 17, 2011

What's a Drink or Two?

by Kris Pitcher

What's a drink or two in the grand scheme of your plan, right? It depends on what you want. We can look at some of the facts and you can make your own decisions about if and where it fits.

Alcohol has definite direct effects on your body - it contains seven calories per gram. These are empty calories meaning they don't provide your body with any essential nutritional value. It effects your metabolism, causing fat to be stored instead of being used as an energy source. Why would you need to burn fat, you've got liquor in your blood?

Alcohol reduces the blood flow to your muscles, causing weakness and deterioration. It reduces testosterone in your blood and increases conversion of testosterone into estrogen, causing increased fat storage and fluid retention. Women have and need testosterone.

It creates imbalances in your liver causing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), fatty liver and hyperlipidemia (build-up of fats in your blood stream). Need more? Alcohol cuts off the supply of oxygen to the brain, resulting in a "blackout" caused by a lack of oxygen supply to the brain killing tens of thousands of brain cells.

What about sleep? I like to have a glass of wine before bed to wind down. It actually causes increased fatigue and physical stress to the body disturbing the sequence and duration of sleep and altering the time it takes to fall asleep. It's a no go.

Alcohol inhibits nutrient absorption, both short term by shutting down your metabolism (your body has to deal with the alcohol) and long term by damaging the cells lining the stomach and intestines - making it difficult to transport nutrients.

What's the bottom line. If you choose to drink, do it moderately and don't be surprised when it slows down your weight loss goals. It's counter productive. For many of us, it just doesn't fit into the plan. Last call, it's yours.

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