Women and Alcohol Consumption
You are familiar with how the consumption of alcohol causes beer belly, which is as a result of excess alcohol calories being stored as fat. But did you know that less than 5 % of the alcohol calories you drink are turned into fat?
In fact, what the alcohol does is to reduce the amount of fat your body burns for energy, meaning the alcohol's presence in your body spares the fat from being utilized for energy. Whereas protein, fat and carbohydrate need to be digested before being used by the body, this does not happen when alcohol is present. The alcohol molecules spread 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 food in your stomach.
The alcohol then arrives at the liver for processing, where most of what you drink is converted to acetate (this is what your body will burn instead of fat, immediately hindering your weight loss efforts.The fact about alcohol's high calories makes the situation worse. Pure alcohol has about 7 calories per gram, which makes it nearly twice as heat-generating as protein (4 calories per gram) and carbohydrates (3.75 calories per gram) and barely under the calorific value for fat (9 calories per gram).
Alcohol consumption also stimulates your appetite. Skipping a meal to counter a feeling of craving for food is of no use, because you will be even more likely to eat snacks and drinking on an empty stomach increases the negative effects of alcohol. In case of, excessive consumption of alcohol, its advisable to include an extra 30 minutes of exercise to balance your calories.
Women should be drinking no more than 14 units a week, 21 for men. One unit is equal to half a pint of beer, a small glass of wine or a single measure of spirits. On average, it takes the body one hour to remove of the alcohol found in one unit. So it could take you up to four hours to clear two pints of beer from your body.
Let us have a look at the calorie content of common alcoholic drinks:
Wine: Dry wine has fewer calories than sweeter wine. A glass of dry wine or champagne has about 106 calories and a glass of sweet dessert wine has an extremely high calories of 226.
Beer: A pint of beer has 148 calories.
Vodka, Gin, Rum and Whisky: The calories depends on the percentage of alcohol, but in general, a double gives you 100 calories. the calorie content of other types of alcohol varies greatly. Beware of the really sweet hard stuff, such as, a serving of schnapps has 108 calories, crème de menthe will add to your body 186 calories.
Mixed drinks: It is obvious, the larger the drink the higher the calorie content. Therefore, choose a smaller cocktail like a Cosmopolitan and you will only absorb about a third of the calories. Calories range from 115 calories in Bloody Mary to 262 calories for a Pina Colada. Vodka tonic is about 171 calories.
As you get to enjoying a holiday or a party, keep a close look on what you drink if you don't want to add weight.