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Binge Drinking: Bad For Your Tummy in Two Ways

It’s Saturday morning and you’re hunched over the toilet seat thinking to yourself, “I’ll never drink again.” Of course after a long nap, and a big bowl of Ramen, by the time 8:00 PM rolls around you’ll be ready to do it all over again. Throwing up, and getting a hangover are trivial sacrifices for those living the party lifestyle. Your stomach might feel queasy after three too many drinks, but that’s not the only price it pays for a wild night at the bars.

Dorm food is certainly not the only reason for the “freshman 15”. Alcohol is every slim-waisted, college girl’s worst enemy. Here are some alcohol health myths and tips that will help keep you partying all year, and keep away that beer belly.

Alcohol does not make you heavier; food does.

            When you drink alcohol your body puts it as a priority to process the alcohol right away, before anything else. Your body uses the alcohol for energy (Oh! That’s how I was able to dance for 3 hours straight) and turns it into acetate. This process is performed by the liver, so while your liver is busy processing alcohol the rest of your body has slowed its fat burning process. While you are sucking down a glass of jungle juice in a friendly game of Hellen Keller, if it’s anywhere near 3 oz. of alcohol, you have already slowed down your body’s fat burning process by about a third. In addition, your body has also produced something called acetyl CoA . Acetyl CoA tells your body to make more fat (jaw drop).
We have all eaten something to the effect of a whole Munchie special from Mother Bears after a long night of frat hopping, or a whole bag of Pizza Rolls accompanied by some Easy Mac. Normally, these aren’t the healthiest food choices, but they double their damage after heavy drinking. It takes about one hour to process one ounce of alcohol. Pretend you had seven shots in one night. No matter what you do, it will take about ten and a half hours to process that alcohol. That means your body is still not burning up your Taco Bell from last night until the next morning. Since alcohol itself isn’t a deal breaker for your figure, you should feel free to party as long as you can control those drunken munchies that lead you to eat those fatty foods and pay double the price, right? Wrong.

Drinking Double Shots Means Double the Work-Out.

          If you are planning on partying regularly, it is probably a good idea to have your sober friend help you avoid the fast food, but simply avoiding poor food choices while drinking won’t put your body in the safe zone. Remember that when you drink, your body is still processing food you ate that day. Don’t starve yourself all day because that slows down your metabolism just the same as drinking. Eat small healthy meals throughout the day before going out. The best thing to do would be to work out double the time you would normally the next day. Make sure you leave enough time in the day to have a nice long workout, and a healthy rest period. The relaxation time after your workout is when the body really burns all the fat and calories. In addition, remember to stay hydrated. Don’t over work or over drink yourself. Both of these activities dehydrate the body, drinking some water in between the shots won’t buzz kill your night; it can only help you feel better in the morning.

In Case You Were Wondering…
            Different types of alcohol have different calorie and carb counts. The least detrimental alcohol you can drink is wine. Wine has no fat, cholesterol, or sodium, and has the fewest calories of all other types of alcohol. Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio are the top wine choices, because they have fewer carbs than most other wines (they also won’t turn your teeth red).

            The second best option for drinking is Hard Liquor. Generally speaking, Vermouth is going to be the lightest in calories, while Gin is usually the highest in calories. These numbers vary according to brand. The more dangerous aspect of drinking hard liquor comes from the sugary pop we mix our drinks with. I often bring my own drink mixers to parties so that I don’t have to drink the gag worthy grape soda or Kool Aid. Bottles of flavored soda water are usually only about 65 cents in the store, and last the whole night. If you’re brave like my boyfriend, you might prefer a “Kark and water”. If you have some cash to blow, I would suggest bringing your own low calorie vodka to a party (yes that exists). Voli light vodka is more expensive than the typical choices of Kamchatka or Karkov, but your body might thank you. They also have a larger variety of flavors, with exotic choices like Espresso Vanilla Fusion, and Mango Coconut.

            Even though every man loves a beer drinking woman, he probably wouldn’t love a beer gutted woman. Beer is the third worst alcohol in terms of calories and carbs. The good news is that light beer has roughly the same calories as whiskey, vodka, or rum, but it does have about six times the carbs as these liquors. When drinking beer it’s easy to confuse what one drink really is. Make sure when you go out to a bar or restaurant that you limit yourself to something close to a 12 oz. beverage. Always ask how many ounces are in the facility’s beer glasses.

            Last, but certainly the tastiest, of healthy beverages on the list are liqueurs. Everyone loves a good swig of Peppermint Schnapps in the wintertime, but every shot of that minty treat is about 155 calories and 17 g. of carbs. This winter, try to stay off of Santa’s naughty list. Treat yourself to that one luscious liqueur drink, but no more! Before you take a shot of liqueur, consider this: is it really worth 155 calories and 17 g. of carbs for something that tastes pretty good for about a whole two seconds? No. Stick to the unflavored stuff, your body will thank you.

Don’t Forget This!

            Of course the most important thing to keep in mind when drinking isn’t always weight; it’s safety. Keep in mind while you are drinking healthy, to drink responsibly. Obviously never sit behind the wheel, even after a couple drinks. Look out for yourself and your friends and try to have fun in moderation! Happy partying ladies!

Sources:
http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=893
http://www.elle.com/beauty/health-fitness/alcohol-calories-does-drinking…
http://www.livestrong.com/article/70435-alcohol-make-bloat-gain/
http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/whatcountsdrink/whatsastandarddr…
http://www.shapefit.com/alcohol-weight-gain.html

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