Tag Archives: alcohol

Is Booze Making You Fat? The Truth About Alcohol & Calories


We don’t burn extra calories to metabolize alcohol – not like we do from digesting carbs, fat and protein. This phenomenon, called the “thermic effect of food”, refers to the energy we use to digest food into small, absorbable components. Because alcohol is so easy to absorb, it enters our bloodstream without burning any extra calories.

Your liver does the dirty work because alcohol is seen as a toxin, the liver prioritizes metabolizing alcohol first which means you won’t be burning calories from other sources while that happens. The liver is only able to clear alcohol at a rate of around one ounce liquor per hour, which is why consuming more than this will leave you feeling tipsy.

Alcohol makes your blood sugar drop, making you want to reach for carbs. The liver helps keep our blood sugar steady, but a liver busy at work metabolizing alcohol can’t do this effectively, causing your blood sugar drops and stays low until the alcohol is metabolised. This explains why you crave carbs and wake up the next day with a headache.

Alcohol calories that aren’t burned will be stored as fat. This is true for all extra calories eaten no matter the source, but what makes alcohol calories worse is that they are stored in your liver first. It takes time for the liver to ship out the alcohol-induced fat for proper storage in your fat cells. If the liver doesn’t do this fast enough (or if you drink too much, too often) the fat stays stuck in your liver and around your abdomen giving you what we refer to jovially as a “beer belly.”

This of course doesn’t mean you need to completely dodge all social sips. Here are some tips to help prevent you from gaining too much of your night out:

1. Pour yourself half as much. This will help you limit yourself to one or two drinks per party.

2. Avoid higher calorie mixed drinks like eggnog, margaritas, mudslides, or other sugary mixed drinks–or have one and consider it dessert.

3. Alternate between having alcohol and water to stay well hydrated.

4. Sip slowly and take the time of enjoy your alcoholic beverage.

5. Keep your alcohol budget at or below 200 calories. 

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Hopefully this will make you think twice when you go out this weekend!

Another way to look at the effect alcohol has on weight loss is to compare the equivalent time you would need to spend doing fitness training to burn these calories off! We’ll assume someone has an average fitness level and is of average weight.

Training time required to burn off calories from alcohol:

Alcoholic drink

Walking

Swimming

Running

Cycling

Beer (355ml)

30 mins

17 mins

12 mins

13 mins

Light beer (355ml)

20 mins

11 mins

8 mins

9 mins

Low carb beer (355ml)

23 mins

13 mins

9 mins

10 mins

White wine sweet (200ml glass)

40 mins

23 mins

16 mins

18 mins

White wine dry (200ml glass)

29 mins

16 mins

12 mins

13 mins

Red wine (200ml glass)

28 mins

16 mins

11 mins

12 mins

Spirits (on ice / neat)

13 mins

7 mins

5 mins

6 mins

Water

0 mins

0 mins

0 mins

0 mins


IBS – The Facts

IBS

I have decided to write a post about IBS. I suffer from IBS and have done for 6 years. Ive had the blood tests, the scans, the other tests etc to see if it was anything else and it wasn’t; the only explanation for my symptoms is IBS.

I thought I had it under control by taking over the counter medications and anti-depressants when needed (see my post about the Gut and Brain connection).

This post was written by me and I have provided the links to the information I have taken from the internet. There are so many great websites out there so make sure you have a look! This is only a small chunk of information on IBS!

Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is the name doctors have given to a collection of otherwise unexplained symptoms relating to a disturbance of the colon or large intestine. IBS is a “syndrome.” The word syndrome means a group of symptoms and signs that indicate a disease or health problem.

IBS is one of the most common problems of the digestive system – about 2 in 10 people in the UK have IBS and it’s twice as common in women than men. Women might be more willing to talk to their doctors about IBS Symptoms. Men, women and children all get IBS. Hormones play a part in IBS. Many women report a worsening of symptoms during menstruation.

IBS can develop at any age, but most people have their first symptoms between the ages of 20 and 35. When X-rays, blood tests, endoscopies and other diagnostic tests are carried out, the results do not reveal any obvious abnormality. For that reason IBS is often called ‘a functional disorder’ of the bowel; in other words, an disturbance in bowel function without any change in structure or obvious cause.

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

Most people with IBS find their symptoms an occasional nuisance but don’t need to see a doctor. However, for some people, the condition seriously affects their quality of life. If you find it difficult to cope with your symptoms, see your GP.

  • Pain or discomfort in your abdomen is the most common symptom of IBS and it’s often in your lower abdomen on the left-hand side. You may also get stomach cramps. The pain may be mild or severe and may ease if you open your bowels. It can often get worse if you eat. You may feel pain at a particular time of day, often in the evening. Women often find the pain relates to their menstrual cycle.
  • A change in bowel habit is another common symptom. Your faeces may vary in consistency and may alternate between constipation and diarrhoea. Alternatively, you may just pass small amounts of mucus. At times, you may feel an urgent need to open your bowels or this may feel strained. Afterwards, you may feel that your bowels haven’t been completely emptied.
  • Your abdomen may feel bloated and may look swollen. This is more common in women.

These symptoms may come and go – you may not have any symptoms for months and then have a sudden flare-up.

Other symptoms you may get if you have IBS include:

  • feeling sick
  • indigestion
  • headache
  • backache
  • tiredness
  • muscle and joint pains
  • ringing in the ears
  • belching
  • shortness of breath
  • problems with your bladder- passing urine frequently
  • problems with your sex life- pain during or after having sex, or a lack of interest in sex
  • anxiety
  • depression

A similar range of symptoms are reported by patients with other medically unexplained illnesses, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Functional Dyspepsia, suggesting they all might all be expressions of an alteration in sensitivity or irritability affecting the mind and the body.

 

No One Knows for Sure What Causes IBS.

At this point, no one has found one specific cause of IBS. But thanks to tireless work of countless researchers, we know a lot more about it, and what you can do to prevent symptoms of IBS.

One theory is that the intestines overreact to signals of stress or anxiety coming from the brain; the ‘nervous stomach’. Food sensitivities or food allergies can trigger an IBS attack. Finding and eliminating foods that don’t agree with you can make a dramatic difference.

Note that food sensitivities are not the same as allergies. You may not be “allergic” to a food, but it can still be a major cause of your IBS symptoms.

 

 

What Are the Possible Causes of IBS?

Your genetic make-up – you may inherit IBS

Bacterial Infections- inflammation of your bowel, for example an infection such as gastroenteritis

Over Sensitive Bowels

Food Sensitivities

Extra Pain Receptors

Parasites

 

Antibiotics

Yeast (Candida Albicans)

Stress

Food Additives

The First 5 Things to Do if You Have IBS Symptoms

1. See your doctor. – You don’t want to try diagnosing yourself with IBS, only to find out you have a treatable and/or a serious condition.

2. See an allergist.

3. See a qualified dietician or nutritionist.

4. Keep a food diary and look for problem foods.

5. Avoid foods that you find trigger your IBS.

 

Diet advice

 

  • Eat regular meals.
  • Drink enough fluids but try to limit caffeinated drinks, such as tea and coffee, to a maximum of three cups a day and also limit alcoholic and fizzy drinks.
  • Cut down on foods that are rich in insoluble fibre, such as wholemeal bread, wholegrain rice and cereals that contain bran when your symptoms get worse.
  • Eat no more than three portions of fruit a day.
  • Limit processed foods. These may contain ‘resistant starch’ that is difficult for your body to digest.
  • If you have diarrhoea, cut out artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol. This is used in some sugar-free sweets, drinks and diet products.
  • If you feel bloated, try eating oats, which are found in some cereals and porridge, and a tablespoon of linseeds each day.
  • FODMAP for IBS- http://solvingtheibspuzzle.com/the-fodmap-diet-for-ibs.html

You may find it helpful to keep a food diary for two to four weeks to see if certain foods cause your symptoms. Always speak to your GP before changing your diet as advice may differ depending on your symptoms. If certain foods still seem to bring on your symptoms after trying this diet advice, it may help to see a dietitian.

Lifestyle advice

Regular exercise is a good way to help reduce your symptoms. It helps keep your bowel movements regular and reduces stress. Aim to do a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, at least five times a week.

If your symptoms are noticeably triggered by stress, try learning stress management or relaxation techniques.

If these self-help treatments don’t work, see your GP for advice. He or she can help you identify factors that may be making your IBS worse, and suggest other treatments.