Tag Archives: health topic

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


Is being Skinny always healthy ?

Health topic of the week

London fashion week 2015 has started which ‘skinny’ models everywhere ! However these models may looks good with their clothes ON but are they really healthy? I have been a model with a leading London agency for 3 years and have taken part in London fashion week and seeing these girls in their underwear has highlighted to me over and over that you may be skinny but it doesn’t mean your healthy -or your fit!

I also see so many models at the gym (if they go that is!) just running or going on the cross trainer and doing no weights- running without doing any weights is surprisingly a BAD decision … So what does this leave their bodies like?

They have what we call “Low Fat, Low Muscle Body Composition”

A person with this body makeup will look anywhere from average size to thin to skeletal. Maybe he or she appears thin with clothes on, but is jiggly underneath, or “skinny fat”. While they may be happy with their weight, they may be unhappy with their appearance.
An extreme case would be someone who appears overly thin; think the supermodels I mentioned above. This person probably doesn’t exercise or maybe focuses on only cardio (which burns calories but can actually burns muscle as well, thus over time lowering metabolism).
Problems occur when people try to be skinny instead of fit. Their diet may be average to unhealthy, but they don’t eat many calories – and yes I see this a lot! I see girls eating one burger and a sandwich or pasta in a day and that’s it!

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A person can also be skinny fat if they naturally have a fast metabolism, so do not feel the need to eat well or exercise because they are slim and appear to be healthy. If someone doesn’t have muscle, in the long term they are more likely to develop insulin resistance and are at risk of developing diabetes.

Startling statistics show that people with diabetes who are skinny fat have a higher mortality rate than obese diabetics!!

The problem with ‘skinny fat’ is that when people are thin, they think they are healthy and don’t realise they have a problem, and often have unhealthy fat around their organs .

Young woman biting donut

So what could you do if you’re in this situation? 

For a healthier body composition, this body type should focus on adding strength training so that they will increase their muscle tone, while eating healthier foods with enough calories to support their exercise routine.

Remember to bare in mind though how you eat and train will determine how your body will be composed, so it’s essential for each individual to assess their needs based on what the end result should be.

It’s also important to remember that genetics play a part in body composition, too. If you’re genetically predisposed to a certain shape, no exercise will change that…just like no exercise will make you taller or shorter.

Your skeletal and muscular makeup is unique to you, so focus on being the best YOU.