Tag Archives: unhealthy

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.

Frozen Yoghurt – Not as healthy as you think

Alice Mackintosh, a nutrition consultant at The Food Doctor says: ‘Even if frozen yogurts are fat-free, if they are high in sugar, your body may take the sugar and store it as fat. They don’t offer much nutritional value, and should not be mistaken for a healthy snack.’ The probiotic element is in too low a concentration to have much impact, she adds.

New York-based nutritionist Lana Masor explains: ‘There are two things in this world that make food taste really good — fat and sugar — so if something claims to be fat-free but it tastes delicious, you can bet that it is loaded with sugar.’

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Since the difference in the ingredients of ice cream and frozen yogurt is cream, the main nutritional difference is the fat content. One cup of regular vanilla ice cream contains 275 calories, 5 grams of protein, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of fat and 9 grams of saturated fat. One cup of regular vanilla frozen yogurt contains 221 calories, 5 grams of protein, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fat and 4 grams of saturated fat.

Several of the frozen yogurt cups also contain both artificial and natural ingredients — the former is chemically made, while the latter comes from some place in nature (though not necessarily something you’d typically think of as food; for example, some natural berry flavors might come from castoreum, an extract from beaver perineal glands).

So how to make sense of a confusing label? Here’s Nestle’s rule: “If it has more than five ingredients, or you don’t recognize the ingredient as a food, leave it.”
Some of the ingredient lists above top 10-plus items — and that’s for the seemingly simple “tart” flavors, not the oh-so-tempting birthday cake variety. And yup, that’s before loading on the toppings.

The Best Frozen Yogurt Is the One You Make Yourself!!!

HONEY PEACH FROZEN YOGHURT

INGREDIENTS

3 ripe peaches, peeled and cut into chunks. (about 3 cups of cut fruit and you can use a mix of white and yellow)
¼ cup honey
2 ½ cups Fage Greek yogurt

METHOD

With a blender or a hand blender, puree peaches.
Add, honey and yogurt and puree more.
Pour contents into ice cream maker and turn on for 25 to 30 minutes, until mixture is stiff and bunching into the blades.
Remove all frozen yogurt from ice cream maker and store it in another container.
Freeze for an additional 2 hours. Serve.

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FROZEN STRAWBERRY YOGHURT

INGREDIENTS

140g strawberries
½ x 405g can light condensed milk
500g tub 0%-fat Greek yogurt

METHOD

Roughly chop half the strawberries and whizz the rest in a food processor or with a stick blender to a purée.
In a big bowl, stir the condensed milk into the puréed strawberries then gently stir in the yogurt until well mixed.
Fold through the chopped strawberries.
Scrape the mixture into a loaf tin or container, pop on the lid or wrap well in cling film and freeze overnight, until solid.
Remove from the freezer about 10-15 mins before you want to serve the frozen yogurt.
Can be frozen for up to 1 month.

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‘Empty’ calories and the glycaemic index

 Please see the links at the bottom of this article for more information as I am not a nutritionist/professional.

If you are trying to loose weight the media has likely drawn to those low fat rice cakes, drinks, chocolate, crisps…..be warned! These are empty calories… What do I mean?

“Food and drinks provide fuel for our body in the form of fat, protein, carbohydrates and alcohol. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred fuel source. The glycaemic index (GI) is a way to rate carbohydrates according to how quickly they are absorbed and raise the glucose level of the blood. It has replaced classifying carbohydrates as either ‘simple’ or ‘complex’. Foods that contain carbohydrates include bread, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, legumes, corn, potato, fruit, milk, yoghurt, sugar, biscuits, cakes and lollies.  ” *

CULPRIT- RICE CAKES Well think about it, after one rice cake do you feel full? No, because they are low in fiber fat and protein and *high GI- give it two hours and you’ll probably be craving again!

So you’ve eaten more calories than one slice of wholegrain bread and probably the same as a small portion of brown rice/half a tortilla etc…but you are more hungry and will then go and eat more.. You get the idea!

 

Don’t get me started on the flavoured ones – chocolate etc- the amount of sugar they put in (because they are low fat) is ridiculous. You’d be better off satisfying your craving with two small squares of dark chocolate (even healthier some nuts / banana / apple/  cinnamon etc). **

 

I am personally gaining weight at the moment, so if you are too – or you are happy the way you are!- then the plain ones are fine as long as you eat with a good source of protein (they are great with avocado or nut butter or mashed bananas). And some source of veg/fruit, eg sliced apple with nut butter and cinnamon.

For me they are perfect when I know I need to eat (been exercising or walking around london a lot that day) but I am not hungry, I can easily have them with some nut butter (good fats and protein).

I still would never advice eating the flavoured ones though. They are processed and not good or beneficial to your body at all. They have no food nutrients. If you need something sweet, try one plain one with a teaspoon of nut butter/apple/cinnamon/banana/cream cheese (DF) etc.

CULPRIT- FIZZY DRINKS (diet too) Another example is drinks! Cola, alcohol, lattes etc. however, if you are following a diet to help IBS you should be avoiding fizzy drinks and alcohol when possible anyway. Opt for de-caff as well. And don’t think diet fizzy drinks are any better. They are full of sweeteners and aspartame (this is in a lot of low fat/sugar products). There is evidence*** that artificial sweeteners (in low sugar/fat products) and diet coke causes you to be MORE hungry! Research shows “diet soft drink consumption is associated with increased waist circumference in humans, and a second study that found aspartame raised fasting glucose (blood sugar) in diabetes-prone mice.”****

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If you don’t like reading, watch this http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=P5tpCpqABhM&feature=related.

There are of course many other foods. But you get the idea! Be careful with low fat yoghurts- they have double the amount of sugar and many sweeteners. Instead go for Greek yoghurt or natural yoghurt / bio live yoghurt and then add frozen berries, berries, cinnamon , honey or some syrup (gluten free).

Some important info on GI which you will find helpful

*

“Carbohydrate-containing foods can be rated on a scale called the glycaemic index (GI). This scale ranks carbohydrate-containing foods based on their effect on blood sugar levels over a period of time – usually two hours. The GI compares foods that have gram-for-gram the same amount of carbohydrate.

A low GI rating of a food does not mean you can eat a larger serve of that food – the total amount of carbohydrate and kilojoules consumed are still important.

Choose a diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables and legumes, but with smaller helpings of potatoes and less highly refined grain products and concentrated sugar.

LINKS TO WEBSITES FOR MORE INFORMATION

 

*GI- http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Carbohydrates_and_the_glycaemic_index

**http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/50-seemingly-healthy-foods-are-bad-you

***diet soda http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/29/diet-soda-weight-gain_n_886409.html

asparteme/sweeteners http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/t/story?id=4271246&page=1&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2011%2F06%2F29%2Fdiet-soda-weight-gain_n_886409.html

****evidence http://www.uthscsa.edu/hscnews/singleformat2.asp?newID=3861