Everyone wants to enjoy a little holiday cheer. But too much cheer can result in holiday weight gain! You might already plan to stay away from the dessert table, but there is another source of hidden calories that might surprise you: Drinks! In fact, many people drink a thousand calories or more at a single holiday party.
Alcohol packs a heavy punch (no pun intended). One gram of protein contains just four calories, and the same goes for a gram of carbohydrates. Fat contains a whopping nine calories per gram. But what about alcohol? It’s right up there with fat, with seven calories per gram. That means even a small serving of alcohol probably has far more calories than you think.
There is no thermic effect for alcohol. You might have heard that the process of digestion itself can burn calories, and foods that are harder to digest have a higher “thermic effect”. But because alcohol is easily absorbed into the bloodstream, there is no thermic effect.
Alcohol impacts your blood sugar levels. Your liver aids in digestion, helping to keep blood sugar levels even. But if your liver is busy metabolizing alcohol, it is neglecting its other chores. The effect is a blood sugar drop, which causes you to crave carbs. That’s why you might find yourself diving into a large pizza at midnight after a few drinks!
Lower inhibitions spell trouble for your diet. Speaking of diving into that pizza, it’s harder to resist your cravings when your inhibitions are lowered and your thought process is muddled! Many people have made the mistake of allowing themselves some empty alcohol calories, but then they exceed their limit when they get tipsy and indulge in heavy snacking.
Alcohol calories are… calories. Just because they’re liquid doesn’t mean they function any differently in your body. Alcohol calories that aren’t expended through activity will be stored in fat cells in your body, leading to weight gain.
As always, don’t drink and drive! Play safely, and enjoy your holidays. If you do find that you’ve gained a bit of “seasonal insulation”, give us a call to schedule an appointment. We can get your weight loss strategy back on the right track.