897 Reasons why not to take 13 shots this New Year’s.
Hey, hot stuff. All that liquid courage might seem like a necessity this time of year, but drinking 897 extra alcohol calories should not be on the top of your resolutions list. McCormick’s vodka is 69 calories per 1 ounce serving. So, think for a second, how many drinks were you planning on having? Let’s say 3? 69 x 3 = 207 calories. 6? 414 calories. You know one pound = 3,500 calories. The “minimum of 13 drinks in honor of 2013”? Yup, you guessed it, 897 calories. And if you think these calories can be used effectively at all by the body, I don’t know how you got into Purdue.
However, they do say there are some benefits to one standard drink a day.
One standard drink:
- 12-ounces beer
- 8-ounces malt liquor
- 5-ounces wine
- 1.5 ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor (eg. Gin, rum, vodka, or whiskey)
Now don’t go overboard on me since I said alcohol can be considered healthy (5-ounces of red wine has some antioxidants..sure). Alcohol is actually quite the health hazard. It might not seem like it today, or tomorrow, or next year, but eventually, it will catch up to you.
This year, try and keep track of how much you are drinking, and be honest with yourself! The first step to resolving a problem is realizing that you have one.
Alcohol and you liver: The liver breaks down alcohol so it can be removed from your body. Your liver has to go through such strenuous work to break down alcohol, that it puts a pause on other responsibilities like processing calories. On an empty stomach, this halt of calorie processing happens within the first minute the drink has been finished. Had the booze been accompanied by food, it would have taken a slower journey- through your blood stream- with less damage to your liver; so if you’re going to drink try not to do it on an empty stomach!
If you drink more alcohol than it can process, your liver can become severely damaged; potentially causing fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, and/or alcoholic cirrhosis. Complications from these diseases may include:
- Build up of abdomen fluid
- Bleeding from veins in esophagus or stomach
- Enlarged spleen
- High blood pressure in liver
- Brain disorders and coma
- Kidney failure
- Liver cancer
Liver cleansing foods:
•Artichokes contain antioxidant plant compounds called caffeoylquinic acids, which are used to treat hepatic (liver) disorders because they stimulate bile flow. Bile helps the body to digest fats, and efficient bile flow clears the system of potentially inflammatory substances contained in fatty foods.
•Beets are among the few edible plants that contain betalains, plant pigments that give some beets their deep red color and have powerful anti-inflammatory and fungicidal properties. Betalains promote cell structure, repair and regeneration, especially in the liver—the body’s primary detox center.
•Dill and fennel are plants rich in vitamins and anti-inflammatory chemicals. Dill contains chemicals that help with the activation of glutathione, a liver antioxidant that attaches to free radical molecules and disarms them. Fennel is rich in Vitamin C, which has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Fennel is also high in fiber but low in calories—an ideal cleanse food.
•Milk thistle is one of the frequently researched plants in association with promoting liver detoxification. While more scientific inquiry is needed for firm recommendations, Milk thistle contains a mixture of polyphenolic compounds (plant protectors) that assist liver cells in removing toxins from healthy blood cells.
•Onion and garlic are both members of the allium family of vegetables, which provide pungent flavors to foods. These plants contain flavonoids that stimulate the production of glutathione, one of the liver’s strongest antioxidants. As a result, onion and garlic have powerful anti-bacterial and immune-boosting properties.
(info from the amazing Woman’s Health, get the mag, now!)
Alcohol and your skin: Alcohol dehydrates the skin, causing redness in your cheeks and nose (caused by swollen capillaries) as well as non-chronic dandruff, eczema, or rosacea.
Alcohol and your heart: Alcohol makes your heart work harder. Lots of people use booze to relax, but it actually puts an extra burden on the heart, increasing the heart rate, making it difficult to exercise to your fullest extent.
Alcohol and your brain: mood, development, and sleep are all affected by alcohol.
Mood-Like any great sweet treat, it will make you feel good in the moment, but crash once the body has processed it; leading to feelings of depression, anger, and general irritability / moodiness. Alcohol is known to be a depressant (making you DEPRESSED!) I know, how sad is that..
Development- Our brains don’t stop developing until about 25-30 years of age. Consumption of alcohol can seriously affect decision-making ability and attention span.
Sleep– Alcohol affects the quality of your sleep. Sleep is meant to reboot and repair the body. With alcohol in the system, all the body is doing is attempting to process the alcohol, not only disrupting sleep quality, but also leaving the body prone to sickness.
Alcohol and your intestines: There are a whole slew of issues that chronic alcohol abuse can cause, the most common that are seen in college are acid reflux and depletion of probiotics (good bacteria) in the intestines. Alcohol is a diuretic (it will make you go). And complicates the assimilation and absorption of vitamins and nutrients.
Most effective ways to avoid alcohol:
- Say “no thank you :-)”
- Bring or buy an alternative drink
- Give it to somebody else
- Pretend to take it
- Hold it but don’t drink it
One more thing, most alcohol is loaded with sugar and empty calories, which often show up as belly fat (the most dangerous kind). Reveal some abs this New Year!