Alcohol has been known to contribute to belly fat. But why is calories from alcohol different than any other? Here’s why + how you can enjoy without guilt.
By Flavorful Fit’s Eve Elenhorn
When it comes to alcohol, online articles are extremely contradictory. On the one hand, we hear a glass of wine is good for the heart, has antioxidants, and can be a positive addition to our day. On the other hand, many articles cite alcohol as a contributing factor to the unwanted belly bulge from its sugar content and unnecessary calories. It’s also known that a glass of vodka has less calories than a banana. So where is the line? How can we find the proper balance between enjoying a drink and being mindful of our dietary needs?
The term that we tend to hear most when referring to alcohol is “empty calories.” Since alcohol is made from fermented sugars and starches, it is basically drinking straight carbohydrates. Alcohol has almost as many calories per gram as pure fat—with zero nutritional benefits! Additionally, alcohol interrupts our body’s natural fat burning process. Since the body is not accustomed to store alcohol, it has to use energy to remove it, and all other processes, like absorbing nutrients, and burning fat, are put on hold. With every shot, we are compromising our body’s energy which triggers appetite, and leads to impulsive snacking.
In order to minimize weight gain when drinking alcohol, it is important to use these helpful tips.
TIPS AND TRICKS:
- Say no to syrups and sodas. Swap those for real fruit juices and seltzer.
- Say no to straight vodka, gin, whiskey, and rum. Swap with a 5 ounce glass of wine to cut back on calories.
- Say no to your usual Cosmopolitan. Swap the vodka with seltzer and a spritz of champagne, and add the usual cranberry juice. Add lime and mint for added flavor.
- Say no to mixers. Swap with natural fruits like lime, lemon, orange, grapefruit, watermelon, and fresh herbs like mint, lavender, and rosemary.
- Don’t be afraid to tell the bartender to make a custom creation. Don’t forget—you can control your beverage.
- When drinking alcohol, alternate between alcoholic beverages and water.
- It is best not to drink more than two alcoholic beverages.
- Bulk up your drink with ice to add density.
Here are some delicious cocktail recipes from a previous Live Instagram broadcast with Annette Mizrahi Interiors:
- 24 oz. Pink
- 3 oz. Rum
- 6 oz. Fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 3 oz. Fresh lime juice
- Club soda
- Red apple slices for garnish
- Mix all ingredients in a pitcher except the club soda. Pour mixture into tall glass with ice (about ¾ full). Top off with club soda, and garnish with apple.
- 4 oz. tequila
- 6 oz. fresh watermelon juice
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ½ oz. grand marnier
- lime zest
- coarse or coconut sugar (for glass rim)
- lime juice
- lime slices
- Pour all drink ingredients into a shaker with ice, and shake vigorously. Prepare a tall glass by brushing the rim with lime juice and dipping into coarse salt or coconut sugar mixed with lime zest. Pour drink into the glass and garnish with slice of lime.
- 1 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
- 1 ½ oz. tequila
- ½ oz. agave
- ½ oz. fresh lime juice
- grapefruit peel
- Pour all drink ingredients into a shaker with ice, and shake vigorously. Garnish with grapefruit peel, strawberries, and mint.
- 1 ½ oz. vodka
- ½ lemon, cut into quarters
- 1 ½ oz. agave, honey, or Stevia
- Sprig of rosemary or thyme
- 1 ½ oz. sparkling white wine
- Muddle the lemon, rosemary or thyme, and sweetener together. Add the vodka, and pour mixture into a shaker. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Prepare glass by filling ¾ with ice. Pour cocktail in, and top off with wine. Garnish with rosemary or thyme.
- 2 oz. tequila
- ¾ oz. honey
- ¾ oz. lime juice, plus more for garnish
- ½ oz. elderflower liqueur
- 1-2 slices jalapeno
- Coarse salt
- Lime zest
- Prepare glass by brushing rim with lime juice and dipping into mixture of coarse salt and lime zest. Add ice. Pour all drink ingredients into a shaker with ice. Pour over ice in glass. Garnish with strawberry.
A certified health coach, personal trainer, and natural chef, Eve discovered her current way of life after trying a lot of diets that simply didn’t work. Instead, she discovered what did work: a lifestyle change. Today, through her “Flavorful Fit” movement, she coaches women on the making the right choices and becoming healthy. Follow her on instagram @flavorful_fit.