Alcohol Causes Weight Gain

So what’s a person to do when they’re “in the spirit?” Well, we’ve included a few holiday mocktails, or alcohol free cocktails, as an alternative.

Alcohol is not recommended for anyone trying to successfully lose weight. In fact, alcohol can be the primary cause for weight gain. Why? It’s metabolized differently than other foods and beverages in your body. When consumed, it is broken down into acetate; which is the first source of fuel your body burns.

Your body’s energy is normally derived from the calories in carbohydrates, fats and proteins that are digested in your stomach. But, when alcohol is present, this normal process is interrupted. Your body burns the alcohol for energy and stores the rest away.

This is because alcohol is processed faster, absorbed more quickly and does not need to be digested. Alcohol molecules diffuse through the stomach wall as soon as they arrive and can reach the brain and liver in minutes. This reaction is slowed slightly when there is also food in your system, but as soon as the mixed contents enter the small intestine the alcohol is quickly absorbed and then arrives at the liver for processing.

The liver then places all of its attention on the alcohol so the other carbohydrates (glucose) and dietary fats are turned into body fat. For these reasons, alcohol counteracts everything you are working towards when you are trying to lose weight. The myths that alcohol is a carbohydrate and that drinking water counteracts the effects are completely false. Water does not save you from the absorption of the empty non-nutritive alcoholic calories that make you gain weight.

Alcohol is also a diuretic, meaning that it causes water loss and dehydration. Along with this water loss, you lose important minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc. These minerals are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, muscle contraction and muscle relaxation. Know that if you drink alcohol, you WILL retain water and slow down your weight loss.

And, while the holidays mean fun, family and friends, they can also mean an abundance of holiday parties, happy hours and other social gatherings. It can be a real challenge to stay on plan when the eggnog is flowing and the cocktails are being poured. Here are a few ideas for nonalcoholic, holiday mocktails that you can make yourself and even introduce to others:

Blended Eggnog
1 pkg. Vanilla Delight Shake/Pudding Thermo-Snacks®
6 oz. water
1 egg*
1/4 tsp. rum extract
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Dash of nutmeg
4 ice cubes

Warm up by preparing this taste treat at home. Combine all ingredients, except nutmeg, in a blender. Blend ingredients thoroughly. Pour into cups and add nutmeg to taste.

*Consuming raw eggs is not recommended by the FDA.

1/2 C. diet ginger ale
1/4 C. fresh peach puree

Puree half a peeled peach in a food processor. Put puree into a champagne flute and pour diet ginger ale over it.

Apple Cinnamon Smartini
1 tsp. sugar-free cinnamon syrup
1 C. prepared Crystal Light® Appletini flavor
Ice cubes
Apple slices
Ground cinnamon
Cinnamon stick

Put sugar-free cinnamon syrup, prepared Crystal Light and 4-5 ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Shake rapidly for approximately 10 seconds. Wet rim of martini glass with water then dip into cinnamon in a bowl to coat. Strain cocktail into martini glass. Garnish with apple slices and a cinnamon stick.

Gingerbread Cookie
1 bag Celestial Seasonings® Gingerbread Spice herbal tea
1/2 C. boiling water
1/2 C. prepared Vanilla Delight Shake/Pudding Thermo-Snacks
1/2 tsp. butterscotch extract
1 packet Splenda or stevia (to taste)
1 Tbsp. nonfat plain Greek Yogurt

Prepare tea and pour half a cup in a blender with half a cup of the prepared Thermo-Snack. Add butterscotch extract and blend for a minute. In a bowl, mix sweetener with Greek yogurt. Pour drink into a large mug and top with a dollop of the sweetened Greek yogurt and garnish with ground nutmeg to taste.

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