Happy (almost) Fourth of July!  This time of year sparks quite the number of social gatherings doesn’t it??  Graduations, picnics, vacations, pool parties, you name it, it’s happening.  While this is a great time to reconnect with people and have some fun, it could also be cause for a little stress.  Trying to follow a program in the midst of all the festivities can be a challenge at times but it is NOT impossible by any means!  Maybe it’s not even necessarily the traditional holiday foods that tempt you but the cold alcoholic beverages that seem to be in the hand of every person you lay your eyes on.  Can you relate?  I’m guessing on some level we all can.  Before you get envious of your cocktail-consuming friends, let me paint a little picture for you.

Within seconds of taking the first sip, the alcohol will enter your bloodstream.  This happens so quickly because alcohol is a substance that can be directly absorbed through the stomach into your blood.  Immediately your body begins to try to rid itself of the alcohol because it views it as hazardous.  The human body isn’t able to store alcohol as it would nutrients such as carbohydrates and fat, so metabolizing and getting it out of your system becomes top priority.  So off it goes, metabolizing that alcohol at a whopping 2 TEASPOONS per hour; hardly a rate that would win any sort of race.  All the while, your body has knocked to the side any other type of metabolism.  What does this mean, you ask?? It means that instead of breaking down and utilizing your foods as fuel, it’s using alcohol as fuel and storing those other holiday foods that you ate previously (or are eating now, or will eat after you start feeling effects of the drink) as fat!! That’s right, FAT!  Not exactly what we are going for, right?

Worse yet, the more alcohol you consume the harder time the liver has keeping up when trying to process it.  So it all builds up in your system leading to slurred speech, blurry vision, poor judgment etc.  You get the picture; people become intoxicated.  And poor judgment can, as we all know, lead to making bad food choices, which as we discussed before, due to the alcohol consumption will be stored as excess fat.  To top it off, alcohol dehydrates you, and if you remember from last week’s article, water imbalance can significantly disrupt your weight loss.

How’s that drink sounding now?  Refreshing? I don’t think so.  So before you get jealous, keep in mind the amazing things you are doing for yourself by resisting!  Enjoy your holiday the best and healthiest way.  And feel better than your friends in the morning. 🙂