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Archive for the category “Thirsty Thursday”

Thirsty Thursday

Let’s talk about alcohol and weight loss. If you are trying to lose weight, drinking alcohol may not be the best idea.  Alcohol contains about 7 calories per gram, which is considerably more than the 4 cal/g carbohydrate and protein. Now  that may not seem like a lot you, but it is when you consider that alcohol has nothing else to contribute nutrition-wise.

Here are some facts about alcohol and weight loss:

  • Alcohol is not a carbohydrate.
  • Your body processes alcohol first, before fat, protein, or carbs. Thus drinking slows down the burning of fat. This could account for the weight gain seen in some studies.
  • Hard liquor is distilled and thus contains no carbohydrates. The current “Zero Carb” campaign for vodka and whiskey is crap and may encourage mindless consumption. It’s like bragging that a candy bar is “cholesterol-free.”
  • When grapes are made into wine, most of the fruit sugars (carbs) convert to alcohol, but a few carbs remain. A 5-ounce glass of wine typically contains 110 calories, 5 grams of carbohydrates, and about 13 grams of alcohol (which accounts for 91 of the calories). A 5-ounce glass of wine supplies roughly the same amount of alcohol and number of calories as a 12-ounce light beer or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits.
  • Beer, too, contains carbohydrates. The new low-carb beers are not new at all, though this type of beer does indeed have fewer carbs. Low-carb beers are simply the old light beers with a new label and ad campaign. The old Miller Lite has 96 calories and 3.2 grams of carbs in 12 ounces. The “low-carb” Michelob Ultra has 96 calories and 2.6 grams of carbs. Coors Lite has 102 calories and 5 grams of carbs. The differences are tiny—hardly worth mentioning. In contrast, a regular beer has 13 grams of carbs and 150 calories.  (bullet points provided by shapefit.com)
The point is that when you are trying to lose weight, you do not need these empty calories. Empty because they do absolutely nothing for you, and actually hurt the fat burning process.
If you do feel the need to drink here are some low calorie cocktails and a chart for the carb content of some alcoholic beverages. Remember though, just because it it low in carbs, DOES NOT MEAN IT IS HEALTHY. DO NOT GET THOSE FACTS CONFUSED. The amount of calories in alcoholic beverages comes from the alcohol not the carbs. These drinks are still fairly high in calories, and we all know that you don’t drink just one. (And not to mention whatever it is that you mix them with….and the fact that you eat more when you drink. Bar food is a horrible weight loss deterrent.)

Top 5 Low Calorie Cocktails To Drink

#1. LIGHT BEER (12 ounce bottle):

  • Calories: 110
  • Carbs: 4.5 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams

#2. CHAMPAGNE (4.2 ounce glass):

  • Calories: 95
  • Carbs: 1.6 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0.3 grams

#3. RED or WHITE WINE (4.2 ounce glass):

  • Calories: 80
  • Carbs: 1.5 gram
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams

#4. JACK DANIELS (single shot):

  • Calories: 55
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams

#5. VODKA (single shot):

  • Calories: 55
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams
Alcohol Item (serving size)
Carbs (g)
Beer, regular (12 fl oz)
13g
Beer, light (12 fl oz)
4.5g
Wine, red (3.5 fl oz)
1.75g
Wine, rose (3.5 fl oz)
1.5
Wine, white (3.5 fl oz)
1g
Cider, dry (1 pint)
15g
Gin, Rum, Vodka, Whisky (1 fl oz)
0g
Sherry (2 fl oz)
3g
Port (2 fl oz)
6g
Guinness (1/2 pint)
4g

Thirsty Thursday

Let’s talk sports drinks today.

Are sports drinks better than water when you work out?  

Sports drinks, like Gatorade and Powerade, do provide a significant physiological advantage over water during activities when glycogen depletion, dehydration, and significant electrolyte losses are an issue.  This means, over an hour and when profuse sweating is occurring. For the majority of you out there, this does not apply. The majority of us work out for about an hour, and if we do go longer, we probably aren’t profusely sweating the whole time. You know who this applies to? Football players, basketball players, soccer players, long distance runners…pretty much any sport where you go hard and sweat. For the majority of exercisers, cool water should be used to replace fluids…6-12 oz every 15-20 minutes.

Should I drink sports drinks when not exercising?

Sports drinks are low in nutrient density and tend to be high in simple sugars. They are just empty calories, especially to someone who is trying to lose weight. If you’re not exercising to the point of what I described above, I would just stay away from sports drinks. Water is always best.

Stay sweaty, my friends!

Thirsty Thursday

I realize that I haven’t done any posts for a Wednesday or a Thursday yet, so I’m starting Thirsty Thursdays today. This day will be all about drinks, not necessarily the alcoholic kind since those are just extra empty calories, but I may surprise you and throw one in every now and then. You’ll have to wait and see.

Today’s drink: WATER!!!

Obviously the best liquid that you can consume. Drink it every day. Drink it before your workout, during your workout, and after your workout. Since we are entering the summer months, drink more because up to three quarts an hour can be lost during warm weather exercise. Adequate (and that means, eh this is just enough) consumption is between 3.7 and 2.7 liters a day.  You can get your water by drinking other things such as tea, coffee (no added crap), juice, and milk, and by eating fruits and veggies since they are rich in water. Now, I’m from the South and we LOVE  our sweet tea…this will get you your water, but it will also give you your sugar allowance for a whole week! So, while you can get your water from other beverages, the best thing to do is actually DRINK WATER.

Stay sweaty, my friends!

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