“You asked…” is a blog series where I will be taking the questions you’ve asked and answering them here. The questions have been compiled from my various social media channels including my fitness Facebook page Tawny Clark, Instagram: @Tawnyclark, and tawnyclark.com.
Question #2: I’m going to the Bahamas and want to drink up since it’s hot and sunny but I know those fruity beautiful drinks are horrible for me…Suggestions?
This inquirer makes a great point. Those fruity drinks are not the best choice. They are high in sugar whether from added sugar (ie. simple syrup (which is just white sugar heated with water) that is typically added to mojitos) , fruit juices or sodas that are used as mixers. But let’s back up just for a minute so you actually know the physiology of what is happening in the body when you consume alcohol. And why it may be setting you back in your fat loss goals.
As many of us already know, not all calories are created equal. 1 gram of either carbohydrates or protein provides 4 calories of fuel. While 1 gram of fat provides 9, and alcohol provides 7 calories. The caveat being that alcohol has no nutritional value. The other macronutrients, however, provide vitamins and minerals that clearly support the body’s functionality. Alcohol also takes priority over all other food as the body’s main fuel source. So all other metabolism including that of carbohydrates or fat is halted when alcohol is added to the mix. Alcohol metabolism occurs first because if it is not removed immediately, the body could potentially become toxic. After the alcohol is metabolized, then and only then, can the body begin to metabolize our glycogen stores. And when we are no longer getting fuel from our carbohydrate stores, then fuel will be utilized from our body fat. Fat is our last resource to be utilized. And that’s not the only bad news. Alcohol metabolism which occurs in the liver requires the use of vitamins, IE. Vita C, Vita B. Of course these vitamins are also needed by the body for energy, immunity, etc. And with regular alcohol consumption, you run the risk of depleting these vitamins. That my friends is what we like to refer to as a hangover!
So, now that we got the knitty gritty out of the way. What should you choose if you choose to drink? Clear liquors with calorie free mixers. IE: vodka & club soda (not seltzer!) Or a dry wine. Not the sweet, dessert wines! And to slow your roll, I suggest drinking a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage when you aren’t having just one!
If you do have the ability to mix your own at home, or you are attending a BYOB gathering, give these alternatives a try:
1 can Sprite Zero
1 lime, juiced
1 single serving package of Lemonade Crystal Light
1 ounce, tequila (I recommend Patron Silver)
Mix all ingredients together, and pour over ice.
Serves 1, but can be made in large quantities. Don’t ask how I know 🙂
Skinny Blueberry Mojito:
2 ounces, Blueberry vodka
4 ounces, Sprite Zero
1 sprig of fresh mint
5-6 fresh blueberries
Muddle the mint and blueberries. Add to a shaker with vodka, and shake with 1 cup of crushed ice. Pour into a glass and top with Sprite Zero.
Serves 1, can also be made in larger quantities.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe there should balance in all things. So if you are on vacation, and want 1 of those foo foo drinks. HAVE ONE!! And ENJOY it! Just make some other nutrition choices throughout the rest day to off set it. IE. Fish and fresh veggies for dinner. And forgo the starch and dessert at that meal. See, it can be done! Until next time…
Love & Light,