It’s the holidays at the moment. And consumerist North America would want you to believe this is the best time of the year. A time for sharing and giving, hanging out with loved ones, and just being thankful, for all the stuff we can get! But truthfully, it is a really stressful time of year in most people’s realities. Family get-togethers, the obligation to give gifts and find outfits for parties…and just eat, drink and be merry. But mostly we eat and drink and gain weight. I actually quite despise the holidays. Being forced to deal family relations that are mostly difficult, flawed and painful are on my list this year, and there is no awesome shade of lip gloss, smoking hot colour of eye shadow, or cute mini skirt that can lift my spirits. Christmas music playing everywhere just compounds this feeling of suffocating repetition that is the end of the year. Mostly, I just think about all that I wanted to get done and all that I didn’t. Yes, this time of year always depresses me for all the above said reasons.
But that brings me onto this topic of eating and drinking during the holidays. I like food. I like me the drinks. But I recently found out how the two actually do not go together…drinking (alcohol) actually slows down your body’s ability to break down fat and sugars, raising the risk of it being stored as fat. That means every drink you have actually makes what you eat during that time twice as fattening…simply because it is being ignored, and your body is busy metabolizing the alcohol. So what does this mean in terms of our holiday eating habits? It means we have to be careful when pairing the two.
Wine and beer tend to have more calories because there are still sugars and starches left over from the fermentation process. Which makes straight up spirits the more slimming choice. I like to treat myself to gin and diet tonics just because I know at least I am not adding sugars to my drinking. But also think about how drinking puts a pause button on your metabolism, and makes what you eat before, during and after crucial in terms of picking what and how much to eat. Therefore keep meals and snacks light. And after drinking avoid the urge to gorge on super greasy fattening foods. Just keep drinking tons of water to wash yourself out.
You often see people washing down burgers and fries, wings and nachos with alcoholic drinks, wine and beer and as normal as this would seem, it is probably the easiest way to gain weight. Our culture is about living, and enjoying life. But what is enjoyable about looking in the mirror a few days later and having a double chin, or having your pants feel overly tight? It is not always worth it, if you think about it.
You often see ads about drinking responsibly during the holidays…and this is true. Equally as true is the sentiment that it pays to be responsible to your waist line too. The saying everything in moderation is always one of my favourites to live by (except when it comes to great love, in that case I say live like there is no tomorrow!).