They don’t call it beer belly for nothing, CGs! According to Health.com, moderate drinking is not bad, but a heavy influx of alcohol temporarily keeps your body from burning fat. On top of that, the things we chug and ingest during party mode are on the upper level of the calorie meter.
Your Pre-Party Meal
When drinking liquor, your body’s metabolic system is on pause mode. If your body was in the middle digesting your recent dinner, drinking alcohol causes your metabolism to stop and focus on getting rid of the booze first, and what you just ate gets stored as fat. Imagine if you chugged five bottles of beer (that’s at least 700 calories, by the way), your body will focus on burning that first before it returns to your steak dinner.
Counter the fat: It’s true that you need to eat a heavy, fatty dinner before drinking to coat your stomach and prevent you from getting drunk, but there’s a right way to do it. When filling up pre-party, go for something high in fiber and protein, and a little bit of healthy fat. Men’s Fitness recommends these choices: salmon and veggies sautéed in olive oil; salad filled with olives, artichokes, and tomatoes with an olive oil and lemon dressing; and a turkey sandwich.
Chugging Your Calories
A serving (50 ml) of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey is 110 calories (source: My Fitness Pal), and if you pair that with a can of Coke, that’s an additional 140 calories. Let’s say you went out last night and had three Red Horse beers (660 calories) and a plate of nachos (470 calories per 100 grams), you just had a total of 1130 calories in one night, and that’s more than half the recommended daily calorie intake (2000)! And the more you drink, the more it temporarily impairs a part of your brain that lets you think clearly. Notice that as you chug more alcohol, the more impulsive you get and the more you let go of inhibitions—including your diet.
Counter the fat: While you’re still sober and thinking straight, choose low-calorie drinks such as San Miguel Light, which has only 100 calories per 330-ml bottle compared to Pale Pilsen’s 140 calories. Stay away from complimentary bar drinks and fancy-sounding mixes, which are often laden with sweet fillers such as soda, syrup, juice, and cheap alcohol that give you a bad buzz. Go for simple, straight-up drinks like beer and wine. Choose your chasers wisely and use the smallest glass to help moderate your intake.
Sugar Crash and Dehydration
When you chug too many cocktails in so little time, it’s the soaring blood sugar followed by a crash that will turn you ravenous. You will find yourself extremely thirsty and hungry, and suddenly the tower of calamari on the table is calling your name. Before you know it, you’ve chugged down two more glasses of Jack Coke and more than a handful of bar chow.
Counter the fat: According to ABC Science, “alcohol interferes with the mechanism that regulates the water levels in our body.” Notice that you tend to hit the bathroom more frequently when drinking out? Alcohol is a diuretic that makes us thirstier, so instead of chugging another bottle of beer when the thirst kicks in, have glasses of water in between. Always ask for a pitcher of water when ordering and have a full glass of H20 before your first beer.
You may think, “Just a handful of nachos isn’t so bad, right?” Even if you’re sharing bar chow with several other friends, your tipsy or drunken stupor won’t make you realize that the bites you had here and there add up by the end of the night. A cup of salted mixed nuts can actually go up to 814 whopping calories (source: Fitness Pal).
Counter the fat: Let’s face it. It’s hard to look for healthy options on the bar chow menu, especially at clubs that have only a few items as pulutan. More often than not, you’re limited to fried items and greasy entrées such as sisig. Unless you spot healthy options such as grilled sandwiches on the menu, our next best counter-calorie option is to just hit the dance floor. Yes, CGs, dancing the night away is so much better than just sitting on the couch and drinking your woes away! Take a break from that bottle of Pale Pilsen and bust out your dance moves. Even if all you can do is pump one fist all night, you’re burning calories by moving!
Aside from the pulsating headache that a hangover brings the next day, you will find yourself craving for immense amounts of fatty, greasy food. “The body needs energy to resolve the effects of a big night of drinking, so it wants the richest source of energy it can find, which is fat,” Jason Burke, M.D. of a Las Vegas hangover treatment clinic, told Health.com.
Counter the fat: Before hitting the sack, have a glass of water and a light snack that’s high in fiber, like cereal or oatmeal. It stays in the stomach longer, so you won’t be extremely hungry the next morning. Have a glass of water as soon as you wake up and sip a bowl of broth to counter the dehydrating effects of alcohol.