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A Doctor’s Tips For Healthy Holiday Drinking

May 29, 2014

The most social time of the year is here again, a time when we look forward to celebrating the holidays at office parties, small dinner parties, and family gatherings. The consumption of alcohol is often the celebratory part of the festivities with jewel-toned colored drinks such as the luscious red Pomegranate or Glittery Golden Ginger Bread Martinis (Penny’s favorite), the Champagne Toast, Rum-Buttered Brandy “Hot-Toddie” and of course, a bottle of good Wine with our holiday dinner.

While we imbibe with good celebratory intent, the sudden increase in alcohol intake over a period of a couple of weeks can contribute heavily to the dreaded POST-HOLIDAY weight gain and the reason gyms are mobbed come January 2nd!

How great would it be to wake up on January 2nd and have no regrets?

So just how do you partake in the holiday spirit (no pun intended) and still take good care of your body, respecting your health and paying homage to your safety? The key is to recognize that liquid calories have a direct effect on fat production. Calories delivered in food must be metabolized in the body before they are either deposited for storage (fat) or excreted. I have heard people say, “liquid calories (liquor) go straight to your hips.” Liquid calories are not necessarily digested prior to absorption in the stomach. This explains the high that one experiences after a single glass of champagne. The digested alcohol (sugars) are rapidly absorbed and produce a dramatic insulin spike. The body then shunts the sugars into storage (fat) to keep blood sugar at an even level.

The good news is that there are ways be vigilant and enjoy the season at the same time. Here’s what to focus on:

Water. Hydrate well before you go out for the evening. It will give you a fuller feeling and you’ll drink less. Before ordering your second drink, chase the first with a tall glass of water. The main cause of that “morning after” feeling is dehydration While this does not diminish calories or increase metabolism, it may make the next day more enjoyable.

The Bloody “Merry.” This drink has become a tradition in the Lyons Household – every year it’s our signature drink on Christmas mornings. A marriage of protein, nutrition, flavor, presentation, and low calorie vodka, our recipe redefines this classic drink for the holidays with a doctor’s stamp of approval. That means you can enjoy it without the guilt! (The key is that even though liquid calories turn right into fat, the fiber in the drink slows down digestion, so caloric intake is less.)