Speed Bumps on the Road to Hotness – Alcohol – You Booze, You Lose
First let me say that we at Model Per4mance are not haters on a good glass of wine here and there. And we’ve all read that there are bennies to a toddy once in a while-especially of red wine or dark beer-assuming no addiction to it. But, as with most things, just because a little may be beneficial does not mean more is better. The following are some reasons to keep things corked outside of occasional use:
- Appetite Alteration-Drinking alcohol disinhibits us around food. Perhaps this is the largest pitfall to those trying to shed excess weight while drinking with fair frequency. There is a reason restaurants first serve us a drink plus some nice bread before we order. The cortisol and insulin spike are the perfect storm causing us to order everything on pages 6-12 on the Cheesecake Factory’s tome of a menu.
- High Cortisol Levels-Alcohol is a toxin and your body secretes cortisol to overcome this effect. Furthermore, since over-drinking alcohol keeps the liver from being able to break down glycogen to sugar to feed your brain, cortisol serves to bypass this effect by breaking down other body chemicals for sugar to save you from hypoglycemia. Chronic alcohol over-consumption leads to chronically high cortisol levels, a condition which signals the body to redistribute fat from your arms and legs to your belly.
- Estrogen Dominance-Estrogen is not a “bad” hormone to the body. Estrogen dominance, however, is a bad situation in the body. Estrogen is metabolized in the liver. When drinking alcohol, the liver is inhibited from effectively performing this and other jobs. Therefore, excess estrogen builds up in the body, leading to gains in fat mass as this hormone does inhibit the breakdown of fat.
- Sleep Disruption-Alcohol can inhibit you from achieving proper REM sleep. Without proper sleep, just one of the effects is a disruption in hormone production, balance, and activity-something that happens during sleep, not during your awake hours. The inhibition of body restoration alone-part of which is lean mass construction-will negatively affect your metabolism.
- Inflammation-As already mentioned, alcohol is a toxin; a poison to the body. Particularly in large amounts and in high frequency, alcohol disallows the body to detoxify from it and return to normal. Part of the backlash from this is the release of excess cytokines-chemical messengers from your immune system, including your fat cells, alerting your cells to a perceived threat. One of your body’s reactions to inflammation is water retention.
Ultraprevention: The 6-Week Plan That Will Make You Healthy for Life. Mark Hyman, MD & Mark Liponis, MD. Scribner, 2003, pp. 200-207.
The Schwarzbein Principle II: The Transition. Diana Schwarzbein, MD. Health Communications Inc, 2002, pp. 124, 126, 140.
Efficient Fat Storage in Premenopausal Women and in Early Pregnancy: A Role for Estrogen Anthony J. O’Sullivan, Allison Martin and Mark A. Brown The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Vol. 86, No. 10 4951-4956