Party Hard, Skinny Minnie
–by Wendi Vaughn
I write songs, sing, and perform for a living. Yes, yes…
this is on top of teaching adults and high schoolers across the Los Angeles region. With this schedule it is easy to lose sight of health and wellness. The constant ripping and running leaves you stressed, sleep deprived, and malnourished most of the time. The last seven weeks of my life really opened my eyes to some of the challenges that “busy” brings, one of which is how to keep a sculpted body while zig-zagging around town as a social butterfly.
Many late nights in the studio led to even later nights of eating and drinking. That’s right, my friends and I have been enjoying our red wines, tequilas, gins, and more-not to excess of being drunk off our rockers, but just more than usual. I found that adding these confections along with later nights added some unwanted pounds that seemed to come out of nowhere. However, to be more exact, a little research pointed to where these useless pounds developed…
Empty Alcohol Calories
I was able to narrow it down to the alcohol because that was the newest addition to my daily routine. I traditionally get to bed at random times and I maintained the same diet as normal, however, the added calories I imbibed were the source of unwanted sugars that eventually turned into fat. Virtually all things consumed break down into a sugar that our bodies use for energy. The easiest sugars to assimilate into the body are simple sugars found naturally in fruits and veggies. These sugars are accompanied by fiber, which aids in the overall digestion and metabolizing process in the body.
In our society, we typically do not immediately use the sugar we put in our bodies, so these sugars are converted into fat triglycerides and stored in the body… (Can you say, “hello extra cushion”!). Even though I workout six days a week, I was taking in way more calories in alcohol then I was able to burn off fast enough. Singing behind a mic and writing songs are hardly enough physical activities to use up the extra sugars-and since alcohol is a depressant, sleep often followed my fun nights of drinking with friends.
Maintaining an appropriate sugar to fiber ratio is key in cutting the amount of fat that is stored from consuming too much unused sugar. The fiber allows the body to absorb the sugar over a longer period of time and essentially zaps the problem of sugar turning to fat. The key is to get the fiber in your system or reduce the amount of calories consumed- especially the ones we drink. The honest truth is that liquid foods of 100 calories won’t provide the same fullness that a solid food of 100 calories will.
How to Party, the Skinny Way:
Most bars have skinny drink mixes that will cut down on your sugar intake- investigate which ones work for you.
Sipping on alcohol “straight up” will present fewer calories into the blood than will the mixed drinks.
Cutting drinks with sparkling water is a good substitute for soda water.
Steering clear of dark liquors and “cloudy, milky drinks” will do you lots of good as well! Clear alcohols, more often than not, contain fewer calories than their darker counterparts.
Pair your drinks with lower calorie high fiber snacks and meals. The fiber from the food will help monitor the sugar released into the blood stream, promoting a more complete usage of the sugar.
Finally and probably most important…Stay hydrated while drinking! Remember to drink at least an additional 8 fl oz. of water for every drink consumed.
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