The silly season is almost upon us, I know, I know, soon we'll be inundated with Christmas Carols in shops and on the radio and our letterboxes will be filled with flyers encouraging us to shop, shop, shop.
So before things get hectic, let's get a jump on the topic of alcohol.
Let's get down to business, alcohol is a Group 1 carcinogen alongside asbestos and tobacco smoke. It's now widely accepted that the heavier your alcohol consumption is the greater your risk of disease or injury with alcohol being the cause of more than 60 different health conditions. You can read more about the full list of Group 1 carcinogens from the International Agency for Research on Cancer here.
It is important to be aware of the health complications of consuming alcohol especially as we slide into the silly season. These facts will help you make educated decisions.
A standard drink is 330ml of beer at 4% and 100ml of wine. One of my favorite organic red wines is 14% alcohol and in this week's Live video above, I show you what that standard unit looks like. When I pour myself my own glass of wine, I know it gets closer to two standard drinks in one glass, so if I'm having a drink with dinner this is all I allow myself. Setting those limits ahead of time and sticking to them should be your goal over the next 8-10 weeks.
New evidence around the health harms from regular drinking continue to emerge and recently the recommended limit of alcohol for women has gone down to 10 units per week (from 14) and more specifically that's been outlined as two standard drink across five days of the week with 2 alcohol-free days a week. Much of these guidelines related to how alcohol is processed by your body especially the liver.
As women, we have a lower body weight compared to men and alcohol is worse for us. We can drink less than men over a shorter period of time and it has an even greater impact on our heart, brain and liver. That combined with the research on the links between alcohol and breast cancer means we need to be careful.
Your liver is actually the biggest fat-burning organ in your body and 3/4 of a unit of alcohol is processed by the liver in an hour. While it is processing alcohol, it can't process any other calories, so when you're giving your body and mind the best chance to be happy and healthy, with exercise and good food choices, knowing the effects of alcohol is important.
When your liver is hard at work processing alcohol it can't deal with the dinner and nibbles at the same time.
I often get asked, what's the best alcohol option for weight loss? A white spirit is usually the answer. Remember, one nip (not a double) is one unit of alcohol. Pair this with soda water or a diet mixer for the lowest calorie option. Just remember, you are still getting the negative impacts of alcohol.
One of my favourite tips is to offset every unit of alcohol with a glass of water. Not only will that help reduce some of the negative effects of alcohol and keep you hydrated, often it helps reduce your intake of alcohol in general simply because you feel full, and while you are consuming water you have less time to drink alcohol!
Thanks for tuning into this week's Motivational Monday. Be sure to check out any of my free blogs here on my website.