Contrary to popular belief, alcohol itself will not make you fat, but the process of drinking excess alcohol and the effect that it has on your fat metabolism, which can lead to weight gain.
This is what I mean…
We cannot store alcohol in our cells so we have to burn it up and this is done via the liver, which converts the alcohol into acetate, which is then oxidised to produce carbon dioxide and water – so as you can see there is no process here for fat conversion and storage.
It is this act of ‘burning up’ the alcohol which leads to the suppression of your fat metabolism and it is only after all the alcohol has been oxidised, does the body return to it’s fat burning state, how quickly this returns depends on the volume of alcohol consumed – as a rule of thumb it is usually 1 hour per unit of alcohol consumed, i.e.1 gram of protein = 4 kcals
1 gram of fat = 9 kcals
1 gram of alcohol = 7kcals
1 x lager (pint) = 240-250kcals / 2.3units
1 x white wine (175ml) = 130kcals / 2.3 units
1 x red wine (175ml) = 120kcals / 2.3 units
1 x gin/vodka and tonic (single) = 126kcals / 1 unit
So over the course of your evening out, the amount of drink can easily add up. Couple that with a high calorific 2 to 3 course meal; take away delivery or that pizza; kebab on the way home after last orders or snacks and nibbles and if you repeat this often enough, you will definitely start feeling a little more snug in those jeans, than you did when you first bought them!
However, this does not mean that you can’t drink at all, in fact recent studies have shown that red wine can help with reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and that moderate alcohol consumption through reasons not fully understood, actually improves insulin sensitivity, by lowering blood glucose, as the liver processes the alcohol in your body. Through improved insulin sensitivity, we can maintain better blood glucose levels – which leads to a more favourable environment for fat loss.
But beware, if you are on a fat loss programme, that alcohol does not provide the body with any nutritional value at all and this is what we term ‘empty calories’ – so do you really want to be wasting a third of your daily allowance on these ‘empty calories’ or would you rather nourish the body, so that you give yourself the best chance to achieve your goals sooner rather than later?
My name is Emily Robinson, a sixteen-year-old young event rider. I began serious training in order to prepare my self for the Pony European trials in March 2012, I was told I needed to improve my riding posture, as my shoulders were not straight and I found it increasingly hard to keep them back as well as not having the satisfactory strength in several areas of my body including my core.
My mum therefore talked to Gee during one of her training sessions, which she regularly takes in order to keep her fit.
Gee agreed to help me improve my posture and to work on my imbalances. After the consultation, which included an in depth analysis of my posture. He then set out a programme for me to undertake in the gym which focused on the areas I wished to improve on, this was especially helpful as I could refer back to my riding trainers on what they also thought would be beneficial.
I was quite nervous for my first gym session, but Gee quickly put me at ease and I felt that I was able to ask any questions, if I felt unsure about any aspect of the programme. I felt that I had achieved significant results in only a few weeks of following the exercises that Gee had put together for me.
It is now almost a year later and my training with Gee has been reflected in my riding, with endless compliments from my riding trainers and horse owners on my improvement.
I am now riding a horse, which I will soon trial in the under 18 European trials, meaning my strength to hold him during all phases of the 3 day events is crucial! I now feel I have the posture, strength and muscular endurance to take this on as I continue my training with Gee.
Happy New Year everyone and I hope that it was a good one!
I’m dedicating this blog to anyone new to fitness or exercise – well done for making this momentous step to committing to a more healthier lifestyle and not to remain another government statistic.
If you have already joined a gym, then you have done the hardest step already by walking through the doors – having worked in the industry for over ten years and inducted hundreds of new members, trust me, I can totally empathise with you – you walk into the gym and immediately confronted by people swinging cannonballs with handles, dangling from straps attached to the ceiling, machines with flashing lights, the weights area is like a collection of metal and cables and the studio whooping and blaring like a nightclub!
Just remember that if you are unsure about anything then to ask for help (that’s what the instructors are there for or give me a ring) and always plan your workouts by having a periodised programme you can follow and set yourself goals to achieve on a weekly/monthly basis i.e. i will extend my run on the treadmill by 5 minutes every 2 weeks, etc.
So to finish on a more lighter note, I have compiled a list (this is by no means a definitive list – you can add your own here as well!) of all the usual gym suspects, that I have encountered over the years – so keep your eyes or nose out for…
- Mirror boy/girl – can’t workout if they haven’t got a mirror in front of them, so that they can admire their curves/muscles!
- Butch and Cassidy – check out the ‘weedier’ guy attempting to kill himself, lifting the same weights as his bigger gym buddy.
- Gym rat – Will always lend a helping hand, as long as you’re female, young, blond and good looking.
- Retro man – wears a weights belt and hoodie up, he can’t see where he’s going, so watch out when he’s on the treadmill.
- Quasimodo – yesterday was chest day, today is chest day and tomorrow will be chest day too!
- Cardio girl – I just run and run and run…
- Pheromone man – only has one set of gym clothes and wears it all the time…without washing it…eeuugghh!
- Mr Sweat-tastic – will leave a mass puddle of sweat around him, wherever he works out.
- The missing link – he’s the body builder in the corner who looks like the connection between ape and man.
- Geordie Shore – groups of teen boys dressed in plimsolls and low cut vests, trying to outdo each other on the heavy weights, with shocking technique…just don’t copy them!