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Excuse Busters: Drink cheats for New Year

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: I am mainly talking alcohol this week, because I honestly think that soft drinks are such a poor cheat option. By that I mean compared to alcohol, soft drinks give low rewards on a social level for high sacrifices of a physiological level because of the amount of sugar or artificial sweeteners which are in fact toxins.

What about fruit juice? Short answer: the sugar content is very high, so try to avoid them. Eat whole fruit to get your vitamins and to keep the fiber intact.

Here are my thoughts about drinking:

Alcohol belongs in the cheat meals category, and it should never be consumed alone, but instead, if you like a drink, saved for occasions to be shared with good company.

I know there are a lot of so-called experts out there saying a couple of standard drinks a day is okay and you can still lose body fat. Well, that may be true but it may well take double the time to do so.

How much alcohol can someone consume and still get a good result, like losing 1-2cm off the waist per week? It’s very individual – much like the amount of alcohol it takes to get drunk – and another important reason to keep an accurate food diary, especially in the early days.

Compare weeks of no drinking to drinking while trying to keep all else similar. You may find you can go out one night per week and still get good results after a few drinks and some cheat meals. Enjoy the testing.

When it comes to social situations and alcohol, here is my advice: If you want to drink, then have a drink and enjoy it – but don’t feel guilty or that just spoils the experience.

You can minimize the damage of alcohol by following these tips:

  • Eat a high protein and low-carb meal with it (so meat and vegetables)
  • Take a glass of water between each drink
  • Choose lower calorie drinks like wine over beer.
  • Choose high-quality alcohol so you can really enjoy it – generally speaking, the more you spend, the more you savor and the slower you drink
  • Avoid buying rounds
  • If you don’t want to drink, then just don’t. It’s actually easier than you think and most real friends will accept it. That’s about as complicated as it needs to be.

    If you feel weird just drinking water, get some sparkling water with lime or something similar, it’s really not a big deal. People might notice, but all you need to say is, “no thanks” when offered a drink or “none for me to tonight” if people ask why. You don’t need to launch into some spiel about weight gain and being healthy. That’s your own business.

    If you feel you have to drink every time you go out but don’t really want to, what does that say about your character? Perhaps it’s time to start asserting yourself.

    If you need to drink daily then perhaps ask yourself why. If it is to relax you – then maybe look into other techniques such as exercise, meditation, or taking up a hobby.

    Bottom line: Take responsibility and don’t fall victim to your situation. If your friends are the types to berate you for not drinking, then maybe it’s time to find new friends. Most adults understand that some people drink and some people don’t, and it’s simply not a big deal.

    Here are three reasons why drinking alcohol is not good for fat loss:

  • Alcohol has a bad effect on one of the most important organs for fat loss – the liver
  • Alcohol contains a high amount of empty calories
  • Estrogenic effects: If you want man boobs and a belly like a pregnant girl then drink alcohol regularly, especially beer which is a higher estrogen source than wine.
  • “Observations that men with alcoholic cirrhosis often show testicular failure and symptoms of feminization have suggested that alcoholic beverages may contain biologically active phytoestrogens as congeners,” Biochemical analyzes have identified several phytoestrogens in the congeners of bourbon, beer and wine,” noted Prof Judith S. Gavaler in her report (click here) to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA).

    “Studies using subjects who produced no estrogen themselves demonstrated that phytoestrogens in alcoholic beverage congeners exerted estrogen-like effects in both animals and humans. Those effects were observed even at moderate drinking levels.”

    For women it can lead to a hormonal imbalance called estrogen dominance that can lead to mood swings and physical changes.

    Craig Burton is a nutritional expert with more than 15 years of experience at the forefront of the health and well-being field. He offers a high-level of his expertise in functional training and nutrition, focusing on detoxification, food intolerance and nutrient deficiency. For more information about Craig and his services, visit

    — Craig Burton


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      Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.


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