How Weekend Drinking Binges Make You Fat (Repost)

One of the reasons why people tend to look forward to the weekend so much, besides being away from work, is the ritualistic imbibing of alcohol and consumption of rich foods which many tend to engage in. I have clients who will follow a sensible and healthy meal plan during the week, only to abandon all self-control, put on party hats and eat and drink during the entire weekend.

I will explain to you why this practice is a sure way to keep you from attaining your fitness goals. When you drink large amounts of alcohol, say 3 drinks or more, your body gets a sudden influx of alcohol which puts your body’s metabolism of nutrients to a grinding halt. Why? Because the body cannot store alcohol and must use it immediately as a fuel source. What happens with nutrients is that they are converted to fat and then stored in fat tissue for later use, so alcohol essentially prevents the body from utilizing fat. High consumption of alcohol also impairs the cerebral function (specifically the prefrontal cortex), flattening inhibitions and increasing the appetite. That is why you will often crave greasy foods when you drink, because the body turns to rich foods to replenish nutrients. The combination of increased appetite and behavioral changes are enough to get you to eat a calorie laden, fatty meal which is then stored as fat.

I enjoy the occasional cocktail and as a result will never tell people to avoid drinking altogether. However, I have several recommendations which will minimize the fat deposition which alcohol consumption triggers.

1. Always eat a meal with PROTEIN, FIBER and HEALTHY FAT before you begin drinking to offset the surge in blood sugar which occurs with alcohol consumption and to slow the absorption of alcohol once it is introduced to the gut.

2. Drink two glasses of water for every drink of alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it will dry you out. Because of this, it is important to maintain a high level of hydration to offset the diuretic effect.

3. Limit consumption to 1 or 2 drinks in an evening. This will keep calorie consumption down.people at party

Taking Youth For Granted – Part 2

young-woman-feels-bad-about-eating-junk-food-smaller

Though there are plenty of young people who are fitness-conscious and practice healthy eating habits, there are also many who tempt fate by eating poorly, avoiding exercise and physcial activity, and who party every weekend. When I am at fitness events, I tend to see the fit people, but as a doctor, I see the individuals who don’t know how to take care of their bodies. As an example, I remember seeing one patient who, at the age of 20, was disgusted with herself, and who begged me to give her some advice on how to get in shape quickly and easily. She was about 20 pounds overweight, and it was obvious that she didn’t exercise at all. Her skin was dull and peppered with acne, and her eyes were bloodshot.

I was in the midst of giving the patient general recommendations on eating healthy and getting regular exercise, when she interrupted me. “Ummm, excuse me doc, but I’m not gonna stop eating at Burger King! It’s my daily stop for dinner, and it’s right by my work, so I can just pick it up and eat it in the car before I get home.” I was so stunned that I had to clarify the frequency of her visits with her to make sure I heard her right. Yes, she would visit the Burger King drive-thru every single night after she finished work, and would wolf down a burger in the car because she was always famished from not eating all day. Then she would go home and eat chips while sitting in front of the television. When I told her how unhealthy her eating habits were, she stated, “I don’t see what the big deal is anyway. I mean, I hate vegetables and all that healthy crap other people eat. Besides, I’m young, so it doesn’t even matter!”

That patient wasn’t the only one I have seen who refused to eat right and exercise, but she was particularly stubborn and set in her ways. She walked into that office not wanting me to truly help her, but instead wanted me to give her a prescription for a diet pill so that she could slim down for bikini season. I shook my head and told her that I don’t believe in them, and that I would not give her a prescription, whereupon she hopped off the examination table and said, “Whatever. I thought you were supposed to help people with weight loss shit, but I guess not. See ya.”

When I see young people eating all kinds of crap on a consistent basis, it saddens me, because I know that poor eating habits will have consequences on their health. Nine times out of ten, those same people will hit the clubs on the weekends and go on drinking binges. Some of them don’t even wait until the weekend to get their party on. I can guarantee that people who adopt atrocious habits like these will show signs of age much faster, and will put themselves at a much greater risk for developing diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and cancer. Though they may think that their youthfulness protects them, they usually will get a wicked surprise down the line when disease processes begin to rear their ugly heads.

If you want to optimize your health for the long term, make sure to consume healthy food options the majority of the time, limit alcohol consumption, don’t smoke, and get plenty of regular exercise. Those measures can serve as the best insurance policy for wellness as you get older.

Who Turned Up The Heat?

woman-fan-298x232

If you have ever awakened in the middle of the night with the feeling that you are burning up, and find yourself drenched in sweat, you have experienced night sweats. Though night sweats can be aggravated by spicy foods or alcohol, or sleeping in an overheated room, the true culprit in night sweats for the majority of peri-menopausal and menopausal women is fluctuating estrogen levels. Such fluctuations falsely signal the hypothalamus to cool down the body by triggering perspiration and blood vessel dilation. For those of you who have experienced this phenomenon, you know how much it interferes with normal sleep patterns!

What can you do to minimize night sweats? Regular exercise can reduce the severity of symptoms. I have also seen a marked improvement in night sweat symptoms in my patients after they have introduced maca root into their daily regimens. On a personal note, maca has been helpful in reducing the intensity of my night sweats so that I don’t wake up completely drenched in sweat in the middle of the night. If you have severe symptoms, you might want to consider being evaluated for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. I strongly advocate the use of bio-identical hormones for individuals who suffer from the symptoms of hormonal decline or imbalance.

The battle to eradicate my night sweats has not ended. I had a nice little break from them for about five months, then they crept back into my nightly patterns. To combat this, I decided that my comforter needed to be put in storage until the winter, and I purchased a cotton coverlet set. I also purchased a special mattress protector which is comprised of a cooling material, and though it was a bit pricey (about $100 for a Cal King), it was a godsend for me. Here are a couple of brands which are great:

http://www.amazon.com/Sleep-Better-Iso-Cool-11-ounce-Mattress/dp/B000ZK4QBY?tag=hotflashwebsite-20

http://www.amazon.com/Design-Weave-Outlast-Temperature-Mattress/dp/B003J371E8?tag=hotflashwebsite-20

Another thing I highly recommend is to put a fan in your bedroom. I have a ceiling fan in my bedroom, and I almost always sleep with it on so that I can keep cool air circulating over the bed. Make sure the thermostat in your home is set to a cooler temperature so that you don’t overheat during the night, or open a window to allow a cool night breeze drift into your bedroom.

Hopefully these suggestions will have you sleeping more comfortably this summer!

Get The Best Skin Ever- Part 1: Lifestyle Adjustments

Beauty face of woman with clean skin

http://www.rxmuscle.com/rx-girl-articles/11853-get-the-best-skin-ever-part-1-lifestyle-adjustments.html

Please read my RxGirl article on making lifestyle adjustments that will transform your skin. You can access the original article by clicking on the link above, or keep reading here for the full article.

“What skin cream do you use? Your skin looks amazing!”

This is a common exclamation from women who admire the flawless skin of those who are either naturally dermatologically blessed or have been proactive about practicing good skin care. Perhaps you are one of the blessed individuals, but most women deal with acne, wrinkles, oiliness, hyperpigmentation, dry skin and dark circles under the eyes, all of which can be addressed with targeted products. If you practice consistent skin care with the right products, you will see improvements in the tone and quality of your skin.

Before delving into topical products in Part 2 of this article, I will utilize Part 1 here to review the many variables which can dramatically influence the quality of the skin.

Sleeping Beauty –
There’s a lot of truth to the adage about getting one’s beauty sleep. When you get adequate sleep, you optimize your body’s ability to repair itself because it has a chance to release human growth hormone in the deep stages of sleep. Conversely, cheating yourself out of a good night’s sleep results in an increase in cortisol release, which increases the amount of inflammation in the body. Basically, the inflammation prevents your cells from repairing damaged collagen, and if this occurs chronically, your skin will adopt an aged appearance. So get some quality shut-eye every night!

Don’t smoke –
I know most of you ladies don’t engage in this habit, but if you do, bear in mind that the habit breaks down the collagen and elastin in your skin, aging you prematurely. Smoking also constricts the blood vessels in the upper layer (epidermis), which interferes with delivery of oxygen and other vital nutrients which are involved in cell renewal. Lastly, the constant pursing of the lips which occurs while puffing on a cigarette causes fine vertical lines (“smoker’s lines”) to develop around the mouth.

Internal antioxidants –
We have all heard of the benefits of daily antioxidant intake and how these nutrients boost the body’s immunity, decrease inflammation, and even improve cognition, so it shouldn’t surprise you that antioxidants also promote cellular repair in the skin as well. Make sure to incorporate foods and supplements which have antioxidants such as vitamins A,C, E, cofactors like CoQ10, and polyphenols like resveratrol in them.

Hydrate from within –
Drink plenty of water, and you will be rewarded with glowing, healthy skin. Every time I have told a patient who suffered either from dry skin or from stubborn acne to drink plenty of water, I have seen dramatic improvement in the quality of their skin after they began drinking at least three liters of water per day. Adequate hydration will ensure that toxins are flushed out of cells and the cells are filled with water.

Healthy fats –
One of the hazards of competing is the tendency for coaches to completely strip dietary fat from contest prep diets. What results is a gaunt, unhealthy, aged appearance in the face which looks terrible and just screams for dermal fillers. Rather than wreak havoc on your youthful appearance, why not keep healthy fats like avocado, MCT oil, coconut oil, olive oil, flax seed, almonds, cashews, and fish oil in your daily regimen?

Limit alcohol –
Alcohol is notorious for dehydrating the skin and for that reason alone should be ingested in moderation. Also, since alcohol is toxic to the liver, it impairs the body’s ability to remove other environmental toxins which will be reflected in the quality of the skin. And for those of you who suffer from rosacea, that relaxing glass of red wine with dinner is a big no-no because it will aggravate the condition.

Clean makeup brushes –
When was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes? Makeup brushes should be thoroughly washed on a regular basis to remove product build-up, bacteria and oils. If you suffer from acne, you need to be especially diligent about cleaning your makeup brushes regularly. As a general rule, clean foundation and concealer brushes at least once a week (twice a week if acne is a major issue). Eye makeup brushes should be cleaned every two weeks, and other brushes should be cleaned monthly. There are some excellent brush cleaning solvents, but you can mix one part baby shampoo with four parts water for an excellent and cheap brush cleaner.

Sanitize cell phone –
Cleaning your cell phone on a regular basis is a good sanitary practice to adopt, and can also save your skin from acne breakouts and rashes. Think for a minute how much you touch your phone and how much dust, ear wax and fingertip residue can accumulate on its surface. It’s no surprise that putting this bacteria- riddled device next to your cheek can cause skin flare-ups to occur. The best way to clean your phone is to use a soft cloth which is lightly sprayed with a dilute isopropyl alcohol solution (equal parts iso alcohol and water).

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article which will cover topical products and treatments for luminous, youthful skin!

Most Hot Women DON’T Go Out And Party All The Time

legggggsI am sure there are plenty of hot women who enjoy going out for a night on the town almost every night. I am also sure that in all of these cases, these young ladies are riding on a fast train to nowhere because all they do is waste their time and energy hitting the social scene to inflate their following on social media, stroking their tender egos and taking advantage of affluent men who are lusting after them.

Those aren’t the gals I am talking about.

There are TONS of hot women of all ages out there who thankfully have the common sense to realize how much more valuable their minds are, who are genuine and who aren’t afraid of rolling up their sleeves and working diligently to achieve their own goals. These are the women I am referring to, and I am fortunate enough to call many of these women my friends. What may surprise you is that many of my fellow hot gal pals don’t frequent nightclubs or have a full dating rotation in place. Like me, many of them would rather stay at home and work on their projects than to go to a bar or nightclub and engage in alcohol consumption and small talk with people they really aren’t interested in.

For those of you who might think that I go out on the weekends, let me bust that myth. A night out for me is a very rare event indeed, and it isn’t because I have agoraphobia or don’t like seeing my friends. Most of the time, I have a ton of work to do in the evenings, such as developing blog posts like this one, writing up client plans, researching articles which I submit to numerous sites, etc. There are times when I would like to go out and do something fun like go to the movie theater, grab a cheat meal, or visit a friend, but my weekends are not characterized by wearing a snug minidress and towering heels and making an idiot out of myself in public. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but that is NOT my idea of a good time.

The problem with being a smart, aware, genuine hot woman is that sometimes she is seen as TOO good of a catch, so men avoid asking her out. Many of my beautiful female friends fit this description, and a few of them complain about it. Another issue with being a gorgeous woman who is accessible through social media channels is that the creeps tend to surface, often becoming the only guys who ask these ladies out. Often the propositions aren’t for true dates, but are for hookups, fetish fulfillment and other bizarre requests. It is sad to see how much disrespect beautiful women deal with, and it is no wonder that many women bury themselves in their work to avoid such distressing situations.

Chances are that you won’t see a bunch of “out on the town slut” pics on a woman’s social media profile if she is a woman of substance. Even if you see hot modeling photos on a woman’s profile, that shouldn’t be interpreted as an invitation to be a creep and disrespect her. NO female should ever have to deal with the derogatory comments and attitude which lesser evolved males seem to get great pleasure out of displaying. I honestly worry about the girls who foolishly ride the party wave, because once that ocean dries up, they will not have any foundation upon which to build a secure life. Also, chronic drinking and sleep deprivation ages these poor gals so that they end up looking like they were dragged down the street. In the meantime, my empowered and beautiful friends and I will enjoy the fruits of our intellectual efforts while aging gracefully.

How Weekend Drinking Binges Make You Fat

young-people-in-club-or-bar-drinking-beer-out-of-a-beer-bottle-and-have-funOne of the reasons why people tend to look forward to the weekend so much, besides being away from work, is the ritualistic imbibing of alcohol and consumption of rich foods which many tend to engage in. I have clients who will follow a sensible and healthy meal plan during the week, only to abandon all self-control, put on party hats and eat and drink during the entire weekend.

I will explain to you why this practice is a sure way to keep you from attaining your fitness goals. When you drink large amounts of alcohol, say 3 drinks or more, your body gets a sudden influx of alcohol which puts your body’s metabolism of nutrients to a grinding halt. Why? Because the body cannot store alcohol and must use it immediately as a fuel source. What happens with nutrients is that they are converted to fat and then stored in fat tissue for later use, so alcohol essentially prevents the body from utilizing fat. High consumption of alcohol also impairs the cerebral function (specifically the prefrontal cortex), flattening inhibitions and increasing the appetite. That is why you will often crave greasy foods when you drink, because the body turns to rich foods to replenish nutrients. The combination of increased appetite and behavioral changes are enough to get you to eat a calorie laden, fatty meal which is then stored as fat.

I enjoy the occasional cocktail and as a result will never tell people to avoid drinking altogether. However, I have several recommendations which will minimize the fat deposition which alcohol consumption triggers.

1. Always eat a meal with PROTEIN, FIBER and HEALTHY FAT before you begin drinking to offset the surge in blood sugar which occurs with alcohol connsumption andto slow the absorption of alcohol once it is introduced to the gut.

2. Drink two glasses of water for every drink of alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it will dry you out. Because of this, it is important to maintain a high level of hydration to offset the diuretic effect.

3. Limit consumption to 1 or 2 drinks in an evening. This will keep calorie consumption down.