Tag Archives: alcohol

The Diet Booze Trend Continues with Fergie’s Endorsement of Voli Vodka

Fun-loving Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas is not only the perfect party guest because she always knows which song to spin next, but she’s also got the inside skinny on the best cocktails. She’s the face of Voli Vodka, a line of lower calorie flavored vodkas. She told Chelsea Handler this fall that her daily vodka consumption varies by the week, saying, “If I have one drink a day, I feel better the next day than if I don’t drink at all. I’m just gonna start drinking daily.”

She’s clearly fit, firm and fabulous (Fergalicious to be exact), so how does she do it if she’s swilling vodka on a daily basis? Certainly her 4-6 workouts in the gym every week, but she’ll also tell you it’s because she’s not drinking just any vodka. She’s drinking Voli Vodka, which has 74 calories per shot. A standard shot of vodka has about 100 calories.

Sure, 26 calories is a fair savings when you’re drinking one cocktail or a few, especially daily. But does it really matter when they are still nutritionally void, empty calories? Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It and nutrition expert in NY, says not so much.

“My take on this is that many people think that if you don’t chew — it doesn’t count — and that’s simply not true.” Those calories most certainly still count, and maybe more than most because they’re typically accompanied by a lot of sugar – like juice and other mixers.

We showed Bonnie the Fergatini, Voli’s branded version of a Cape Cod, with Voli Lyte, Fresh Lime Juice, and Cranberry Juice.

“Think about it — in this cocktail of 82 calories — only 1-1/2 oz or 1 jigger of vodka is used. How many of us pour just one shot?,” she asked. “That won’t happen at a friend’s party! It also only includes one ounce of juice. That rarely happens too because many of the calories in alcohol are contributed by the mixers.” (more…)

Holiday Cocktail Calories Make More Work for New Year’s Resolutions

A new study on the drinking patterns of adults finds that the average adult American consumes 100 calories on a daily basis from alcohol alone. Does that not sound like much? It’s actually about 16 percent of total daily calories.

Nutritionist Connie Diekman, in a report by HealthDay, explains that even 100 unneeded calories per day from alcohol translates to a ten pound per year weight gain.

Not surprisingly, men aged 20 to 29 had the highest rates of alcohol consumption at 174 calories per day, and their chosen drink was beer. One 12-ounce beer is 150 calories. The study found that six percent of women and 20 percent of men consume more than 300 calories from alcohol each day.

Of course, not everyone drinks every day, and even if they do, moderate alcohol consumption is not necessarily unhealthy. The catch is what kinds of alcohol Americans are drinking, because a glass of red wine is a lot different than a piña colada.

For the approaching holidays, cut out much of the unwanted weight gain by remembering that liquid calories count and restricting your alcohol consumption or by replacing unhealthy drinks with slimmed-down options. (more…)

Jillian Michaels is a “Light Workout Day” in Jennifer’s Weight Loss Journey

“I’ve dropped 7 points off my BMI,” was a recent tweet posted by Jennifer S. That’s quite an accomplishment, considering in February this year, she, standing at just over five-feet tall, weighed 301 pounds. As of last week, she’s down to 265 pounds!

We introduced Jennifer last month as she took her weight loss plans from just-getting-started to hitting-it-hard. We armed her with Jillian Michaels’ BodyMedia arm band and her new Body Revolution 12-DVD series, as well as plenty of her own determination. We’re pleased to hear she’s doing so well.

“I’m trying to keep it positive most of the time,” she told us about her journey so far. It can be a struggle when you have more than 100 pounds to lose, but with the right kind of attitude it can be a healthy adventure.

She’s still using Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution at levels one and two. She says you’re supposed to go up a level every two weeks, but she’s just not comfortable making that transition yet.

“It’s not geared toward someone in the obese category or with my knee problems,” Jennifer said of the DVD. She likes the workouts, tweets about how intense they are, but is also smart enough to listen to her body and not push herself to the danger zone (she had a partial knee replacement in June and has been cleared to workout by her doctor). She laughs telling us that she uses the Jillian DVDs for her “light days” on Wednesday and Sunday. “If you can imagine!” (more…)

Coffee and Alcohol May Increase Heartburn

If you’ve ever experienced heartburn and were left stumped as to what the cause was, perhaps you should turn your gaze toward the bottom of your cup – your coffee cup, that is.

Experts from the University of California, Los Angeles, are suggesting that alcohol and caffeinated beverages can have a direct effect on heartburn. This is because a ring of muscle located between the stomach and esophagus called the “lower esophageal sphincter” can be temporarily affected by alcohol and caffeine in some people.

As reported by NPR, UCLA gastroenterologist Kevin Ghassemi, explained that this muscle is meant to be closed at all times except for when food is passing into the esophagus. But because alcohol relaxes it, it creates an opening. And when this happens, he says, stomach acid can come back up into the esophagus, which is reflux – which is what causes the burning sensation we experience with heartburn.

Furthermore, Ghassemi makes the link to caffeine as well saying, “The caffeine that’s in coffee or other caffeinated beverages also will relax the sphincter muscle.”

If you’re one of the lucky few who doesn’t experience heartburn after consuming caffeine or alcohol, consider yourself normal. Ghassemi points out that some people are naturally predisposed due to a “weak or faulty sphincter muscle.” This, he says, can often be influenced by being overweight or obese because it increases the risk. (more…)

6 Problem Foods to Pass on and Healthier Swaps

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist for TheBestLife.com

French fries, cola, cocktails—in a perfect world, you’d be able to eat these foods even while trying to lose weight. It’s all about moderation, of course…but moderation is easier said than done. After all, who can stop at just seven fries or six ounces of soda?

I’ve found that it can be helpful to go the other direction—ban problem foods, at least for a while (Bob Greene recommends four weeks on his weight loss website TheBestLife.com). Doing so trains down your tastes, helps curb cravings, and teaches you to enjoy more healthful alternatives while cutting calories. Bob chose the foods below because they’re so universally problematic, but you can substitute your own particular problem foods.

1. Alcohol

After you’ve had a few (or even one), your resolve to eat well can start to waver. And don’t forget about the calories: Wine is about twice as caloric as soft drinks, while an 8-ounce margarita can contain a whopping 535 calories. (For more on how alcohol can interfere with weight loss, click here.)

Have instead: Sparkling water with a twist of lime (more…)

Moderate Drinking During Pregnancy May be OK, Study Suggests

I recently wrote a story about caffeine consumption during breastfeeding being practically harmless to children. And of that news, I was in near celebration. Within that article I also mentioned one of the other difficulties I anticipate during pregnancy being forgoing alcohol, as I’m a lover of wine and an occasional cocktail. But according to new research, that may not be as big of a concern.

A collection of Danish studies is suggesting that moderate amounts of alcohol during pregnancy does not appear to affect the child’s mental abilities.

To conduct these studies, researchers examined children up to the age of five whose mothers drank moderate amounts of alcohol while pregnant. The more than 1,600 Danish mothers involved in the study were an average age of 30 and each drank a varied number of alcoholic beverages during pregnancy.

While this type of study is rightfully viewed as dangerous, women in Denmark don’t generally consider slight drinking during pregnancy to be a health concern. A very small percentage of the women involved in the study were actually consuming large amounts of alcohol: almost half were abstaining completely; a small portion was consuming one to four drinks a week; around 175 were having five to eight drinks; and only 20 were consuming nine or more beverages a week. (more…)

The Year 2012 Brings Wild Yoga Trends to America

You might imagine how obscure yoga was in the advent of its day. With a few bearded men in caves secretly ‘oming’ themselves into higher states of consciousness, and barely a whisper of its benefits landing only on select ears, yoga used to be as rare as rain in the desert. Today it is highly unlikely that we will find a town without at least one yoga studio, and in some cities, there might even be a place to practice on every street

Enjoy yoga in a trance rave setting

corner. As one would expect with anything that explodes in popularity, people are putting their own spin on yoga, and looking for new ways to practice.

In the late 1960’s, several respected Indian gurus brought yoga to the west. America’s introduction to Kundalini, Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga created a small yet devout group of followers who practiced the traditional methods as taught from the masters. Sticking to the rigid principals and concepts, these classic styles of yoga attracted those with discipline and a strong desire to live a yogic lifestyle.

Today, yoga in America is a 6 billion dollar industry with over 16 million practitioners. Its popularity is mindboggling and the demographics of people who practice are extensive. From retired couch potatoes to retired athletes, yoga’s benefits are now seeping into the minds and bodies of all types.

Who knew that 5000 years after the birth of yoga we’d be throwing yoga parties, complete with champagne and glow sticks, teaching yoga to our four legged friends, and doing an inverted lotus pose whilst hanging from a silk hammock? The course that yoga has taken over the last forty years is truly fascinating.


Should Sugar be Regulated Just Like Tobacco and Alcohol?

35 million people die each year due to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The major risk factors causing these diseases are tobacco use, alcohol use, and poor diet. Two of these factors are regulated by the government: tobacco and alcohol. Professionals are now arguing that sugar is the other main culprit of these diseases and should also be put through the same regulations as alcohol and tobacco.

In the past 50 years the worldwide sugar consumption has tripled. This has contributed to an obesity epidemic. As a result, there are now 30 percent more obese people in the world than malnourished people.

Just in America alone, people are consuming nearly 500 calories a day in added sugar. That’s not naturally occuring sugars like the ones found in fruit, but food and drink with sugar specifically added in. Soda is a major source of this added sugar as the average American is is consuming 57 gallons of soda a year, over half on which is not diet or sugar free soda.


George Clooney Quitting Drinking Alcohol is a Great Choice

In a surprise announcement after last weekend’s Golden Globes, mega heartthrob George Clooney says he’s given up drinking.

The 50-year old movie star, who was awarded the Best Actor in a Motion Picture award, declared that he was not going to toast to his success with alcohol, saying that he’d like to give his liver a chance to catch up.

Clooney isn’t the only actor who has given up the sauce. He joins Daniel Radcliffe, Bradley Cooper, and Samuel L Jackson, all of whom have been teetotalers for impressive lengths of time, considering the field of employment that they enjoy.

Many people find that their lives are improved when they decide to give up drinking. It can be confusing, however, as the news frequently touts the benefits of enjoying a glass of red wine for heart health or other, similar reports. Many of us are conflicted as to if we should drink at all, and how much is too much. Are there health benefits to drinking alcohol?


Alcohol and Drug Addicts Benefit from Yoga for Recovery

One out of eight Americans are addicted to alcohol or drugs. Of those with a substance abuse problem, at least 40 percent have a contemporaneous mental disorder of some type. While the root of addictive behavior varies from person to person, studies show correlations between an inability to process emotions and cope with stress in a healthy manner, and subsequent misuse of alcohol and drugs.

The estimated cost to our country in direct relation to alcoholics and drug addicts is over 250 billion dollars annually. With 70 percent of illegal drug users that are employed, the expense of substance abuse caused accidents, absenteeism and decreased productivity is on the rise. Health care costs are 300 percent higher for untreated alcoholics versus non-alcoholics.

Addiction treatment centers and agendas such as Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12 Step Program aim to minimize a person’s drive to drink alcohol or use drugs by addressing psychological and mental health issues. Using therapy techniques to calm, soothe and diminish anxiety, these programs are deemed helpful for those needing assistance.