It very well may be.
Holidays = social events.
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's...there's a lot going on within this three-month span.
From themed parties to Friendsgiving to more time with family, it just doesn't stop and more get-togethers mean more food and definitely more alcohol.
But...more alcohol could lead to fatty gains and less productivity.
We're not saying alcohol is the devil, but we're here to shoot you the facts.
AMERICANS DOUBLE DOWN DURING THE HOLIDAYS
A 2018 survey tells us that...
Americans are bottoms up for most of the holidays, Thanksgiving through New Years, when compared to their normal alcohol intake during non-holiday months.
2,000 Americans were surveyed on their holiday socializing and drinking behaviors and on average participants will drink 100% more during these months.
On average, respondents drank 4 alcoholic drinks per week in the off-season, but consumption doubled to an average of 8 alcoholic drinks per week from the increased tempo of social gatherings during the holidays.
Think about all the gatherings you go to from Thanksgiving to New Years - all the work parties, gatherings with friends, family parties (on both sides of the family), dinner outings, themed parties...
The list never ends and neither does the flow of alcohol...
...and with more alcohol, comes more rough mornings.
With the influx of parties and late nights came an increased number of late-to-work mornings or not even making it all.
On average participants were;
- Late to work 3 times over the course of the holidays.
- "Sick" or in other terms too hungover to make it into work twice over the season.
36% of participants felt the holiday blues from these rough mornings brought on by the holiday booze!
Well, shit...hangovers aren't something to celebrate and it typically means you're either a lightweight or you pounded the booze too hard.
If you're the latter, you probably racked up a tab on top of that.
The average American spends $241 a month on social cocktails and outings, but this number more than doubles to $537 during the holiday season.
So with more hangovers, less productivity, and less money, we'd have the blues too!
MORE ALCOHOL = MORE FAT
This is where weight gain comes in and it's straight from Dr. Rhonda Patrick herself...
Excessive alcohol drinking promotes visceral fat aka belly fat!
We're sure you're familiar with the term "beer belly" and this is where it comes from.
Binge drinkers, people who drink several drinks per session and engage in several sessions per week have more belly fat and larger waistlines.
Aside from a big ole belly...
More belly fat doubles your risk of premature death and increases your chances of getting cancer and heart disease by 44%.
Keep this in mind this holiday season.
CURB THE CRAVINGS WITH EXERCISE
With the holidays near, there will be lots of booze and lots of temptation.
We're not shaming a drink here and there, but depending on your discipline, alcohol can be a slippery slope...
Luckily you can use vigorous exercise to curb cravings and reduce consumption thanks to a hormone called FGF21.
Here's more facts from Dr. Rhonda:
1) FGF21 is a hormone produced in the liver and fatty tissues, but can also be produced in the muscles during exercise.
2) FGF21 alters dopamine signaling - which is a key process in the brain's reward pathways and alcohol-seeking behavior.
3) Increased blood levels of FGF21 have been observed after;
- Acute Exercise
- Long Term Fasting
- Very Low Calorie Diets
- Excessive Carb Intake
- Alcohol Consumption
4) Vigorous exercise boosted levels of FGF21;
- FGF21 increased after 15 minutes of exercise.
- Peaked after 60 minutes of exercise.
- Returned to baseline two hours after exercise.
5) FGF21 tells our brains whether to drink more alcohol or not.
6) Increased levels of FGF21 decreased alcohol consumption by 50%.
Summary: The more FGF21 you have in your blood, the less you'll want to drink.
So hit the gym before the holiday parties and remember what the doctor said, vigorous exercise, put your phone away and get sweat it out.
WHAT EXACTLY DOES "VIGOROUS" MEAN?
It's a combination of aerobic exercise and intensity.
Sure brisk walking is technically "cardio", but it lacks the intensity to be qualified as vigorous and increase your levels of FGF21.
To hit the sweet spot, turn up the intensity in these activities:
- Aerobic Circuits
- Endurance Running
- Endurance Training
- Stair Master or Elliptical Machines (if you have no other choice)
Think about it...once you finish a tough workout, would you rather reach for a protein shake or vodka soda?
We know what we'll be reaching for...
Americans drink twice as much alcohol during the holidays, but over-indulgences can lead to;
- Fatty Gains
- Larger Waistlines
- Premature Death
- Increased Chances of Cancer
Luckily, studies have shown that exercise can help you overcome these indulgences and prevent cravings to reduce your alcohol consumption.
So before you go out, schedule in your workout and plan out what time you'll be home to keep your ass in check.