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What you need to know about the Effects of Alcohol After 40

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Let’s talk about alcohol! Alcohol is everywhere and socially accepted substance, yet it can have some unique challenges for women over 40. Women in their 40s and beyond may find themselves navigating menopause, career shifts, empty nesting, and evolving social dynamics. Understanding the intersection of alcohol and women over 40 is crucial for recognizing the potential risks, making informed choices, and promoting overall health. So how can women maintain a healthy balance in their lives when it comes to alcohol? 

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I get this question a lot! People are always asking me, “Kim, what do you think about alcohol?”   So, I am going to give you my thoughts today.  Chances are most of us have had a drink or 2 and I know that many wonder what are the effects of alcohol and how come you can’t bounce back like you used to be able to back in the day? At this age, you are undergoing a variety of physiological changes, and this is going to impact how your organs metabolize alcohol.  Which makes you feel more hungover than you did back in the day.

What exactly is happening?
I have a drink, I digest it, and I am now digesting a toxin.  There is no medicinal use of alcohol, it is a straight-up toxin!  So you take a drink, my body digests it and my stomach is like, “hmm.. Idk what this is so I’ll send it to the liver.”  The liver is like, “I don’t know what this is so let’s send it to the fat storage.”  This is a toxin so every other digestive process will shut down until the liver to get rid of the toxin.  It then breaks down into the chemical acetate.  When I drink that acetate and I am someone who works out. My body is going to BURN that first.  That is a fuel source, and your body is going to say, “Oh, I need to burn this first because it burns fastest.” If you are someone who is trying to lose weight and you can’t, I want you to say how many drinks are you having? If I am drinking daily, my body is focusing primarily on burning that acetate.  For many people, it can take as long as 48 hours to 4 days depending on how much you drink!

If you are someone who is trying to lose weight. You need to think about how much you are drinking.
I am never going to tell you that you can’t drink, but you cannot drink every day as it will be a slower effort if trying to lose weight.  If you have excess belly fat. How much are you drinking? If you are trying to reach your goals, how strongly are you committed to hitting those goals?

As you age, the overall fluid we have in our body starts to decrease.  When you are over 65 you are overall prime to being dehydrated and you have to increase your hydration.  We all know alcohol is a dehydrator.  So have a drink, then water and keep doing it so it’s not just alcohol and there is some hydration taking place.

And because alcohol can cross the blood-brain barrier, your metabolism becomes less efficient. And it can really impact our brains.  It is one of those things that contribute to Alzheimer’s. Long-time drinking can lead to various forms of dementia. It has a bigger impact on our brain first before the liver.  Because it passes the blood-brain barrier it makes our cognitive functions, judgment, planning, and reasoning impairs them greatly.

Alcohol is also a depressant also, so it can heighten anxiety and depression if you present with it.  It can impact inflammation around our bodies as well.  Many of us see ones that are so puffy and inflamed if they are drinking regularly.  There is this extra layer of water underneath them.

Our hormones are also getting wonky over 40.  Because my hormones are getting wonky, we have more chances of having heart issues. And when our estrogen levels vary, our heart is at risk.  Alcohol raises our blood pressure which increases the chance of having a stroke or heart attack.  Alcohol also prohibits our body from pumping blood efficiently, which can lead to irregular heartbeats and potential heart failure.

Overall.. My health.. How is it? Because your health is your wealth!

Weight… let’s look at this.
With alcohol, there are calories. There are also toxins/alcohol in it.  If I continue to eat and drink in excess of my calorie intake, I will continue to gain weight because guess what?? Alcohol has 7 calories per gram of alcohol in it.  That is not to include if you are drinking a frothy drink, pina colada, etc.  As my body digests the alcohol, as soon as it’s recognized in my stomach, your body is shutting down all other digestive processes to get rid of it.

Our body will digest the wine before the protein and vegetables.  That is why we see an increase in belly fat and you can get that beer belly like men can get.  Our Leptin hormone is affected also with drinking. That is the hormone that is judgment. It tells us to STOP eating.  If Leptin is suppressed, Ghrelin will say eat and eat, judgment is off so if it’s not nailed down it’s going in my mouth!

I don’t want anyone to think they can’t have a drink again.  I want to paint this picture as to what happens to us over 40.  There is hope! There is something we can do on the other side.  Maybe try some non-alcoholic drinks!  There are a lot of alcohol-free wines and liquors that have come out.  Surely Wines is one of my favorite ones!  It doesn’t taste like grape juice; it tastes like wine! (Use this link to get 15% off your first order with code kimjeffersoncoach.)  There are also other alcohols that have come out with lower alcohol content, alcohol free etc.

Champagne is a better way to go as well because it has less sugar than wine and can be low alcohol!

Here is the thing, stay away from mixing your drinks and have a gap drink as water between. Take your time and relish in what you are having versus pounding it down and boozing it up! I just want to emphasize the importance of just being mindful with alcohol.  I love a glass of wine or espresso martini, but I am conscious of my health.  I do my best to stay away from it.  But I want you to think about what your goals are and what are some things we can tweak? Tweaking doesn’t mean giving up. It’s just shifting little things.  Where is the give and the take for what my goals are?

I hope you are inspired to make informed choices. I present the information and you can make an educated choice based on your situation!  How can we do our best?

LINKS

Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/kimbarnesjeffersoncoach

Facebook Group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/fitgirlmagic/

Website:
https://www.kimbarnesjefferson.com/

Podcast:
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/fit-girl-magic-healthy-living-for-women-over-40/id1476883661

Is it Time to Question Your Relationship With Alcohol? – Podcast: https://chtbl.com/track/479199/traffic.libsyn.com/secure/fitgirlmagic/Ep.203820-20Podcast.mp3

Alcohol and Weight Loss How To Keep It Simple -Podcast: 
https://chtbl.com/track/479199/traffic.libsyn.com/secure/fitgirlmagic/Ep206120-20Final20Podcast.mp3

FREE Alcohol Resource Guide: How to make alcohol work with your weight loss:
https://kimbarnesjefferson.lpages.co/alcohol-resource-guide

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