When I was in high school I worked at the cutest coffee shop in Medford, WI. One of the drinks we offered was a French soda, which is basically bubbly water with a shot of a flavor of your choice with some heavy cream mixed in and topped with Ready Whip.
I like to serve drinks like this to my friends in cute glasses to make it feel like a special drinks without the alcohol.
I also get asked why I do not recommend alcohol. I wrote a whole sub-chapter on alcohol in my book Keto-Adapted, so I won’t bore you here with the depressing details of that. But I would like to summarize a few points:
1. Fat metabolism is reduced by around 73% after only two alcoholic beverages in a one-hour time period. This scary fact shows that the worst thing about alcohol is not so much how many calories it contains, but how it stops your body from using your fat stores for energy.
2. When alcohol is consumed, the body converts it into a substance called acetate. Studies find that blood levels of acetate are 2.5 times higher than normal after only two drinks. This quick rise in blood acetate puts the brakes on fat burning.
3. The more you drink, the more you tend to eat. Unfortunately, drinking will make your liver work to convert the alcohol into acetate, which means that the foods you consume at this time will be converted into extra fat on your body.
4. Alcohol decreases your testosterone levels for up to 24 hours after you finish drinking. Athletes make a huge mistake by lifting weights the morning before a night of drinking in order to “earn their calories.” As you lift weights, you break down your muscle; as you rest, you rebuild muscle and get more muscle … but you need testosterone in order for this to happen. Therefore, if you work out really hard Friday morning and binge drink Friday night, you will wake up on Saturday morning with a slower metabolism than you had on Friday! Alcohol causes a quicker aromatization of androgens into estrogens, which explains why men who are heavy drinkers often get gynecomastia (enlarged breasts) over a period of time. A “beer belly” isn’t really a beer belly, it is an “estrogen belly!”
5. We all know that alcohol dehydrates us. In order for fat to be metabolized, it must first be released from the fat cell and then be transported by the bloodstream, where it is pushed to the liver to be used as fuel. If you are dehydrated, the liver has to come to the aid of the kidneys and can’t focus on its role of releasing fat. Hydration is important to pay attention to when starting off a keto-adapted low-carb diet because excess ketones are released through the kidneys along with a lot of liquid. This is one reason why “low-carbers” will complain of headaches and low energy at first: their diet isn’t a “well-formulated” program. You need to intentionally increase your liquids to at least half your body weight in ounces, and increase your sodium intake as well. You should be taking more than that at first, but once you are well into your keto-adapted state, you should aim for that amount.
Hydration has a lipolytic, or fat-burning, effect. Research clearly demonstrates that dieters who consume a lot of water have increased lipolysis. When you drink water, especially ice-cold water, your body burns calories in order to bring the water to body temperature, but that increase doesn’t amount to all that much. Your blood also dilutes for a bit until the water equilibrates with the fluid in all the tissues, an effect that takes some time. When the blood is diluted, the amount of various substances traveling in the bloodstream decreases, which means that insulin levels fall. Blood volume is about 5 L. If you drink a liter of water, this will momentarily increase the blood volume by about 20%, and therefore cause the concentration of insulin and other molecules in the blood to fall by 20%. A 20% drop in insulin levels allows fat to release from the fat cells and enables transit into the mitochondria for burning.
6. Is that enough reason to skip that glass of wine at night? If not, one more fact: grapes are one of the most pesticide-sprayed fruits. Where does wine come from? Grapes, and it is very concentrated. So when you drink wine, you are ingesting a lot of pesticides, too.
Read more on hydration, hormones, liver health and much much more in Keto-Adapted.
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Thank you all for your love and support!
Why not make this yummy bubbly drink instead for your New Years gathering!
- 2 cups fizzy water (from Soda Streamer or LaCroix Mineral water (any flavor)
- 1 tsp fruit punch stevia (or other flavor)
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
- Coconut cream (or organic whipping cream), whipped (sweetened with a touch of Swerve confectioners or stevia glycerite)
- Limes or Lemon slices
- Mix together the fizzy water, flavor of your choice, unsweetened almond/coconut milk in a concoction of pure yumminess.
- Top with sweetened coconut cream (or real cream if not dairy sensitive) and a slice of lime/lemon.
Traditional French Soda = 105 calories, 0g fat, 0g protein, 27.4g carbs, 0g fiber
"Healthified" French Soda = 15 calories, 0g fat, 0g protein, 0g carbs, 0g fiber
Testimony of the Day
“Good morning Maria, I had to share some exciting news with you! This morning I weighed myself like I always so and for the first time in over three years, I weighed UNDER 200lbs. 199!!! It’s been three and a half weeks since I started eating your way and reading your metabolism book.
I just got your HAQ assessment over the weekend and finally just got all the supplements in the mail yesterday. I have lost 24lbs in 3.5 weeks but most of all I feel incredible and have a healthy happy relationship with food that I have never had before. I know this is just the beginning, but I had to share my milestone with you! I had many days before I found you that I thought I would NEVER weigh under 200 again. You have given me hope and empowered me to take back my health. Thank you!! With my warmest regards, Shauna”
“Maria, I just have to give you a BIG BIG thank you! I just started your 30 day meal plan and in 2 weeks, I’ve dropped 11 pounds total. I can definitely tell and it’s making me super excited to keep going. I am NOT hungry ever and I love how easy it is to follow. It takes all the pain and thinking out of the planning. It’s so, so simple and fail proof. I am learning how to eat proper proportions and and what to eat and when. I hate calorie counting and never wanted to do that. This was definitely the best thing I’ve ever done. Thank you girl. You are a huge inspiration.” -Rebecca
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