Alcohol and weight / fat loss
Alcohol consumption and weight / fat loss are usually a big NO NO….. Come on, lets not be boring!!! Even I would not bother if dieting meant I could not drink…. whaaaaaaaaat!
Here is my personal overview to help you and I hope you breathe a sigh of relief as you read ths 🙂
So, the factors to consider when drinking alcohol:
Remember weight / fat loss is all about ENERGY BALANCE – calories in VS calories out so fewer calories need to be going in then the calories that are burnt off! You will know this from my prevous articles which you can also review at www.preafitness.com/news
Alcohol contains many ’empty’ calories (calories that our body does not benefit from in any way) with a few drinks (depending on the drinks you chose) very soon adding up to over 500 calories. But again, lets not be boring… lets just be aware of that fact!
A night out, out (I am sure you have heard this one) can sabotage all your hard work during the week and in the gym from all the calories consumed whether you drink beer, wine, cocktails or spirits they are all just empty calories.
Furthermore, it is often not just about the ’empty’ alcohol calories… very often after drinking people then eat high calorie foods at the end of the night and the next day hungover… this can
rack up 000’s of calories very easily therefore causing a lot of damage to the hard work prior.
Think about it, at the end of the night how often do you forget everything and end up in a takeaway or rading the kitchen cupboards for anything you can find then the next day feel like you need to dive into a load of food to make your hangover go away when all you really need is to drink water ad rehydrate!! Try water next time… and we all know there will be a next time he he!
An example of a week;
- Lets say your fat / weight loss calories are 1,600 a day and you do this Monday to Friday
- ….then you go out Saturday drinking 600 calories in addition to your 1,600 calorie allowance (alcohol – empty calories)
- … and then you eat another 700 calories (takeaway) then the next day feeling hungover you consume another 2,200 calories (when your plan is 1,600 calories)
- This means your weekly calories should be 11,200 but you end up having 13,100 calories (1,900 calories above your weekly target!!!)
- … which could be putting you in a calorie surplus leading to WEIGHT / FAT GAIN!
- However, if you can have a couple of social drinks and not eat a high calorie takeaway and hangover food the next day then of course this is balance 🙂
Your exercise performance is also affected by alcohol.
Alcohol is a diuretic causing you to become dehydrated; a hangover is essentially a severe form of dehydration. Dehydration negatively affects physical performance e.g. exercise and you won’t be able to train at your usual standard. A session then next day after drinking is a redundant session.
When metabolising alcohol, the liver cannot produce as much glucose, leading to lower blood sugar levels. However, exercise requires high levels of blood sugar and therefore if the liver isn’t producing a sufficient level of glucose then performance will be reduced further.
Therefore, alcohol consumption should be avoided completely when trying to lose weight, drop body fat, get fit…?
I personally believe life is about BALANCE and EVERYTHING in MODERATION.
I coach my personal clients about BALANCE and MODERATION and NOTHING should be excluded from a diet and anything in moderation is fine.
Life is to be enjoyed and if you cut the thing you enjoy completely ten you wont enjoy the journey you are on…. will it be sustainable?
- DRINKS: chose your drinks wisely: spirits and low calorie mixer are the best option as they contain the least calories (e.g. vodka and soda, gin and slim tonic)
- PLANNING: plan your social drinking event: plan specific dates you chose to drink rather than make it
a regular thing… e.g a special night out, or on holiday chose 3,4 days out of 7 – thus limiting your alcohol consumption
- THINK: plan your calories making space for alcohol consumption by reducing your intake of carbs and fats on that day and possibly the day after
- ENJOY: balance and flexibility are key to success in your diet and you shouldn’t restrict yourself from having fun and being social!
- Everything in moderation, life is about balance… when you learn how to moderate and balance you will achieve your goals.
I love GIN AND TONIC personally; my favourite being Hendricks and cucumber…. yummy!