Let’s talk about most people’s 2 favourite topics – Alcohol and fat loss!
We’re the first to admit we are partial to a *few* espresso martinis and a good bottle of red… However, if you drink every weekend and your primary goal is fat loss you may want to think twice!
Alcohol STOPS Your Body Burning Fat
When you drink – your body’s response is to get rid of the toxin. Your liver, which has the job of burning fat and carbs for energy switches to focus on burning off the alcohol – meaning there is no fat burn. This actually doesn’t last very long (just until the alcohol is out of your system) dependant on how much you drink, but it will hit the pause button on your body’s function.
Alcohol is not an essential macronutrient, BUT, it does contain calories – 7 calories per gram to be precise. Compare that to 4 calories per gram of carbs or protein and 9 calories per gram of fat.
1 average measure of:
- Vodka, rum, gin or tequila: 100 calories
- Beer: 150 calories
- Wine: 120 to 125 calories
- Champagne: 85 calories
- Martini: 120 to 150 calories
- Mojito: 150 calories
- Pina colada: 500 calories
- Margarita: 170 calories
Keep in mind that most of us way over do the average ‘measure’ when pouring drinks and it quickly adds up, even when you just have ‘a few’!
All week, you’re on point and eating exactly to your plan, but after a few drinks this can often go a bit pear shaped and YOLO… Whilst it can be OK to eat off plan when dieting as discussed with your coach and accounted for / planned – If you are doing this every weekend you could be taking in more than enough calories to defeat your deficit you worked so hard to achieve through the week!
Increased Appetite & Questionable Decisions
The main danger of alcohol to your fat loss is not just making bad food choices – it can also cause you to eat way more than you typically would. When your body is focused on breaking down the alcohol in your system it can cause blood sugar to drop which kicks up your appetite! (Be aware – The questionable decisions also applies to other areas ;)…)
Are you saying we can’t ever drink if we want to achieve our goals?
In short – no, of course not. BUT it does depend on your goals – If you are on comp prep it’s not acceptable to say ‘I am swapping my carbs for wine’ – It’s not gonna fly and your results will be affected. In a regular dieting phase however, you can enjoy a few drinks as you like, this post is purely to draw your attention to how it might affect your results temporarily and make you more mindful of taking damage limitation measures.
- Drink in moderation;
- Choose lower calorie drinks where possible (spirits and diet mixer, ‘skinny’ versions of your favourites)
- Avoid overeating & consciously try to stick to sensible food choices
Shan & MVD xx