Nutrition

Alcohol and your diet

I hear quite often people talk about their new diet they are on literally as they are sipping on an alcoholic beverage. The problem is, if losing weight and being healthier is your ultimate goal, alcohol is only counteracting this.

Now, don’t get me wrong. When I myself am off-season and in a maintenance or gain phase I will have a couple social drinks here and there if I am out with friends or at a dinner. But the macros are always accounted for as part of my caloric intake for the day. So I usually allow myself what I can spare ahead of time. Since alcohol isn’t one of the macronutrients that I track, I always drink with zero calorie mixers and count the alcohol itself as a fat. This is because fat has the highest caloric expenditure (9 calories for each gram) and alcohol is technically 7 so fat is a little closer than a carb (4 calories per gram). So basically if a shot of vodka has 100 calories and I use a zero calorie mixer, I will count 11g of fat for that drink.

Now, as you can see 11g of fat for one drink is quite a bit. So I usually don’t have more than a couple in the occasional night that I go out. And this is only in a gain or maintenance phase. If you are cutting or trying to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight, alcohol is a bad idea in any form. I don’t care how much celery or carrots you’re eating at the party, if you are throwing back a couple drinks per hour, you may as well eat some fries while you’re at it. That one night of drinks could potentially turn your entire weeks caloric deficit into a surplus. I recently saw this meme on social media and it is the perfect visual for what I am describing so I thought I would share.

As you can see, routine bad choices on the weekends will negate all the good choices you made all week long. With a few drinks always comes bad snack or meal choices too. I am guilty of it myself which is another why I limit my consumption of alcohol.

Now, briefly let’s talk about the other issue with alcohol. Your body considers alcohol to be a poison. Once that alcohol enters your body, all of your organs work together to get rid of it (hence all the trips to the potty). So these organs stop the normal process it usually takes when you eat. All it can focus on is breaking down the alcohol and getting it out of your system. So your liver should be turning fat into energy but it’s busy clearing out toxins from the alcohol so the fat is going to have to stay. Not good.

So if you are trying to lose weight, trying to be healthier, starting a new diet, there is no room for the regular consumption of alcohol. Part of your diet needs to be learning to control your drinking. Learn how to socialize with minimal or no alcohol. Ask yourself, why do I need to drink 5 to 10 drinks to feel good or have fun? All the workouts and diets in the world won’t help you achieve your goals with a bad relationship with alcohol. You really can’t cheat this system. Yes you can pick a lower calorie drink to have a drink here and there. But they still add up quickly and have negative effects on your bodily processes regardless.

Yes this is a challenge. Challenge yourself to change all of your bad diet habits, drinks and food. See for yourself how much quicker you will achieve your goals.🙂

Side note: IF you are on competition prep, alcohol is definitely a no-no. Think of it this way, your competition is not out drinking and you don’t want to lose all that hard work for bad decisions and going out with friends. Save it for gain season 🙂.

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