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Alcohol Wrecking your Fitness Program?

You will often hear me talk about water, water, water… blah, blah, blah.. And how you can never get enough of it. Yes I can sound like a broken because I feel staying hydrated is that important to your success.

Today I am going to talk about that “other” drink of choice for many people…. ALCOHOL.

Before I dive in, let me just say that contrary to popular belief, alcohol is NOT one of the essential food groups. Now that I have that off my chest, here we go…

Alcohol has NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE and adding these empty calories can (and most likely will) slow down your progress. HOWEVER, I do understand that it is unrealistic to think that people won’t drink when trying to lose weight.

Another potential side effect of alcohol…

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Honestly, I don’t really care if someone does or doesn’t drink. All I do care about is that you understand how alcohol can inhibit your progress.

Consider this… We all know to lose 1 lb of body fat, you need to burn 3,500 more calories than you consume.

  • 1 glass of wine per day (125 calories x 365 days = 45,625 calories / 3,500) is an extra 13 lbs worth of calories. That is also assuming you are having a 5 oz serving of wine… Don’t lie to yourself, you know you like it when the bartender is generous.
  • 1 bottle of bud light per day (110 calories x 365 days = 40,150 calories / 3,500) is an extra 11.5 lbs worth of calories.

Now before you jump to conclusions and tell me that you don’t drink “every night”, don’t forget to add in that frozen margarita from Saturday night… BAM!

  • 1 frozen margarita a WEEK can add another 7.5 lbs to your belt over a year.
  • 1 gin and tonic or 1 gin martini a week would “only” add 3 lbs per year.
  • Maybe you avoid alcohol during the week but like to put a few back on the weekends. 3 Bud Lights on both a Friday and Saturday night would add up to 10 lbs worth of calories over a year.

As a side note, this doesn’t even take into account the negative effects alcohol has been shown to have on metabolism, testosterone levels or sleep, all of which can effect your fat loss.

Do you feel better now? LOL

As I said before, if you want to drink, that is completely your choice… By all means, drink away! I have absolutely no problem with someone that wants to enjoy alcohol. I really just want you to understand the effects of that decision on your body and how that will impact your ability to decrease your body fat. 

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So what do you do??? Yep, I read your mind didn’t I! Well as I mentioned before, I know giving up alcohol might go against your religion so I put together a few helpful tips to try and keep you from completely wrecking yourself physically…

  • Moderation. For those that don’t know what that word means, I am talking about limiting your number of drinks. Just because you have one drink doesn’t mean you should chalk the night up as a loss and act like a 21 year old at a frat party. 
  • Be aware of serving size. Actual beverage serving sizes are: 1.5 fl oz in a mixed drink, 5 fl oz of wine and 12 fl oz of beer
  • Look out for the mixers! Try substituting soda and juice for half juice, half soda water. 
  • Keep healthy snacks close. If you feel the need to drink, don’t add fuel to the fire by adding a bunch of calories from junk food. 
  • Alternate with water. Hopefully I sold you on the importance of drinking water a few days ago. If you are going to be out and about, add in some water to keep you hydrated and slow down the liquid calorie intake. 
If you are going to consume alcohol, consider these some of the lesser of two evils…
  • 6 oz. Rum and Diet Coke – 65 calories (1 oz. rum, 5 oz. Diet Coke)
  • 6 oz. Vodka and Soda – 65 calories (1 oz. vodka, 5 oz. soda water)
  • 10 oz. Bloody Mary – 180 calories (2 oz. vodka,8 oz. tomato juice, dash of tabasco and pepper)
  • 7.5 oz. Gin & Diet Tonic – 115 calories (1.5 oz. gin, 6 oz. diet tonic)
  • 12 oz. Guinness Draught – 126 calories
  • 12 oz. Bud Light – 110 calories
  • 4 oz. Cabernet Sauvignon – 90 calories
  • 4 oz. Chardonnay – 90 calories
  • 4 oz Dry Champagne – 105 calories

As I mentioned above, if you want to drink by all means have at it! If you are struggling to find that balance between being able to consume a few cocktails and working to improve your fitness, hopefully you now have a few ideas on how to balance the two.

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