I have a strange feeling today’s topic is going to be HOT for most of you. Alcohol is a big part of many lives whether that means socially and we’ve been told time and time again that if you want to lose fat you have to give it up. Is that true? NOPE. You can still enjoy drinks and alcohol, to an extent.
Alcohol is not going to help you lose weight, but in moderation, it’s not going to hurt. The problem is the moderation issue and control. That’s the same with food. Alcohol can still be a part of your plan and not derail your goals, that is if you’re smart and plan your consumption and keep things moderate.
I think there’s many benefits to having alcohol, minus the hangovers and waking up next to someone you don’t know…(Just kidding). It provides social benefits, stress relief, and relaxation.
How do you drink alcohol and lose fat at the same time? MODERATION. I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. You can’t go on all out drinking binges every week and expect to hit your fat loss goals. Remember, a calorie deficit is what’s needed to lose and you can still manage that and still have drinks.
Here’s the problem. It’s usually not the alcohol that’s the issue. It’s the “I’m drunk now I’m hungry so I’m going to binge on food late night giving me 1000-2000 extra calories for my day that I hadn’t planned on. Over Consuming=weight gain.
You need to find that middle ground for yourself, allowing you to still enjoy alcohol, yet not derail you too much from your goals and especially now that the Holidays are here it becomes more prevalent. I want you to be aware that if you plan on drinking a few nights per week and having 4+ drinks, expect slower progress. Bottom line. First thing is you need to figure out how quickly you want to progress and how much you want to drink.
Once you figure that out then things become easier. So how do we make this work?
Honestly if you’re a social drinker who drinks a few times a month or not much then you really don’t need to worry. If you have a rockstar social life or drink semi-regular then pay attention. Here are a few rules to go by when wanting to lose weight and still drink alcohol:
- You have to count your drinks as calories. I’d give yourself, or save yourself 500-800 calories for drinks if that’s what you’re planning on. Usually you’re on the safe side that way. You will not gain weight from alcohol if you’re in a calorie deficit so adding those calories in is going to help you determine how much those drinks are worth it:)
- Get in protein/veggies early in the day
If you’re heading for a night out, fill yourself up on protein/veggies early in the day. This will help keep you full and potentially avoiding a late night pizza binge, but also allow you to get your protein in and micronutrients to allow for flexibility later on.
- Choose lower calorie drinks. Seriously margaritas are like 500 calories so unless you’re only planning on having 1-2 of those high calorie, high sugar, high sweet drinks it’s best to stay on the lower side. Light beers, liquor mixed with zero calorie mixers (diet soda, water) are great choices.
Once again I’m going to repeat the word MODERATION. Fitness and health and weight loss and all that stuff is not meant to be a miserable process. You should be able to enjoy yourself, have drinks socially, and not have it interfere with your goals. If you practice the strategies I’ve listed above and make good choices, trust me, you’ll be able to have your social life, enjoy the drinks, and continue to crush your weight loss goals.