I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to cut alcohol out of your life entirely. I’ve never been the personal trainer that says you can’t drink or eat anything. Why? Because I practise what I preach. Yes, I eat chocolate and I love to have a beer with my friends, but I also know my limits, I train hard and I eat a balanced diet.
Yes, you can drink alcohol and lose weight.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t ideal and definitely not a green light to open a bottle of wine tonight or slam 8 espresso martinis after work this Friday! Balance and moderation however is pretty important. So enjoy yourself but also be conscious of the consequences if you party a little too much.
Why drinking (too much) alcohol will slow your weight loss.
The truth is that, even if you eat super healthy most of the time, too much alcohol can hinder your weight loss and often leads to weight gain. But the good news is that you can still enjoy a drink without sabotaging your weight loss goals. But first, you should understand how (and why) alcohol can slow your weight loss if you don’t approach it in the right way…
The ‘sciency’ bit - Normally your body burns your fat reserves to get the energy it needs, which is exactly what you want when you’re trying to lose weight. The problem with drinking alcohol while you’re following a weight loss plan, is that booze provides a quicker, more accessible form of energy for your body than fat does, and your body will always go for the quickest and easiest energy source!
If you want to enjoy a social drink and stick to your weight goals, then it’s about finding a healthy balance, so you can ensure your body will still burn fat for fuel.
Why you should avoid high fat meals or snacks if you’re having a drink.
If weight loss is your main goal and you’re generally doing all the right things to actively lose weight, then here is my biggest piece of advice: avoid eating high-fat or high calorie foods while you’re drinking.
The problem with fatty foods is that they contain a lot of calories, and eating high-calorie foods when you’re also consuming a lot of calories from alcohol means your body is going to double-up on the excess energy and ultimately store it somewhere on your body. And since alcohol supplies plenty of easy energy to your body, all the calories from those tasty, late-night chips are likely to be sent straight into your fat cells for ‘safekeeping’!
That’s why eating fatty or high-calorie meals while you’re drinking alcohol really hurts your weight loss goals. Because not only do you still have to work off the weight you wanted to lose, you’re going to have to work twice as hard to burn off the new fat collected first!
How to enjoy a few glasses of booze without stalling your weight loss.
All my members have never received a program that tells you that you shouldn’t drink at all, because that’s simply not a sustainable (or enjoyable) way to live for many. It’s all about finding the right balance, so keep on reading and I’ll give you some healthy tips on how to drink socially, and still lose weight.
Balance and moderation.
If you want to lose weight then you need your body to use your fat for fuel. But you also know (if you read my explanation above) that drinking too much alcohol can slow your weight loss, or even reverse it. So, how do you enjoy a glass or two with friends and family without slowing your weight loss goals?
Moderation is the key to enjoying a drink, staying healthy and still being able to lose weight. So, with that said, here are 5 tips to help you enjoy the occasional beer or wine and still achieve your weight loss goals.
#1. If you drink, don’t go overboard.
When it comes to a sustainable healthy lifestyle, I don’t believe you should have to cut any food group from your diet, including an occasional glass or two of your favourite alcoholic drink. So plan ahead. Before you go out, have a drink limit in mind and make a commitment to yourself to stick to it. Stay strong.
#2. Pick a healthier drink option.
Sure, that white chocolate espresso martini sounds delicious but it’s jam-packed with sugar and you’re going to drink a lot of unnecessary calories. One way to have a few alcoholic drinks and still lose weight is to choose your drinks wisely. You can reduce how many liquid calories you consume by ordering a clear spirit with soda water, or swap out your cocktail for a glass of wine.
A standard 142ml/5oz glass of wine (like a pinot grigio or pinot noir) is usually around 120 calories, whereas an espresso martini cocktail could be around 300 calories per drink!
#3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water. Not only will this re-hydrate you, but you may find that you get used to sipping on h20, and you don’t feel the need for another beer or wine.
Sometimes we just want to have a glass in our hand during social events, but we don’t really feel the need to drink. That’s one of the reasons why soda water with fresh lime is my favourite non-alcoholic beverage (and you can tell that pushy friend who’s always up for a big night that you’ve got vodka in that soda and lime!).
Sometimes we just want to have a glass in our hand during social events but we don’t really feel the need to drink. Soda and lime is a great option here!
#4. Don’t skip your usual workout – work hard, play hard!
Get your workout done first thing in the morning before your big night out and have a workout scheduled for the next morning. You’re much less likely to go overboard if you know you’re already booked to go to a 9am spin class with a friend! Or, simply plan a long walk outside the following day. Plenty of Vitamin D, paracetamol to hand(just in case) and a 2 litre bottle of water.
#5. Don’t skip meals (but don’t go too heavy either)
A mistake people make is that they’ll skip dinner to compensate for the liquid calories they’re going to consume. This is totally fine but not always the answer!
A healthy dinner full of lean protein vegetables and good fats before you head out, this will help you slow down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. It will also help you keep your cool before the Uber ride home and potentially resist the late-night Kebab run.