You are trying to lose some fat, but don’t want to be a party pooper and drink water every time you go out. I get it.
Is it possible to still drink alcohol AND continue losing bodyfat/weight? Yes, but you also need to remain aware of your decisions and the rest of your night/weekend/party.
It’s not as simple as “oh just drink vodka sodas all night, and you will lose weight!” It’s all about strategy and making it work for you.
Here are the 2 factors that will hurt you, and tips that can help you make the most out of drinking, and still work towards your goals (albeit at a slightly slower pace).
1) Alcohol itself has calories, lots of them. Add in other ingredients, and you have a gut bomb.
Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, so depending on the spirit you choose, it will run you about 100 calories per 1.5 oz (standard shot). Now unless you drink straight up, the calories might not stop there. Add in 4 oz of coke for a mixer and you are looking at another 50 calories. Add in some crazy mixer and sugary beach like drink and you are easily pushing 300-500-800 calories.
Think sticking to beer is better? Maybe, maybe not. Most light beers are 90-110 calories. Standard macro brews are around 150 calories. Enjoy your micro breweries? Well their beers can run 200-300 calories per 12 ounces.
Red wine is healthy right? It still will cost you 125 calories per 5 oz pour – and who does a 5 oz pour?
These calories can easily add up, and if you are not remaining in a caloric deficit, then you are not losing fat. So what should you do with your drinks?
- Minimize sugary mixers – club soda and lime, diet soda, water are great, NO calorie mixers.
- Space drinks out – have a water or two between drinks.
- Hold yourself accountable and aware of what you are drinking – and be ready to accept the consequences and move on.
You go to a microbrewery on a nice night with some friends and hang out to watch a band. Over the 4 hours of being there, you consume 6 of their 12 oz. Amber beers. A standard for Amber microbrews is roughly 160-180 calories per 12 ounces. That is 960-1080 calories of beer for the day.
Besides maybe waking up with a little gut ache, you might have just totally ruined your calorie goal for the day. It happens. Move on. However, the damage from drinking doesnt usually end there.
2. What You Eat WITH and AFTER drinking will destroy you.
As if drinking 1000 calories from booze wasn’t bad enough, now you want pizza, nachos, deep fried bacon, etc etc. The drunchies (drunk munchies) are the worst. Needless to say it’s easy to consume a TON of extra calories when you are not aware of what you are eating. Let’s go back to our example at the brewery…
While enjoying the music with your friends, you guys decide to order up a pizza to be delivered to you, at the brewery (because thats a thing in Wisconsin). It is your standard, greasy, meat and salt filled pizza. Well, as I guy I know I could easily put down 4 slices if I was hungry and had a few drinks in me. For ease of calculations, I looked at Pizza Hut, deep dish, meat lovers – 320 calories per slice. Well now you are at 1280 calories from pizza, plus your additional 1000 from drinking – putting you at 2280 calories for that night out.
I can venture a guess that this might be close or over many of your recommended calorie goals for fat loss.
So what can you do to minimize the damage, and stay as close to on track as possible?
- Be honest with yourself
- Can you go out, and have a good time without getting bombed and eating a ton of food? If you are reading this, you are likely an adult – and it might be time to re-evaluate your life decisions if you think this isn’t possible. (Aside from the occasional “wow, that night got out of hand” nights of course might still happen…)
- Can you control your eating once you start drinking? Remind yourself what your goals are, and when you want to get there. Truth is, alcohol won’t help you get there one bit. If you have a timeline, then maybe you need to sit this one out.
- Prepare for the night out accordingly
- Don’t starve yourself prior to drinking, but limit your fats as much as possible, and eat as much from vegetables and protein before going out (leaves more calories in the tank)
- Hydrate before
- Look into different drink options and set yourself a limit – if you think you can stick to it.
- Practice Damage Control When Out
- Space drinks with waters
- Limit sugary mixers
- Don’t order garbage food – and keep drinking water
- Remind yourself that eating garbage food often leads to feeling even worse the next morning, and it will be worth feeling better tomorrow.
- Get back on track ASAP
- Don’t go for your usual hangover cure foods. They will only add to the snowball effect.
- Get right back to eating as normal as possible.
- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY – if you ate a ton and drank a ton the night before, you might still be full. There is no need to eat right away if you feel full. ***If I ever have a night like this, I am often full until around lunchtime the next day, so I usually just skip breakfast***
- Get up and walk. Sweating it out and just moving will help – so get walking, and keep hydrating. There are no REAL cures for hangovers, besides preventing them in the first place.
So can you still drink and lose weight? SURE! Will it happen at a slower pace, and maybe with some hiccups along the way? You bet.
This is where you need to be honest with yourself, and what you are trying to accomplish. If you are fine with a slow and steady progress, then you can make it work.
If you are looking to optimize health, results, and overall well-being – then maybe it is time to cut out a few of those 1000+ calorie nights from your life. It’s a free country, so your choice is your choice – just pointing out some facts 🙂
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Stay healthy my friends,