Staying on Track Through The “Tough” Times

I put tough in quotes because everyone’s “tough” will be different. This could be anything from something that most might think is minor, or something extremely stressful…it is what you make of it.

Let me know if you’ve been here before. Decide to make a change, maybe lose some weight, start pumping iron – and things went awesome, at first.

But then something came up, you got busy at work, the kids got out of school for the summer, or someone in your family got sick.

Now, these are all different levels of stress, and some more serious than others – but either way they can all be lumped into things that can derail progress pretty quickly.

So how do we keep progressing when things aren’t all unicorns and rainbows?

1 – Identify the timeline of the “issue”

Is it something that might be over in a week, a month, or a year? This matters because you need to set the frame in which you will be attacking the problem. If it is only a week, you can be more drastic in your approach, but if it’s a year’s worth then we need to find something more sustainable.

Example: We are getting ready to move in 3 days. Things have been crazy with the back and forths with our awesome realtor, the lender, and other parties. On top of this, we have been trying to pack up a little bit every day, leaving little time to think about eating, prepping, and tracking food. So what have I done? I have eaten 90% the EXACT same thing every day.

Is this something I could do for a year? Hell no. But I know the end is near, and it just simplifies my life – and has sustained my progress for my personal goal.

If it is a month, or many months worth of something – planning out more of a process is key.

2 – Creating solid habits PRIOR to the longer

This is key for the longer duration stressors. Kids home for the summer and you have to run run run them around. It’s life – so we gotta roll with it and build up some habits.

A habit is something we do automatically, at a subconscious level, good or bad.

Building or breaking habits is no easy task – it can take more than 2 months to do. There are three phases of building habits:

  1. Initiation – new behavior and context for new behavior are selected.
  2. Learning – Habits start to become automatic
  3. Stability – Formed habit continues perpetually

It is also important to choose one thing at a time and focus on it, and it only, for at least 2 weeks before trying to add in another habit.

Everyone wants the quick results, but think of all the quick results you have sought out the past year? Where did they get you? Down, up, down, up, down and up? What if you would’ve given your focus for a full year on just 2 or three solid, and sustainable habits?

I would bet money that you would be MUCH better off.

3 – Maybe it’s not the time to “progress”

If you are dealing with something uber stressful, and keeping you super busy, or taking up a ton of your focus…maybe it’s not the time to progress.

HOWEVER – it’s not the time to take a step back either!

In a big-time high-stress moment, maintaining can be a major win. Life happens and plateaus are wins. Why? Because the eventual goal IS a plateau – can you maintain your weight?

So think of maintaining, especially during high-stress times, as practice for your ultimate goal – once you hit your goal weight.

This might be easier said than done – but it can be done, and it all starts with creating those habits AHEAD of time (step 2).

 

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Need help forming habits to get you through summer? I am starting my online training, nutrition and accountability group on July 9th. 

What this includes:

  • Full access to my online training app for 12 weeks! (so it doesn’t matter where you live)
  • Weekly email check in’s with me – I’ll keep you accountable
  • Weekly workouts, challenges, and Q&A sessions
  • Fully customizable habit plans for YOU and YOUR goals

Interested in learning more? Fill out this quick form and we will chat soon!

Stay healthy my friends,

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The Skinny on Dietary Fat

Stop me if you’ve heard this before – “fat doesn’t make you fat. Or, you can eat as much fat as you want – as long as you don’t eat carbs with it.” On the flip side, “fat goes straight to body fat, so you must eat low fat.”

It is easy to see why dietary fat might be almost just as controversial as carbs when it comes to nutrition, and especially the fat loss crowd.

Here are the basics to note:

  • Dietary fat is 9 calories per gram (carbs and protein are 4)
  • Dietary fat is essential for cellular development, heart health (yes) and hormone health
  • Dietary fat comes in a few forms, some better than others…

Speaking of various forms, and you may have heard of these so I’ll keep it quick.

1) Saturated Fat – these fats are solid at room temp, and have been linked to increased triglycerides (not good) and higher levels of LDL cholesterol (not good either) when overconsumed. They include butter, lard, animal fats, and coconut oil. Intake goal should be right around 10% of your total calories.

2) Trans Fats – these are man-made fats and are really bad for you (no one will argue with that one) – they raise your LDL and lower your HDL, and raise your Triglycerides. Trans fats are found in fried foods, premade desserts, and other junk food. Intake goal should be as little as possible.

3) Unsaturated Fats – (this could be broken down into Mono and Poly-Unsaturated)

Unsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells. Oils rich in polyunsaturated fats also contribute vitamin E to the diet, an antioxidant vitamin most Americans need more of.

Foods rich unsaturated fats also provide essential fats that your body needs but can’t produce itself – such as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. You must get essential fats through food. Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are important for many functions in the body.

Good sources of unsaturated fats are oils (stick to olive, avocado, and some canola as much as possible), nuts, olives, avocados, and fatty fish like salmon.

How much fat should you eat?

According to most credible resources, the recommendations for dietary fat intake are:

– 20-35% of your calories per day from all fat

– <10% of your calories from saturated fat, and none from Trans Fat

Of course, you will have your outliers and people telling you to eat more fat…and maybe that works for them, which is great. However, you need to find what works for YOU, and what makes you feel the best while getting results.

Never forget the BIG picture – calories are KING when it comes to fat loss. It doesn’t matter where they come from, as long as you are in a surplus, you will gain weight.

This brings me to my final point. Most people tend to not realize how much fat they consume, and thus how many calories they are really consuming. I’m not saying you need a low fat diet, but keeping your fat within 20-35% of your calories is less than most think.

Example: If you are eating 2500 calories. 55 to 97 grams of fat per day would put you in the 20-35% range.

Now consider this:

  • 1 oz. slice of cheese – 10g Fat
  • 2 eggs – 10g of fat
  • 1 oz of mixed nuts – 12g fat
  • 1 Tbsp. butter – 12g fat
  • Half an avocado – 10g fat

And now you are already at 54 grams of fat. Or you could just eat:

  • A Big Mac and A Large Fry – 52 grams. (good luck avoiding any more fat the rest of the day)

Doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad fat, it still adds up quick and so do the calories from it. I am NOT advocating a low-fat diet, as anything under 20% for long periods of time can really mess with your hormones, and it’s not fun.

Moreso, I am urging you to be aware of how much you are truly eating, and how easy it is to underestimate calories, especially from fat. It doesnt take much to add in hundreds of extra cals, as you can see here (via Ftibit.com):

480 cals vs. 180 cals of mixed nuts…

330 cals vs. 165 cals of cheese…

Awareness and education are always KEY – remember that.

Stay healthy my friends,

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Why Your Source of Protein is Misleading You

More protein – the two words I utter the most when doing a dietary analysis…

I’ve outlined the importance of protein, how to plan it out and how to eat more of it here.

But when it comes to some sources people still seem a bit confused.

So now I will provide you with the tools to figure out if something is a “good” source of protein, or a less than stellar form.

What it comes down to is, do a majority of the calories come from protein, or do they come from fat or carbs?

For example –  100 grams (3.5 oz) of chicken breast

  • 165 calories
  • 3.6g fat (x9 = 32 cals from fat or 19.6% of the chicken calories from fat)
  • 0g carb (x4 = 0 cals from carbs)
  • 31g protein (x4 = 124 cals from protein or about 75% of calories from protein!)

Not sure where the other 5% went, but this is enough to prove the point 🙂

Obviously a GREAT source of protein!

But what about peanut butter? We have heard this from many people that “peanut butter is a great source of protein!” Lets look:

1 serving = 2 Tbsp.

  • 200 calories
  • 16g fat (x9 = 144 cals from fat or 72% of cals from fat!)
  • 6g carb (x4 = 24 cals from carbs or 12% of cals from carbs)
  • 8g protein (x4 = 32 cals from protein or 16% of cals from protein)

While peanut butter DOES have some protein, I would not classify it as a good source because it has twice the grams of fat as protein AND is made up of 72% fat, so it would really be a “high-fat source that contains protein”

Same thing goes for most cheeses, nuts, other nut butters, and high-fat meats/processed meats like sausage/brats…sorry folks 🙁

Another common one I see discussed in Quinoa…the magic grain that no one can pronounce.

100 grams of Quinoa

  • 120 calories
  • 1.9g fat (x9 = 17 cals from fat or 14% of cals from fat!)
  • 21.3g carb (x4 = 85 cals from carbs or 71% of cals from carbs!)
  • 4.4g protein (x4 = 18 cals from protein or 15% of cals from protein)

Again, Quinoa is a grain, that has SOME protein in it (not much – but more than other grains) – but it most definitely is NOT a good source of protein. It is a carb that has some protein in it.

Same thing goes for rice, any veggies (EAT YOUR VEGGIES!) and actually beans (although they have a good amount of protein, so are a decent source for non-meat eaters!)

So what are good sources:

  • Any lean animal meats/fish/poultry (low-fat, low processed meats)
  • Eggs (do have more cals from fat than protein – so like mixing with egg whites)
  • Egg whites
  • Low fat cottage cheese
  • Greek Yogurt (unflavored is best for pure protein)
  • Tofu
  • Protein Powders (try to minimize supplemental protein)
  • Protein Bars (try to minimize supplemental protein)

Hope this clears some things up – now, get your protein up!

Stay healthy my friends,

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You Are What You Think You Are

 

The brain is the most powerful pre-workout supplement, diet pill, and fat loss fad diet combined.

It can also be your worst enemy and your biggest oppressor to your goals.

It all comes back to the old adage of are you a glass half empty, or a glass half full kind of person?

How do you view things most of the time when it comes to you, your body, your health, your nutrition, your lifestyle, and your abilities?

The more and more you view these things in a particular manner, the more and more you will start to subconsciously store them, believe them, and possibly become them…

You – how do you view you? How do you think about you? Are you someone who is always putting yourself down? Or are you proud of yourself? Do you feel like you are a good person – or do you feel guilt that eats away at your insides?

Your body – are you always calling yourself “fat, ugly, flabby, weak, or gross”? Or do you take a positive approach and realize that these words don’t determine your well being and they don’t make you, the person. I’m not saying that people should ignore it if they have extra body fat to lose and just live in a happy land, but constantly calling yourself these things wont change that, and it will only de-motivate you to do anything even more.

Your health – are you unhealthy? What does that mean? Drinking 10 sodas a day and eating no vegetables? Then change it! Sitting around talking about how unhealthy you are won’t solve a darn thing. The reason I don’t write a ton about “eat these foods to lose fat” is because the truth is that we all know what to eat more of and what to eat less of. It’s the actual doing it that people forget about.

Your nutrition – same thing as above. Be honest with yourself. Are you pounding 500 calorie coffee drinks and eating frozen chicken tenders and mac n cheese for dinner off your kids’ plate? Yep, probably not the healthiest approach. But this is where the mind can really mess with you – in the absence of basic nutrition knowledge. Do you think that you are barely eating, and still struggling to lose weight? In some cases, this CAN be a deeper issue, but that’s for another time. In many cases, it looks something like this:

This is why I believe in some form of basic nutrition education should be mandatory, and some form of tracking should be recommended when beginning a nutritional change.

Your lifestyle – how do you view this? Do you feel like you have a boring life? Again – then do something about it. Try new things, connect with friends, stay out past your bedtime once in a while…

On the flip side – do you live in denial that your current lifestyle choices are leading you down a bad path? A la burning the candle at both ends…

Your abilities – are you always calling yourself weak, stupid, lazy, etc…. well then you will start to believe that that is you. Do you live in a constant fear of failure? The “what if’s” eat you up and keep you up at night…I’m all too familiar with this one – as this is one of my biggest struggles, and something I continue to work on daily. It helps to take a step back and lay things out, look at what you have done, and where you have gotten, and realize that nothing can hold you back if you put your true effort towards it.

So before you go out and sign up for the latest cleanse or diet trend – take a good look at your brain, and think about how you utilize your bodies strongest asset.

Stay healthy my friends,

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Your Generic Weight Loss Goal Sucks

 

Who doesn’t want to lose a few pounds of fat and walk around with a shredded six-pack, smoking hot toned up legs or sculpted shoulders that would make a Greek God jealous?

Okay, there was a little bit of sarcasm and seriousness there.

However, saying your goal is weight loss (while it should at least be fat loss because muscle loss or water loss as a goal is just silly), isn’t going to do much for you. The reason that you want to lose weight is what will bring on the magic. And you are going to have to dig even deeper…

Here is the process I use…

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF SETTING YOUR GOALS – YOUR WHY.

Saying,  “I want to lose weight” is vague and demotivating. Why do you want to lose weight? Because I want to look better.

 Ask again: WHY do you want to look better? Because I want to attract a partner.

 And ASK AGAIN: WHY do you want to attract a partner? Because I want someone to share my life and love with, start a family, and not be alone.

This is your true motivator. You value love, family, and relationships. This is what you need to always keep in mind when stuff gets hard, and you want to give up. Not that you want to lose weight, but that you want to find love. This will always motivate you much more than anyone else ever can.

 These are the things that you literally need to write down, and post on your fridge or at your desk, or on the bathroom mirror – or make the background of your phone – anywhere you will see them frequently and often.

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Now that we have your “why” and your actual goals, we need to break each RESULT GOAL into PROCESS GOALS – these are the steps that will you to your result goal. This is where the focus MUST be, not on the actual result goal.

With “I want to lose weight” as a goal, you cannot sit around and focus on that. You need to write out what are the pieces of the process that will get you there – and hit those HARD.

  • Get to the gym 4 days per week.
  • Measure out my portions.
  • Get 7 hours of sleep each night.
  • Eat 1 serving of protein 4 times per day.
  • Eat 4 servings of veggies per day…

If you sit around and just focus on, “why am I not losing weight?” instead of the process goals, you will just keep spinning in place. Focus on the process, and the finish line will come to you.

Write it out.

  • No seriously, get out paper right now and W.R.I.T.E.I.T.O.U.T!!!
  • Write down 2-4 process goals that will help you get to your result goal.
  • Set a timeline (when you want to accomplish it).
  • Hit it hard, and stay the course.

If it is truly an important goal of yours, you will succeed. I’m not saying it will be easy, but if you put in the work, you will get there. I promise.

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Artificial Sweeteners Aren’t Your Problem

Aspartame. The word sends many people into an outrage and a massive debate ensues.

Aspartame is the most common artificial sweetener, and it is not a toxin*** (more on this)

IT is a combination of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Doesn’t that sound scary? Well it’s not (unless you have the generic condition PKU).

Aspartic Acid and Phenyalalnine are two amino acids – two of the same amino acids that are found in EVERYTHING ELSE that contains protein.

Now, anything can technically be toxic when the dose is big enough – even water can kill you if you have too much. This is where the scary studies come in. I was sent this particular article last night by a client – http://www.businessinsider.com/aspartame-sugar-artificial-sweeteners-bad-for-boy-2018-5?r=UK&IR=T

It is a total fear mongering, clickbait and irresponsible titled garbage – harsh, I know…

I, however, am sick of seeing these lay media sites publish fake news quality information without the science to back it up OR even a simple link to the science to back it up, or a further disclaimer that these studies are not scaled for humans…

Since the article doesn’t even cite the actual study done, I’m going to have to make some assumptions.

Let’s say your average rat is 8 oz. and some average guy is 200 pounds. Thats a 400x difference… One can of diet coke has 180mg of Aspartame in it. Since the author doesn’t even say what the “toxic” level of ASP is, I went to the most stingy source – the European Food Safety Authority. They are often more strict than our own FDA.

The EFSA says: “the acceptable daily limit for aspartame is 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight”. So our 200 pound man (90.9kg) x 40 = 3636 mg/180mg per can = 20 cans of diet coke PER DAY would be DANGEROUS! No kidding!

Look, I’m not saying you should go out and consume artificial sweeteners at will, I would recommend the opposite. Limit them to as little as possible. 90%-100% of your fluid intake should be water in my opinion.

What I am saying is that your daily diet coke is VERY VERY unlikely the cause of your issues to lose weight.

What about the “small study of 12 women who drank artificial sweeteners and didn’t feel satisfied”?!?! Well, there are ZERO calories in diet drinks, so it makes perfect sense that they were not satisfied. They probably were hypoglycemic and hungry – and when you ingest zero calories that won’t fix your problem – shocking!

Here is your life hack – if you are hungry, don’t reach for a sugary drink or a diet drink – eat real food! – I know, your mind has been blown.

Sorry for all the sarcasm today, but I’m just tired of seeing these “articles” making the rounds.

Don’t fall prey to these scary articles that don’t even come close to credible – eat how you know you should eat, don’t drink 20 diet cokes per day, and move your body more…simple.

Stay healthy my friends,

Mike

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Here Comes The Buzzkill…

Store this one under the “I know what to do, but whyyyyyy?” tab…

I enjoy a nice whiskey drink or 2 once in a while, I really do. I enjoy a cold beer on a summer day, or at a sporting event.

But here’s the deal, we need to quit lying to ourselves and thinking that we can get ideal results while still drinking booze like a fish. You’re likely not 18 anymore, and it only gets harder and harder from there.

At 7 calories per gram, alcohol by itself can add up – even more so when you add in the sugary mixers, heavy carb beers, and the natural sweetness of wines.

How about these calorie numbers:

Some popular beers…how many can you put down at a game?

An uber-conservative margarita estimation

Brandy Old Fashioned Sweet

Loaded Bloody Mary (beer chaser puts you at 500 cals.)

 

If alcoholic drinks contributing a hefty amount of calories weren’t bad enough, the effects of alcohol on fat loss are even more discouraging.

When you drink alcohol, it takes over priority in your metabolism – over all other macronutrients – because technically speaking, alcohol is a toxin to your body. In order to try and metabolize and clear the alcohol from your body quickly, your body will focus primarily on that. Yes, this means that your body will stop burning fat, in order to metabolize alcohol first.

Alcohol itself is not easily converted into fat like some will tell you. When alcohol is metabolized it becomes Acetyl-CoA. When Acetyl-CoA levels rise in the body, this signals the body that no sugar or fat needs to be burned. So instead of being a fat “storer”, alcohol is more of a fat burning stopper.

It gets even worse. This same process will also slow down muscle protein synthesis, the process that your body uses to rebuild, recover, and repair muscle, a process that normal revs up your metabolism.

Needless to say, alcohol isn’t going to help you in any of your goals regarding body composition.

However, being a realist – I know that many people won’t give up alcohol completely. True moderation is key and more importantly, limiting the number of days that you consume alcohol to prevent flipping the fat burning switch off for multiple days in a row.

I personally recommend setting a rule of 1-2 days per week that you will drink if you want. This leaves Friday and Saturday night open for me, and I stick to it pretty damn well. It’s not that a lock myself in a room Monday-Thursday (well I kind of do right now…), but if I am out I will just not get a beer. It sounds crazy in Wisconsin, but you can eat dinner out at a restaurant or even a bar and NOT have an alcoholic beverage.

This might also be very hard if you are a wine every night kind of lady or a couple brewskis after work kind of guy…but it can be done. I know many people use a drink or two to wind down from a stressful day. I get it. But is this something you need every night? Switching your body into fat burning suppression mode right after you most likely ate you biggest meal of the day doesn’t sound like optimal timing.

…so drink your booze with breakfast <– Joking

Think of other things you can do to unwind from the day, I bet you can come up with a pretty great list.

Lastly, the alcohol itself isn’t what only leads to most of the calories consumed while enjoying a drink or two, it’s the food choices that are found at bars, sporting events, and social banquets that tend to rack up the calories very quickly.

To be short and blunt, and tell you what you already know – if you are looking for maximal results, your best bet is to limit your alcohol intake as much as possible.

Stay Healthy Mis Amigos,

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Controlling Cholesterol 101

 

Happy New Year everyone! After a week long binge of Christmas foods, wedding foods and New Year foods, my arteries are feeling pretty clogged up.

Side note: I want to take a new approach to my blogs this year, and keep them a little bit more to the point, short and sweet, more digestible per say, and try post a little more frequently.

Why is cholesterol bad?

Image result for cholesterol

http://scinternalmed.com/uncategorized/september-cholesterol/

Actually, it is your triglycerides (amount of fat in your blood) and your LDL that are the two to be concerned with. Now i could get into the details of different types of LDL and what not, but for MOST people high LDL is indicative of “bad cholesterol” levels. Having high numbers means that one is more susceptible to heart disease, heart attacks, strokes,

Why is my cholesterol high?

It could be a combination of things: genetics, diet, activity level – i.e lifestyle.

While genetic can play a big role, they also CAN be controlled through proper diet and exercise.

Sedentary lifestyle, extra body fat are the two biggest culprits that can be changed with a simple caloric deficit and increased activity. Losing 5-10 pounds of fat has been proven to drop cholesterol numbers by 5-15% alone!

My Exercise Prescription:

  1. Walk 30 minutes everyday – with a end day goal of 10,000 steps
  2. Lift weights 2-3 days per week with full body, strength training focus

How Specific Foods Effect Cholesterol:

For the longest time, dietary cholesterol was demonized for leading to high cholesterol – but fear not, it has since been un-vilified.

Now, for people with high cholesterol I still recommend caution with the following foods:

Eggs, high fat red meat, high fat other meats, cheese, butter, butter spreads, processed desserts, anything that comes in a silver lined crinkly bag (chips, chex mix, etc.), *nuts and seeds.

This is for two reasons:  

  1. These foods are high in SATURATED and some TRANS FATS – which can lead to increases in LDL and triglycerides. It’s not the cholesterol in the egg yolk that I’m worried about, it is the TOTAL intake of fat at the end of the day.

For example, most people do very well wth diets where about 25-30% of calories come from fat (and about 10% of that being saturated fat). If your weight loss calorie number is around 1800, this would mean that you should be having right around 50-60 grams of fat per day, with no more than 20 grams being from saturated fat, and as little as possible trans fat.  (one slice of cheddar cheese has 9 grams of fat, 6 of them being saturated)

* Why nuts and seeds? Most people think that nuts and seeds are heart healthy, which they are – however, it is super easy to over eat these, like a handful is 500 calories easy. Use caution with nuts/trail mixes*

Thats really not that much! Also, fat is higher in calories meaning that it adds up quickly if you are trying to maintain a deficit.

2. These foods can also be high in highly inflammatory processed carbs. When you are loading your body with high sugar/high fat foods (chips, dessert) you are hitting it with a double whammy of sorts. You are increasing your cholesterol production AND increasing inflammation in your arteries over time. If something is high in processed carbs, and fat – it’s probably best to be avoided. 

SO what should YOU do?

I already gave my exercise script.

For nutrition you should avoid the previously mentioned foods as much as possible (or at least in moderation – this is where tracking can be a beautiful thing)

Foods to consider adding:

Fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, oats, lean proteins, fatty fish (salmon) 

Image result for cholesterolFoods to consider making swaps for:

Swap out: butters, spreads

Swap in: olive oil, avocados

These oils are high in mono-unsaturated fats – very heart healthy – BUT still  keep your fat totals in mind for the day! Just like nuts, they are easy to go overboard with.

Supplements to consider:

Plant Sterols and Stanols – essentially these are the plant form of cholesterol and have been scientifically proven to lower cholesterol. Buy these:

Cholest-off Plus – http://amzn.to/2iyB7ua

Fish Oil – diets higher in Omega-3’s can lead to lower cholesterol levels as well.

Dr. Tobias Fish Oil – http://amzn.to/2hNsf5g

Give it all a try, and get your blood levels checked in 6 months – your numbers will be greatly improved!

 

 

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Stay healthy my friends,

 

Boozin and Losin’? Is it Possible?

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.

Example:

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?

  1. Be honest with yourself
    1. 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…)
    2. 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.
  2. Prepare for the night out accordingly
    1. 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)
    2. Hydrate before
    3. Look into different drink options and set yourself a limit – if you think you can stick to it.
  3. Practice Damage Control When Out
    1. Space drinks with waters
    2. Limit sugary mixers
    3. Don’t order garbage food – and keep drinking water
    4. Remind yourself that eating garbage food often leads to feeling even worse the next morning, and it will be worth feeling better tomorrow.
  4. Get back on track ASAP
    1. Don’t go for your usual hangover cure foods. They will only add to the snowball effect.
    2. Get right back to eating as normal as possible.
    3. 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***
    4. 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,