When working with my clients, I often get asked an oh-so-familiar question: “does alcohol make you fat??!”. Answering it used to make me feel like I am taking away candy from a child. Changing your dietary habits is hard enough, but taking alcohol away from people… It’s just cruel. So, I came up with 3 easy to follow tips that would help you to stay social, enjoy a night out with friends, but stay true to your fitness goals.
Alcohol is truly the glue to most social functions, as it makes us giggle, be silly and have a good time with our friends. Who would turn away a glass of bubbly at a friend’s birthday party?
But despite all the fun it provides, alcohol comes with some side effects that can be detrimental to your waistline. Now, even though I am about to tell you how to keep up staying fit, while drinking alcohol below, I would first like to show you the negative effects of alcohol on weight loss.
How Does Alcohol Make You Fat
Before you boo me off stage and call me a party pooper, I’d like to remind you that this isn’t an article that will tell you to enter a 21st century’s dry law. I just think it’s important to know that it does affect your weight loss in a few different way. Here are just a few ways how does alcohol make you fat:
- 1 gram of alcohol contains 7 (empty) calories. For illustration, a 6oz glass of wine would have about 20g of alcohol, which translates to 140 calories.
- Alcohol impacts fat metabolism and makes the body fat harder to burn
- Alcohol is a diuretic and dehydrates the body. A proper hydration is necessary to properly recover from your workout.
- When alcohol is present in the body, the calories from food get the second priority in terms of being used for energy. Don’t expect to make any weight loss progress during your workout after having a few too many drinks with dinner last night.
So does alcohol make you fat? Not in a literal sense, but yea, kind of… It does so in a subtle way. But we can still be friends with it and we don’t need to sacrifice our social lives for the sake of fitness. You can go out and have a good time, after all, what’s the point of all the effort if you can’t have a good time?
How to Drink Alcohol and Lose Weight
I don’t like saying no to alcohol with my clients as it’s not realistic. Often, the all-or-nothing mindset sets people up for failure. Once they have one beer, they decide, “Oh well, I’ve already screwed up so I may as well have a couple more.” Which combined with the ‘drunken munchies’, means a step back on your progress last week (you were doing so well!). So here are my 3 tips that would help you to get a rocking bod, without giving up on a glass of vino:
1-3 drinks every now and then may not completely throw you off, if approached properly. The key in these situations is to reduce your food intake by an amount matching the calorie content of the alcohol you are drinking. The best way to do this is to reduce your fat and carb intake, as you need the protein for satiety and the muscle sparing properties. So if you are at a dinner, just order some protein (like white fish) and a salad with a dressing on the side.
Choosing the Right Stuff
Choosing the right drinks can also impact your metabolism. As a general rule of thumb, skip the mixers. Pre-made mixers may be yummy but are also often loaded with both real and artificial sweeteners and a lot of other stuff — with tons of calories. Make drinks lighter and more simply but choosing clear liquor combined with lemon/lime, soda water and some real fruit.
Avoiding the Munch
Drunk munchies are also a tempting once a few drinks are in you. Greasy, Carby and Fried Foods. As appealing as they are, the food that we end up eating along with our cocktails can be the most detrimental part of the whole equation. Without really thinking, we can order food choices that are much higher in calories than we may have expected. The best way to prevent over-consuming calories in places we didn’t expect is to plan ahead what you’ll order, or prep food for when you get home. Saving your calories and your cash!! We can all end up a little hungrier when we drink. Make sure to fill up on veggies during the day and while drinking to help take up space in your stomach, slow down digestion and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Any veggies are fair game, but raw ones can typically take up more space and make you feel fuller than cooked ones. Alternating each alcoholic drink with water can help the equation to keep you hydrated and prevent the dreaded hangover the next day.
Does alcohol make you fat? The real answer is that it doesn’t have to and it won’t if you do everything right. You can still be a social butterfly and a queen of the dance floor, like you always have been, just follow the 3 tips above!
Looking to get started to eat healthy, but need help with fitting your diet plan into your lifestyle? That’s exactly what I am an expert in! Book an appointment with me and get a detailed weight loss strategy that fits YOUR schedule.