You’ve heard it over and over again…
“If you want to lose body fat, you need to eliminate alcohol from your diet.”
You are constantly given this asinine advice… But is it actually true?
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not true. While alcohol serves no benefit when it comes to dropping body fat, it doesn’t necessarily undermine your ability to lose body fat either.
Typically speaking, people gain fat from lack of moderation and self control. The consumption of multiple heavy alcoholic beverages followed by poor dietary choices is the cause for the fat gain—but not the alcohol itself.
If you want to lose body fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit and this same principle applies when you incorporate alcohol into the equation. Alcohol is nothing more than extra calories (btw we are talking fat loss here, not optimal health). Therefor, as long as you stay within your calorie range, you can still lose body fat while simultaneously drinking alcohol.
This brings me another important point: Moderation is the secret sauce here (and always). You want 80% of your calories to come from nutrient dense sources—alcohol does not fall under that category. We all know that drinking too much alcohol can impair your ability to function and a host of other undesirable effects.
All is to say, losing body fat doesn’t have to require extremes (besides, extremes aren’t sustainable) and it sure as hell doesn’t have to take you away from your fun. If that was the case, I wouldn’t want to do this fitness thing either—trust me.
To that, here are five actionable ways you can include alcohol into your lifestyle without compromising your fitness goals:
CHOOSE LIGHTER CALORIE BEVERAGES
If you’re in a calorie deficit, chances are you don’t have that many calories to work with; the best option for you is to choose lighter calorie beverages. Things like:
-vodka water with extra lime
-add mio drops (I credit this to my girl, Sam, she carries mio drops in her purse, orders vodka water and then adds the drops—it actually tastes great).
-straight up shots of plain liquor
You want to limit or avoid: beer, cocktails, mixed drinks, sugary beverages.
You might have noticed that I didn’t add wine to either category—partly because I refuse to talk about wine negatively and also because it just varies on the type of wine.
Another thing I want to add is, if you love something that’s higher in calorie, just have one drink and then stick to lighter calorie beverages the rest of the night.
Party smart, my friend.
Drink some water between your drinks, but not too much because it will counteract your buzz.
And then when you’re finished drinking for the day, chug that water like a mother fucker—this will help prevent a hangover.
SAVE ROOM FOR CALORIES
There are four macro-nutrients: fat, carbohydrates, protein and alcohol. All of these macros are required for optimal health, except alcohol. Since alcohol is not required, you can count it into your calories as a fat or carb or a combination of both.
Generally speaking, if you’re going to partake in a night full of debauchery (aka more than 3 drinks), just focus on eating lighter throughout the day. The goal is to make sure you stay within your calorie range and reach your protein intake.
So, eat your meals that consist of protein and lots of veggies (things like: veggie omelets, big ass salads, steak and veggies). Not only will the protein and veggies help prevent less drunk eating, but you will also get micro-nutrients in (because, like, health).
Now, if you just want to have a glass of wine with your dinner, skip out on 1-2 servings of carbs throughout the day to save calories for the wine.
Don’t make it complicated or overthink it. Stress doesn’t need to be added to the equation.
Last but not least, pace yourself. Don’t be me when I was 21 years old, taking shot after shot, only to wind up an hour later being too drunk to function. Drink slow and spread your drinks out as much as possible. This helps control the amount of alcohol your drinking and keeps you from getting shit faced.