One of the most common indulgences for many people is alcohol. Whether you prefer to have a glass of wine to unwind after a stressful day or party it up with shots and cocktails on the weekends, most of us drink alcohol without giving it a second thought to what it is really doing to our waistline.
Whenever I start working with a new client, they commonly claim to eat extremely healthy but have “just one or two” drinks per day. They are confused as to why they are not losing fat, despite training hard and eating well.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but alcohol is actually one of the worst things you can put in your body. There is no point in trying to pick the ‘best’ drink – vodka soda or light beer for fewer calories, or red wine for more antioxidants.
The problem isn’t the calories – it’s what the alcohol does to your body.
When you have alcohol, your body shuts down its digestive processes until all of that alcohol is out of your system. Obviously, if you have just one glass of wine this will take less time than if you drink a whole bottle. When you go overboard, all that food you eat is being stored as fat.
You may be thinking that an easy solution to this problem is just to drink without eating. Please don’t do that or you will end up in an even worse situation!
If you’re going to drink, drink and enjoy it. Don’t try to compensate by cutting calories out of your day elsewhere. But treat alcohol as what it is – a treat that should be enjoyed in moderation. You wouldn’t cheat on your diet every day and expect to see results, would you?
Other problems can be caused by excess drinking, such as skipping training sessions because you’re hungover, and making poor food choices when under the influence. After one too many drinks, I promise I won’t be thinking about eating healthy – hand me a burger and fries!
So how many drinks are okay? Ah, the question that most people don’t like the answer to. If you are serious about losing fat, I’d recommend cutting out alcohol entirely until you have seen significant progress. Try to limit drinking to once per month, or at the very most once per fortnight.
I have personally witnessed a huge change in my body from cutting out alcohol. In the past, I have lost 5lbs over the course of a month by making no other dietary changes other than avoiding booze – and this was when I was only having 1-2 glasses of wine per week. That right there shows you how much of a negative impact alcohol can have on your physique.
I’m lucky in that I’ve never really enjoyed drinking, so it’s not that difficult for me to cut out alcohol. I would much prefer to have a pint of ice cream than a bottle of wine!
How many alcoholic drinks do you consume per week? Have you seen a negative impact on your physique due to the amount of alcohol you drink?