I want to talk about alcohol consumption, the pros and cons of drinking alcohol and some strategies on how to still be able to drink but not have it hinder our progress as little as possible!
Any alcohol in ‘excessive’ amounts is going to be detrimental to our health. There is no justifying it, if you are getting drunk 2-3+ days a week, your performance in the gym is going to take a hit no matter what. However, drinking responsibly is a whole different story. Having one or two drinks 1-2 nights a week can be fine and won’t leave you with a hangover….when done right that is.
There is a distinct difference between having a few drinks to relax with friends or family and having 15+ beers that leads you to being up till 3am eating Domino’s Cheesy Bread (personal favorite of mine). Your plans for hitting the gym the next day may be sidelined by that terrible hangover you now have (and the cheesy bread is more than likely making a reappearance as well). The day after could even result in a lot less movement due to how you feel (meaning less calories burned!).
Drinking a lot of alcohol can basically have two separate disadvantages, one would be how you feel the day after and how that affects your daily routine. The second would be how calorically dense these drinks are that you had. Having 1-2 shots of vodka with seltzer and lime will carry a lot less calories than an alcoholic Pina Colada that has more sugar than 3 cans of Coke.
Margaritas and other sugary drinks are basically the shitty protein bars of the alcohol world. We all know those protein bars that are basically all sugar and fat, with just enough protein to throw it on the label in big letters. The same goes for sugary drinks that are basically everything but alcohol. You might end up with as huge drink that may only have a shot of actual alcohol in it! I don’t know about you but I’m someone who likes to get my money’s worth when ordering drinks.
But don’t dismiss this post just because you may already be more on the vodka/seltzer side, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. You personally need to take a look at how much on average you are drinking per week, per night, and assess if it is hurting you in some way the next day or even that night. If being a little buzzed is all it takes for you to give in to every food craving you have, then maybe you need to do something to actively change that.
If you are on the food tracking side of things and want to include a drink or two into your daily calorie intake, it is actually fairly easy to do so!
Example: 1 can of Bud Light is 110 calories
- To track this as either Carbohydrates or Fats in your food log, simply take the calories from alcohol and divide them by 4 (carbs – 1 gram is 4 cals) or divide them by 9 (fats – 1 gram is 9 cals) or a combination of the two! Whatever you need to do to fit it into your daily macro “budget” without going over! If you do that then you can have your drink and not worry about it affecting your weight loss goals.
For Carbohydrates – 110/4 = 27.5 = 27.5 GRAMS of Carbohydrates for said drink
For Fats – 110/9 = 12.2 = 12.2 GRAMS of Fat for said drink
Alcohol calories being accounted for can help us control our weight and overall conditioning in check but the ‘amount’ of alcohol we are taking in is still going to be very important.
Be aware that everyone is different, we all have different tolerances to alcohol depending on our height, weight and experience with drinking. Some can drink 5 vodka sodas and still be able to workout perfectly fine the next day. That’s all fine and dandy, that is your choice, but make sure all those calories aren’t hurting your goals. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to make these decisions, I am just here to point you in the right direction!