I am a big advocate of a balanced lifestyle. I preach moderation, not restriction.
Recently I went through a Detox Challenge (No sugar, alcohol, grains, carbs, or coffee), and it really reminded me to reset what I define as moderation. Amounts can creep up slowly and get really out of whack.
So without further ado, let’s talk a bit about our friend “Mr. Alcohol”.
Alcohol And Fat Loss: What You Need To Know
One question that often presents itself to many of those who are working to shed excess weight is whether or not alcohol can be included in their nutrition plan.
Alcohol is something that most adults do like to indulge in from time to time – some more often than others.
So what’s the real deal about alcohol and your progress? Is this something that you can make room for in your nutrition or is it something that you need to give the boot?
The very first thing that you need to take note of is how many calories are found in alcohol. Alcohol itself contains seven calories per gram, whereas both proteins and carbs contain just four. Fat comes in at the highest caloric value per gram at nine, which places alcohol right in the middle.
But what’s often worse is what the alcohol is mixed with. If you’re drinking your alcohol with high calorie or fat mixers such as cream, sodas, or sugary mixers you could easily end up with a drink that packs in well over 300 calories per serving.
If you take in three or four of these over the course of the night, it’s really going to add up.
Alcohol And Fat Metabolism
The second important thing that you need to note is the impact that alcohol consumption will have on your fat metabolism. The minute that you put alcohol into your body, all fat burning is going to come to a halt.
Your body views alcohol as a toxin and as such, as soon as it comes in, it’s going to do everything it can to rid itself of this alcohol. No further fat will be burned off until it’s out of your system.
Only then will you start burning up body fat again. So if you consume quite a bit of alcohol one night, you can expect to see your rate of fat loss drop off for a more significant period of time.
Alcohol And Your Recovery
Finally, the last important thing to note about alcohol consumption is the impact it will have on your recovery rates. This is the #1 effect I stress to all my clients in regards to alcohol.
In addition to putting the brakes on all fat burning taking place in the body, the second thing that alcohol is going to put the brakes on is protein synthesis.
This means that no further lean muscle tissue will be built up as long as that alcohol is in the body.
Again, you can imagine what this is going to do to your workout goals.
So as you can see, if you want to be truly successful with your Performance Program, it’s best if you can forgo alcohol for the time being. One drink every now and then may not hurt all that much, but if you’re taking in any more than this, it will definitely hinder the progress that you see.
That brings right back around to defining and sticking to your definition of moderation. The factors above need to be brought into the equation when you are estimating alcohol’s impact on your performance and progress.
It’s not just being hungover for the next morning session after a late nighter. It’s the total package of that impact on all phases discussed above.