One of the most common questions I get asked as a personal trainer in relation to modifying nutrition to support weight loss is, can I still drink alcohol? The simple answer is yes. Howev
er, if your aim is to maximize the value of your efforts towards a healthier diet to achieve fat loss then less is more. As your trainer I would never want to develop as a character you think of as the "Fun Police" so I instead aim to provide you with the knowledge and guidance to make the best choices that compliment your lifestyle and support your health and fitness journey when alcohol is on the table. Read on to see the drawbacks and strategies to incorporate booze while building the body of your dreams.
To finish on a high note lets first start with the low down on alcohols impact on your diet. First, alcohol is high in calories and can add a significant amount of calories to your diet without providing any essential nutrients. For example, a 12-ounce beer typically contains around 150 calories, a 5-ounce glass of wine around 120 calories, and a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor around 100 calories. Consuming multiple drinks in one sitting can add up quickly and lead to weight gain.
Second, drinking alcohol can increase your appetite and lower your inhibitions, which can lead to overeating or making poor food choices. This can be especially problematic if you're trying to maintain a healthy diet and control your calorie intake.
Despite these concerns, it's still possible to enjoy alcohol while maintaining a healthy diet. Here are some best practices for consuming alcohol with consideration for weight loss:
Limit your intake: The most effective way to reduce the impact of alcohol on your weight loss goals is to limit your intake. This means sticking to one or two drinks per occasion, and not drinking every day. Remember that moderation is key.
Choose low-calorie options: Some alcoholic beverages are higher in calories than others. For example, light beer, wine spritzers, and spirits mixed with low-calorie mixers like soda water or diet soda are lower in calories than sugary cocktails or full-strength beer.
Be mindful of mixers: Mixers can add a lot of calories to your drink, so choose low-calorie options like soda water, diet soda, or fresh citrus juices instead of sugary mixes like soda or fruit juice.
Eat before you drink: Eating a healthy meal before drinking can help slow down the absorption of alcohol, making you feel full and reducing the likelihood of overeating later on.
Stay hydrated: Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it can cause dehydration. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after drinking to stay hydrated and help flush out toxins from your body.
In summary, while alcohol is not ideal for a weight loss program, it's still possible to enjoy it in moderation while maintaining a healthy diet. By following these best practices, you can minimize the impact of alcohol on your weight loss goals and still have fun with friends and family.