Where does alcohol fit in, when we are trying to change our physique and improve our health? I often hear conversations that go a little like this “i can change my breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks, but do not take away my beer/wine!”
Let us firstly delve into the “problem” then look at some solutions to this ever challenging topic….
The Problem: Alcohol is a slippery slope for making people seek fat loss. It’s all fun and games ’til the beer/wine/liquor hits the scene!
Not only does alcohol take metabolic priority – inhibiting fat burning and moving food digestion to the back of the priority list – but it impairs our decision making and self control.
Not only does alcohol not contain any nutrients of its own, but it can impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and vitamins from the food you eat.
Alcohol irritates your gastrointestinal tract, and can damage your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, vitamins and minerals from the food you eat.
So, is it possible to enjoy alcohol and still see fat loss results? Rest easy. Yes, it is.
The Solution: Before you commit to changing – or not changing – your alcohol habits, I would challenge you to focus on AWARENESS for a couple weeks. A lot of times our behaviours when we’re drinking or our feelings in the following days are subconscious and we aren’t even aware of them. Start to pay attention to your response to alcohol, including:
- If drinking impacts your food choices.
- Does drinking impact your exercise performance in the days afterwards?
- What impact does it have on your energy levels? Your sleep? Your focus? Your motivation?
- Do you feel bloated after you drink?
- Do you crave more sweets when you’re drinking or in the days after?
Practical Implementation: Consider adopting one or more of these success strategies. The key is to find the one (or more) that work for YOU. Everyone is different.
- Carbs OR alcohol – Choose one of the other, not both. This will impact the fat storing potential of your drinking.
- Watch out for gluten in beers – beer is commonly produced from wheat products and is often pretty dang high in both gluten AND sugars – it can have a significant impact on your blood sugar levels. Remember that managing your blood sugar is a major part of staying in fat burning mode and staying out of fat storing mode.
- Wine – opt for bolder, less sweet wines.
Liquor – choose clear liquors and avoid mixers (adding fruit juice or soda compounds the fat storing potential)
- Drink lots of water to help support the excretion of your byproducts of alcohol metabolism.
- Eat lots of fruit & veggies the following day, or take a multivitamin, to replace the nutrients commonly depleted during alcohol metabolism.
- Don’t use food or alcohol as a means of stress relief or escape
I hope this information has helped you get an insight into some ways you could improve your approach to drinking alcohol and achieving better health.