I am trying to lose weight. Do I have to stop drinking alcohol?
If there is a topic that will just NOT stop coming up when I talk to my clients, it is ALCOHOL. “Can I still drink? How much is ok? Do I really have to stop drinking?” I have always answered these questions exactly the same. How fast do you want to see results? The truth is no matter how much you like alcohol it will NEVER help you reach your goals.
Lets first take a look at why alcohol is so detrimental to weight loss? The first thing we have to consider is the calories in alcohol. There are 7 calories per gram of alcohol. Just one glass of white wine or an ounce of hard liquor provides about 90 calories; a regular beer 150, martini 210 and a strawberry daiquiri 300. If you add mixers the calories can double. The calories that alcohol provides are “empty” this means they provide no beneficial nutrients. Not only are you adding additional calories to your body but the metabolism process in our bodies slows. Alcohol can’t be stored in our bodies so it must be metabolized right away. This stops or slows all other metabolic functions causing your body to burn the alcohol before the fat you are trying to lose.
I know what you are thinking “what if I just have 2 drinks and that’s it?” We both know that no matter what your intentions are, you will end up having more than 2 drinks. This is because it is actually harder to stop drinking that to not start at all. It’s called social drinking for a reason.
Let’s see if this sounds familiar. You have a night planned out with your friends. Before you leave you decide “I’m only going to have 2 drinks tonight, I can do it, I have WILL POWER!” You get to the bar order your first 2 drinks and realize that you did not pace yourself you have only been there for 30 minutes. Everyone else around you is still ordering drinks and you already had 2. Your friends start to harass you for not drinking and you decide well just tonight I will have 3. You cave and end up having 3 more and end up at the McDonalds drive thru at 2 am in the morning. Am I close?
You had the best of intentions, and yet ended up not only drinking more than you planned, but eating some of the WORST fast food in the world.
Here is the best advice I can give you. Order your first drink mixed with something 0 calorie. In between ordering your first and second drink pull the waiter/waitress aside and tell them that for the rest of the night you don’t want any alcohol in your drinks. Tell them no matter what anyone says about buying you a drink, or when you order “another one” you only want the 0 calorie mixer. Give this a try the next time you go out. I’ll bet you will still have just as much fun you won’t wake up hung-over and your fitness goals will still be on track.