It’s Labor Day and that means you might be out and about with either friends or family in situations that involve alcohol. One of the most frequent questions that I receive involves alcohol, how to track it and which alcoholic drinks are the best to choose to keep calories at a minimum. I’ll discuss them all in this post.
Can You Lose Fat While Drinking?
Of course! Drinking does not automatically cause fat gain and a calorie deficit still matters when it comes to losing fat. In order to ensure that you are remaining in a calorie deficit, it’s going to be required to adjust your food intake based on how many calories you are drinking. If you have 2000 calories to work with for the day, that means you have 2000 calories to use through food and drink.
How to Track Alcohol?
An easy way to determine how many calories you will be drinking would be to Google your drink of choice and see how many calories it contains. If you see that your drink contains 100 calories and you except to drink 4 of these over the course of the day, you will need to cut back on your food intake by 400 calories. So, if your regular dieting calories are set at 2000, this means that you’ll only be eating 1600 calories of them and leaving 400 for the alcohol.
Zig-Zag Your Calories
This depends on preference. However, its recommended that you leave your protein intake constant and make the adjustments from either carbs, fats or both. With our example above, we could eliminate 400 calories from our diet by subtracting 50 grams of carbs (200 calories) and 22 grams of fat (198 calories).
Here are a few other pieces of advice:
Be smart with your drink selection.
You’re going to get the most bang for the buck if you are choosing drinks that are low in calories. Again, you can do quick research via Google to determine this but some examples would be light beers (most are around 90–100 calories), liquors (most 1 oz portions are around 60–90 calories) and wine (120–150 per 5 ounce pour). When you are opting for mixed drinks, always go for a zero calorie mixer as well to drastically cut calories back. Craft beers and sugary drinks are the ones that contain the most calories so you may want to avoid these or be selective with them.
Know How Alcohol Affects You
- Drinking could make you say “screw it” in regards to following your diet. No good.
- Drinking can decrease performance in your training and impact recovery.
- Alcohol is considered a toxin by the body and in an effort to remove it as quickly as possible nutrient uptake and fat burning is slowed / halted.
Moderation is important
There’s a big difference between having 1–2 drinks and 10–20 drinks. I don’t think I need to go any further into this.
All in all, you can lose weight while drinking and it mostly comes down to awareness of the calories that you are consuming and making the right adjustments. I know alcohol is a big part of most people’s lives and there is nothing wrong with having a drink or two. As with most other things in life, moderation is key here.
Have a safe and fun holiday!