Whether you’re trying to lose fat, build muscle or simply stay healthy, you have to keep a check on what you eat, and of course what you drink. As the saying goes, you can’t out-train a bad diet.
Alcohol is often one of the pain points when it comes to sticking to your diets and fitness goals. It often gets us off track. I mean, who doesn’t like those weekend thrills.
There is no doubt in the fact that alcohol if taken in large quantities can hamper your fitness goals greatly and slow down your progress. In some cases, even lead to fat gain.
But, there is a way to manage alcohol and fitness since we are all social animals and social gatherings might sometimes call for a drink or two.
Let’s see how we can manage such social gatherings without having to give up on our fitness goals and without sweating it out the next day out of guilt.
Keep the intake low
There is absolutely no doubt that it is essential to keep the intake low since a few drinks can easily go up to 500-700 calories even without any mixers like canned juices/coke. 1 gram of alcohol has 7 calories. That’s more than the number of calories you get from a gram of protein and carbohydrate.
Plus, these are all empty calories that do not assist the human body in any way. Alcohol has no nutritional benefits associated with it. In fact, these can often ruin your diet for the whole day. Imagine eating like a broke person the whole day and chugging down a few thousand calories in the night. What’s the point?
So, keeping it to a drink or two is the wise thing to do. In fact, as you start to drink less, your body becomes less resistant to the “high” that you get after drinking alcohol. And so a drink or two usually does the job.
Have enough water
Alcohol causes dehydration and so it's important that you stay hydrated throughout. Have a good amount of water when you plan to have your drinks to avoid any kind of dehydration and feel shitty and hungover the next day.
Mixers are added taste enhancers. These can be anything ranging from fruit juices to energy drinks to your everyday coke. Avoid adding mixers to your drink as these come with additional calories. Or, you can opt for the zero-calorie version. A can of coke gives you around 150 Calories. Diet coke has 0 calories. So, it’s better to choose diet coke rather than using regular coke.
Complete your meals for the day and then go out drinking
Yes, that’s right. When you drink, you can easily lose control of what you eat. You start craving things. And the next thing you know, you ate a whole bowl of brownie with ice cream along with the few drinks that you had. Now you’re in some real trouble.
And so, it’s better to complete your meals for the day and then go out drinking so that you know that you’re not allowed to eat anything apart from that salad. This way, you can limit yourself to a few drinks and sleep peacefully knowing that you just had a few extra calories and nothing else.
Reduce your overall calorie intake for the day
It’s a good idea to cut the overall calorie intake for the day by cutting carbs & fats from your diet the day you’re planning on going drinking. Keep your protein intake as usual. By cutting calories, you are making sure that you keep your overall calorie intake for the day at a low level to avoid fat gain.
So now, you know what all steps you can take to reduce the impact of alcohol on our fitness routines & progress. It’s always better to avoid alcohol as much as possible. But, as I said, sometimes we just feel like having a drink or two. During those times, it’s better to prepare yourself in the morning and take the steps mentioned above to mitigate the effects.