I once had a client that was eating super clean, working out 6 days a week, but was not losing… not even 1/2 lb.
She was frustrated… and truth be told, so was I.
I kept asking her what she was eating and it all seemed on point.
I was training her 3 times a week so I knew her workouts were perfect and she was doing cardio workouts on her own.
She was even on point with her water intake and supplements.
By the way.. even if you are pregnant, read this because it will help you later. This is for EVERYONE.
Then after much digging… we finally got down to the bottom of it.
She was drinking ALCOHOL… almost every day.
Not too crazy, a glass of wine on weekdays and a few cocktails a day on the weekends.
Pretty crazy, right… how much alcohol can sabotage your results.
I mean, she was doing everything else right.
And I find that this is the case for so many moms.
Thing is, we tend to forget about alcohol because its LIQUID.
So, we think … it’s liquid, so there’s no calories.
HERE STARTS THE PROBLEM
Alcohol is actually very high in calories.
- 1 gram of protein has 4 calories.
- 1 gram of carb has 4 calories.
- 1 gram of ALCOHOL has 7 calories.
As you can see, alcohol is almost double in calories than even a complex carb.
So, be careful… there are lots of liquids that are heavy in calories, like juices.
Also, its metabolic effect matters.
I’ve talked to you about this before.
You eat, you burn calories.
Protein and carbs have a 10-25% metabolic boost.
Meaning you eat 100 calories of protein or carbs and you burn 10-25 calories, just in the process of digestion.
Alcohol is a sugar in its simplest form, so the body doesn’t have to work hard to break it down and digest it. So, nothing good comes out of alcohol… except well, a good time lol
Another huge thing is that because ALCOHOL IS TOXIC to the body, the body will do whatever it takes to metabolize it and get rid of it. It basically prioritizes it.
So as soon as there is alcohol in your body, all other processes stop and your body focuses on getting rid of the toxicity.
What processes stop?
Processes like those that:
- Burn fat for fuel.
- Take sugar from your food and stores it in the muscle for energy and regenerate muscle mass. What this can do is makes the sugar you eat from any carb stored instead of utilized.
This is why its easy to gain weight… and not lose any weight when you drink alcohol often or too much.
AS YOU CAN SEE THESE ARE VERY IMPORTANT PROCESSES.
Another thing that happens is the metabolism SLOWS DOWN which means you burn less calories a day, which makes it hard to lose weight.
Can you see how alcohol can sabotage you?
Now, here’s the thing.. because you know that I’M ALL ABOUT BALANCE.
And I am not sitting here telling you not to have some wine on a Friday night or have a cocktail with your husband or have a margarita on your next girls night.
But knowing these things I just mentioned… what can you do so that you don’t kill your results?
See the thing is that most people will drink but then don’t make modifications to their diet… so lets now talk about things you can do when drinking so that it doesn’t impact your results so negatively.
TIPS WHEN DRINKING ALCOHOL
- Cut back on calories if you are drinking.
- Cut back on carbs the day you are drinking.
- Drink extra water before, during and after drinking.
- Don’t add any sugar to your alcohol: juice, soda, mixers.
Alcohol should be substituting calories, not adding to them.
You know I don’t like to talk a lot about calories when it comes to measuring them, weighing or counting them.
But what I’m talking about here is that say you eat 2,000 calories a day, on average.
Now you are drinking also…. and you are having another 2,000 calories in DRINKS…. and you do this every Friday, Saturday and Sunday…. NO WONDER YOU CAN’T LOSE WEIGHT.
What you need to do, is think of substituting.
So normally, if I’m going to drink alcohol, I will eat smaller meals, less portion sizes and focus on eating extra clean that day.
That way you end up with more or less the same amount of calories instead of double.
I usually will eat super clean or cut back on serving sizes and carbs up to when the meal or event or outing is happening that I will be having drinks.
Since alcohol is pure sugar, that basically counts as the carb for the day.
I normally will eat just protein and vegetables so that with the compounded carb calories (7 p/ gram) will even out or not be that much more.
Now… keep in mind… I am human.
And I don’t do it perfect all the time, and there are times of indulging.
So, of course, there are times I will have crackers and cheese with wine.. because… well, how do you not lol.
I love me some chocolate dessert with a little red wine.
But I try not to do that all the time.
WHEN GOING OUT TO EAT
When I go out to eat, if I know I want a fun cocktail or 2 glasses of wine, then I will choose protein and vegetables for my meal and I don’t have the bread.
See, what you can’t do is have bread, a few bites of appetizer, 3 drinks, pasta as your meal and dessert.
You will never lose weight like that.
Once in a while, its ok.
But you can’t do that every Friday and Saturday… you will cancel out all your hard work during the week. This is what usually happens and why people feel stuck with their results even though they “diet” and exercise all week.
I even wrote a post about Cheat Days and why it is killing your weight loss.
Alcohol dehydrates you, so make sure that you drink a lot of water before you drink, while you’re drinking (I like to drink a cup of water after every drink), and also a lot the day after.
Alcohol is already sugar so you don’t want to double up your calories and sugar intake by adding mixers that are high in sugar.
Try to stick to wine or bubbly or alcohol like vodka or tequila and either have it alone or add lemon, lime, club soda or even some of these low sugar flavored waters.
You can also add a little no calorie sweetener to your drink (Stevia, Monk Fruit)
Hack: if you are making drinks at home, you can make simple syrup with monk fruit for a 0 calorie, 0 sugar amazing sweetener that you can use for a margarita, etc. Its the same as using sugar so the same quantities of water to sugar.
Here is a list of some alcohols and their calorie and sugar count to give you an idea.
Calories in Drinks
- Wine: 120 calories, 4 g sugar
- Vodka: 96 calories, 0g sugar
- Tequila: 96 calories, 0g sugar
- Whiskey: 96 calories, 0g sugar
- Champagne: 78 calories, 1.2g sugar
- Beer: 153 calories, 13g sugar
- Gin: 96 calories, 0g sugar
I hope this is helpful.
Remember, knowledge is power and it will help you make better choices that will affect your results.
I’d love to know what you thought about this info and how much you are drinking right now per week.
And if you are brave, also let me know how much less you are willing to drink for the next 4 weeks. Set a goal and send it to me 🙂
If you are enjoying all this info and learning a ton and would love more tips and strategies like this, I have put them all in my FIT MOM FOR LIFE PROGRAM.
Aside from Workouts and Meal Plans to last you years.… you also have a crazy amount of tutorials teaching you things like this that really make a difference.
If you are ready to LEVEL UP your results, join me and thousands of moms.
Hope to see you in there 🙂
Check out this video for more information on how alcohol affects weight loss.