Is Alcohol really the devil when it comes to fitness?
When it comes to fitness, nutrition, working out, looking after yourself, there is one thing that is always seen as the first to abolish from your life. Alcohol. But why?
If you are a regular drinker, removing alcohol from your diet will of course reduce your weekly calories and contribute towards a weight loss goal. I mean one beer is around 200 calories and a glass of wine 160 calories respectively. Maths is maths and if your drinking over 1200 calories a week, it's an easy way to take a big chunk out of your intake.
But by cutting out something you enjoy completely, it will most likely lead to bigger binges and that 'oh i'll just have one', somehow turns itself into you polishing off your 5th glass, your plan feeling like its been blown to smithereens and you, ditching the whole thing completely.
(Ok I'm being a drama queen but you get it...)
What I try and tell my clients is that having a night out on the booze doesn't have to signal the ruin of all of your hard work. Locking yourself away with just water to get you through a lonely Saturday night while your friends are out celebrating that big promotion or birthday doesn't have to be you!
There are simple steps you can take prior to the booze fest that allows you to get away with having that epic night out you deserve.
1. Have a high protein, low fat / low carb dinner before you head off (forget the whole lining your stomach ideology. We are all adults here, there is no reason you should be heading to sick city anymore!)
2. Stick to drinks that use mixers and choose diet / sugar free mixers. A single vodka with standard Coke is 120 calories whereas a double vodka with diet Coke is only 112 calories. More alcohol, less calories. Double win.
3. Try and grab a water in between drinks. I know this is difficult when your having fun, but definitely slip a water in when you can. The dance floor at the club is the perfect opportunity for this and dancing is cardio people! Dance lots!
4. Try and avoid the kebab house on the way home! If you can't stop yourself, order something low carb. Chicken shish with salad is your best bet. No sauce, no pitta and the jobs a good'un.
Now what about the next day... Dealing with a hangover can be just as bad a diet wrecker than the actual drinking itself!
1. Plan & prep your meals for the next day before the night of the party. This means you have the right food on deck for when you finally drag yourself out of bed, stopping you from devouring the whole biscuit tin whilst ordering a Dominos.
2. Go for a run (if you're sober & can handle it), make a dent in the extra calories you consumed.
And finally once you have your head straight:
3. Try and workout how much drink you consumed and trim the next couple of days calorie intake to cater for the over indulgence.
This doesn't mean you should go out and get off your face every weekend by the way, that's not good for anyone! But with a little thinking, Alcohol can be enjoyed alongside your fitness plan, whatever it may be.
A personal note: Invest in rehydration salts (Diarolyte and the like). Nothing helps with hangovers more than these bad boys. Drink one before bed & one when you wake up. You'll be thanking me later!