We often come across new personal training clients in our Chatswood gym who are confused as to why they are not losing body fat. They tell us they do everything right from eating healthily and exercising consistently to sleeping well, but then the weekend comes around and they might have ‘a few glasses of wine’. But this is a well-deserved treat right as they have been so disciplined during the week? Wrong! This could be one of the reasons that is hindering your body composition goals. Lets look at the fact…
I am sure you have all heard the term ‘ empty calories’. It’s of no big surprise then, that unlike protein, carbs and fat alcohol supplies calories without any nutritional value. To add to this, alcohol contains more calories than proteins and carbs so it can easily tip you over your daily calorie target.
To make matters worse, drinking alcohol will put on hold all metabolic processes within your body until it has consumed it. Basically your body can’t convert calories from alcohol and instead has to use them up, therefore delaying all other fat burning that is going on inside the body.
Put simply this means if we drink and consume a large amount of calories (which lets be honest can often go hand in hand) the calories from food will be stored as fat while our body processes and burns the calories from alcohol first. A recipe for fat gain!
Alcohol increases your cortisol production for up to 24 hours. Anyone who has read some of our previous articles knows prolonged cortisol is a disaster in the journey for fat loss, and is more prone to making you hold onto that stubborn belly fat too.
Alcohol significantly reduces the rate of protein synthesis, big deal right? Well actually yes it is. This means you are less able to build muscle if you are a frequent drinker, which is key in the long term success for fat loss.
Craving High Fat/Carb Food
Alcohol tends to have an appetite stimulating affect and loosens our inhibitions, meaning we are more likely to make bad choices when it comes to our diet. Its not rocket science that the food we eat when drinking is usually fatty and high carb, a bad combination for fat loss. Mix this with the fact we usually eat more than we need and are more likely to store the calories as our body priorities burning the alcohol and the road to fat loss becomes a long one!
I am yet to come across a client who does not feel more motivated to train and stay healthy when they eliminate or cut down on alcohol from their diet. Drinking alcohol can make healthy habits fall by the wayside, which means in turn your progress is hindered and so to is your motivation.
Although alcohol is empty calories, the mixers we add certainly are not. Certain drinks have a very high sugar content like cocktails or high carb content like beer. Both of these types of calories will do you no favors in your journey to fat loss as they will promote fat storage within your cells.
Stop Making Excuses!
Ok so you have heard the facts, but your lifestyle does not allow you to makes these changes, then what do you do? Sorry there is no secret! One thing that frustrates me most is women complaining their lifestyle ‘does not allow’ for the food and drink choices I give them. As far as I am concerned it is all a matte
r of priority. If you really prioritise fat loss and a healthy life style, you will make the sacrifices necessary. You may gasp but it is possible to go out, make healthy food choices and not drink!
It’s easy for me as its my profession right? Wrong! Everything in life comes with some sort of sacrifice, its just what you choose to prioritise. Yes I very rarely drink unless it is a special occasion as I am only too aware how much it will affect my body comp and my training goals. But it does not come easy. I have to make social sacrifices like anybody else or make hard decisions when I go out.
If you really want to make changes then its time to face reality and start taking ownership. If you are not willing to cut down or ideally cut out the alcohol then maybe you are not ready to make the changes needed to get that body or change in lifestyle you crave. Standing up against social pressures can be hard, but trust me soon your friends will be asking you how you do it as opposed to why you are doing it.
Yes it is. So if you must drink then try and stick to these simple rules:
- Drink alcohol with a low caloric value but higher alcohol percentage like red wine (which also has health benefits
- Avoid high calorie drinks like creamy liquors and cocktails
- Try low calorie beer
- Have a drink of water in-between each drink
- Limit drinking to once a week
- Keep healthy food to hand making it easier to make the right choices.
Try to add these simply rules in your weekly routine and your 2016 body will thank you for it!
If being healthy is a goal for you, contact us today.
The Clean Health Fitness Institute