Alcohol and Fat Loss…is it possible to have both?
If you’re reading this as a Manx Resident then you’re probably familiar with the (not very pleasant) phrase “85,000 alcoholics clinging to a rock” description about people on the Isle of Man… Do you think we have a collective social drinking problem?
When I think back, most events here seem to be centered around drinking. The Carnivals – a day to have a drink on closed roads. The Agricultural shows – a day to visit the food stalls ending up in the beer tent. The TT… well that speaks for itself, 2 weeks of it being acceptable to drink every night. Maybe that’s just my circle of friends but I suspect it’s not… So how can you go to all the events and still work on weight loss/fat loss goals? Read on…
So what about alcohol and weight loss, or as we should call it, fat loss?
Let’s start with the basics on alcohol. It’s 7 kcal per gram making it more calorific than both carbs or protein (both 4 kcal per gram) and just slightly less than fat (9 kcal per gram) – but let’s be honest, it’s not just the impact of the alcohol calories that make a difference to our weight loss/fat loss goals… More likely the chips, cheese & gravy on the way home or the recovery brunch the next day.
So it is possible to have Alcohol and Fat Loss? It may not sound like it so far but yes! It is. As with anything, it all depends on moderation – and an understanding of what moderation means to you.
First up, I recommend you get some help from someone who has done a lot of research in this area but equally understands the social pulls of alcohol being a journalist in London, Rosamund Dean (this is an article link but you can find her book in there too: Mindful Drinking
Do you think you could do 28 days booze free? I didn’t but right now, as of the time of writing, I am 23 days ‘dry’ – and I am sleeping like a baby. If I could keep that up, I would never drink again (maybe…)
The book encourages you to question why you drink… so let’s give that a go.
Grab a pen and write down all the reasons why you might have a drink, and then the hard part, ask yourself if they’re really true?! This was an eye opener for me, I thought it made me relaxed…maybe for a while but waking up wide eyed at 3am gasping for a drink then struggling to get back to sleep? Not so relaxing… And Confident? Well, maybe but at the ripe old age of 38, I don’t feel the need for extra confidence like I did when I was 18. My circle of friends is small and I am as much of a clown in front of them all with or without a drink these days… Once you start questioning, you can never unlearn that you might have been lying to yourself… And that’s pretty powerful.
But back to alcohol and weight loss/fat loss – how can you have it all?
- Moderate your drinking. Consider if you really need it or is it just a habit. As I was discussing with a client this week, 3 x 750ml prosecco and 6 gins a week is almost 400kcal per day (divided out across 7 days) if you reduce that by half, that’s 1400kcal a week saved, a whole day of eating for some people.
- Be mindful of what you drink. Beer is the most calorific followed by wine. Go for a spirit and mixer to save calories and units of alcohol.
- Have a plan for the following day. Make sure you have food in the house so you dont need to order a take out. A ‘healthy fry up’ is a winner:
- Chicken Sausages
- Bacon Medallions
- ToastThat’s about 600kcal of high protein, washed down with a strong coffee and you’re good to go if you need to get out and about (it goes without saying, don’t drive if you think there is even a possibility of you being over the limit)
If you’re embarking on a sober lifestyle or planning to moderate for your goals, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment or send an email to [email protected]
PS: That’s me on holiday (remember them?!) with a cocktail named ‘Angela’ – it doesn’t take much to make me happy hey!
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