Unwinding with a glass of wine or enjoying a few cold beers on the weekend is something many of us look forward to but Is alcohol ruining your progress?
It is commonly believed that alcohol contains no calories. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and alcohol actually contains 7 calories per gram. This is almost double the calorie content of carbohydrate and protein which contain 4 calories per gram. If alcohol is regularly consumed in large quantities and unaccounted for it will put a handbrake on your fat loss goals. This does not mean it cannot be enjoyed in moderation, let’s break it down further.
When alcohol is consumed, it is prioritised in the liver over other body functions as it is a toxin the body wants to remove. This means our body focuses on burning off the alcohol before moving back to its regular fuel sources (carbs and fat). Alcohol also impacts sleep and recovery as well as impairs our ability to make rational decisions. Have you ever found yourself a few wines deep digging into the cheese board or in the kebab shop after a night of drinking? Yep, me too. For these reasons if your goal is fat loss and general health it is ideal to limit alcohol consumption but this doesn’t mean it cannot be enjoyed in moderation.
So, can I have a drink on occasion? Yes, you can still have a drink here and there while progressing with your fat loss goals. Planning ahead and accounting for the alcohol in your food diary will ensure you remain in a deficit. Here are our top tips when it comes to alcohol and fat loss:
- Avoid cocktails or sugary mixers as these are loaded with extra calories on top of the alcohol calories.
- To save calories opt for spirits with soda water or diet soft drink, low carb beer or mid strength alcohol.
- If socialising, have a filling, high protein meal before you go to avoid overeating on calorie dense foods.
- Drive to the event if possible.
Alcohol can be tracked in your MyVision app. If you're serious about your fat loss goal we recommend planning ahead to account for the alcohol while ensuring you still hit your protein and overall calories.