Want to get more lean, cut and toned?
There’s one very easy change to your dining habits that can make a big difference. Alcohol.
If you don’t drink alcohol, this blog probably won’t be of much help to you. If you’re like most people I know, however, alcohol is a normal part of your diet. That may be once a day, or once a month, but wherever you are on the spectrum, cutting back on alcohol is one sure fire way to help you get the lean body you’re working for.
Fit Tip #8: Cut Back on Alcohol
It’s not fun to hear for most. Alcohol can help you unwind, is a social norm, may help loosen you up socially, and in my opinion, tastes great. So let’s be fair and mention some of the benefits of alcohol since every code has two sides. Just note we’re not talking about multiple drinks per day, or binge drinking, as copious amounts of alcohol are not good for anyone and usually signal some much deeper issues going on.
Benefits of Moderate Alcohol Consumption
(Note: many of these are “may” statements and I share these with caution since science always seems to find new information that contradicts old info)
- Increased longevity
- Reduced cardiovascular disease
- Lowers chance of diabetes
- Helps with relaxation
Negative Effects of Alcohol
- Prevents fat burning
- Empty calories and high sugar, leading to weight gain
- Reduces quality of sleep
- Is a depressant
- Impacts desire and/or ability to workout
- Liver inflammation/diseases
- Weakened immune system
The main reasons this is a fitness tip is because:
1) Alcohol is full of empty calories, which leads to weight gain. If you have even two glasses of wine, you’re probably downing about 300 calories without any real nutrients to serve your body. Additionally, by that time it will have loosened your inhibitions a bit, meaning if you’re dining or even just sitting at home with friends, you’re more likely to eat and snack more, further increasing your calorie intake. It has that “Meh, who cares?!” effect, which is almost never good for anyone in any situation.
2) Alcohol prevents your body from burning fat. When you drink, alcohol splits into fat and acetate. The fat is stored, and the acetate is used as your body’s energy source. If your body is using alcohol for energy, then you’re definitely not using glucose or fat for energy, so you’re just storing more fat.
So while it’s fine to have from time to time, and there’s nothing wrong with a little social drinking or a Friday night glass of wine to unwind from the week healthwise, if you really want to get lean, cut and toned, cut back to help you reach your fitness goals faster! Save it for special occasions, or maybe a 1-2 times per week treat.
That doesn’t mean binge on 6 drinks, either. Keep it under two for some health benefits without totally derailing all of your hard work in the gym.
Need more nutrition advice? Contact me for personalized nutrition coaching to help you get in shape this year: [email protected]