CONFESSION: I drink alcohol. I’m a guy and I enjoy having a couple of drinks on the weekend. I like beer (and am slowly accidently influencing my friends around me to be preferential to a celebratory Margarita)
What is all that alcohol you’re drinking doing to your body composition?
Is it doing anything? The truth is most people don’t know.
You pick up that bottle of wine from Dan Murphys, or you order a Crown Larger at the bar, and even if you did have the knowledge to read the labels of the calorie and macronutrient content you would be hard pressed to find it because they aren’t required to disclose if on their labels.
Deep down we all know that drinking lots of alcohol isn’t the best for us – They say anything more than two standard drinks a day is doing you more harm than good.
I am also not the type of guy who advocates living under a rock and eating nothing but broccoli, chicken breast and water all your life.
You gotta live.
And if it’s coming from a relatively responsible and healthy place, then so be it.
“That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”
Maybe not like the above :)
Do we really understand the impact our drinking choices have on our weekly success?
How much does that Saturday Arvo ‘Sesh’ at the pub with your mates really hurt your weekly progress?
Most people have no idea.
So here we go.
Wine is around 150 calories & most beers are around 150-200 calories for a standard drink. The lower calorie beers like Pure Blonde & Hahn Super Dry are a better choice as they are closer to around 100 calories. NOTE: There are other things like gluten that can upset us, but that’s for another time
Sugary drinks like a Jim Beam & Cola Can are much higher, sitting at around 250 calories.
And those cocktails that are like a cake in a glass (Pina Colada, etc) are closer towards the 300-500 calorie mark
To give you some context, a small Maccas fries is around 200 cal (or 2 eggs w/ 2 rashers bacon) so for a regular drink you’re getting close to a meal in one drink!
So if you have a big one and have 6-8 drinks, picture yourself sitting down and having 6-8 servings of French fries (or 16 eggs and 16 rashers of bacon!) and think how that would make you feel the next day.
In one word – disgusting.
And this is where the biggest underlying issue comes from when drinking alcohol.
Most alcoholic drinks have the same caloric content as solid foods but they don’t fill you up anywhere near the same way. So you end up taking in significantly more calories without feeling full and satisfied.
Huston, We have a problem.
So what do we do?
We can pretend to live under a rock and not drink anything but purified water the rest of our lives.
We learn to do our best and make better choices relative to where we are currently at.
How to drink alcohol without gaining weight
As I said before… I’m a guy and I enjoy a couple of drinks on the weekend. I will also (occasionally) have more than a couple. But I don’t make it a regular occurrence so it doesn’t impact my goals, and I do it guilt free knowing I have control.
Likewise, if you have a significant amount of weight to lose, it’s important to recognise that this weight hasn’t been accumulated from having 2 drinks over the course of a week, it’s to do with bigger lifestyle issues you have acquired over the years.
If you aren’t sure how much your weekly choices are adding up to calorie wise – use this calculator – and type in the average from all you would devour over a regular week.
Be honest with where you’re currently at.
First of all ask yourself why you are doing it – whatever your answer is, it is fine but it can give you some clarity on something you can change short-term that can at least get you heading in the right direction.
Do you drink because you ‘like the taste?’ If so try and find some lower calorie variants of what you already are used to having. For example try going from a regular beer to a low-carb variant.
Do you drink because ‘it helps you relax?’ Not really fussed what it is? If so do your best to choose things that aren’t loaded up with calories (like our special recipe at the bottom of this page).
Try some other really basic suggestions;
- Drink a glass of water or soda water in between drinks
- Order your drinks after you eat your main meal
This doesn’t sound all that remarkable but even something simple like the above could reduce your weekly intake by a few drinks. Still not mind boggling, but even if it was to save you only one drink per week that would equate to a rough total of 4 full days worth of our caloric intake over the course of a year.
It all adds up.
With our clients who are wanting to really focus on their body composition but have a special event on where they do want to have a drink, we recommend our ‘365 Skinny’ as it is one of the better choices;
365 Skinny Cocktail Recipe
- White spirit of your choice (Tequila, Vodka, etc)
- A HEAP of freshly squeezed lime (Don’t use the sugary stuff)
- Soda Water
Just don’t have too many :)
Find the balance
Do your best
Share with a boozer you know to help them make a better choice.