As the world seems more and more out of control, I have found talking to many of my clients and friends, that their alcohol consumption is following the same path. Feelings of unrest, insecurity, displacement, worry, and a host of others have left many turning to a drink as an escape, more frequently then they normally would.
Because of this I have decided to address alcohol as it is applies to weight loss (since, well, that’s what I do!). So take it in the context it’s meant – this isn’t being judgy or preachy, just passing along the information so you can make an informed decision.
3 REASONS ALCOHOL IS NOT YOUR FRIEND
One of the first questions I almost always get with a new client or someone interested in working with me is, can I drink wine? (Or their drink of choice, but this seems to top the list) I will never tell any of my clients that they should “never” drink alcohol again, that’s pretty unrealistic for the majority of people. Hey, if it’s your birthday and you want to have some wine, go ahead! Have special plans, go ahead! But truthfully, regular consumption of alcohol may slow down your weight-loss progress. If you’re used to having a glass of wine at dinner each night, you can probably forget about losing those 10 lbs. before your niece’s wedding next month. Why? Read on for 3 reasons alcohol is not your weight-loss friend.
Reason #1: It’s Basically Poison
Here’s the thing: when you drink alcohol, your body uses it as a “priority fuel” until all of it has been removed from your body. What? It’s like a poison your body wants to expel as quickly as possible. So when you consume adult beverages, rather than metabolizing fat, your liver goes into full-on “get rid of the poison” mode. This means that when you have a drink, your fat-burning furnace is shut off for about 6-8 hours while your liver burns out the alcohol. You read that right: I said a drink. As in, one drink. Logically, if you take the number of drinks you normally drink in a week and have all of them on Saturday and Sunday, your fat loss would be better (note: we’re talking about fat loss NOT drunkenness) if all other things are equal. Instead of your fat-burning furnace being turned off 6-8 hours per day, it may be turned off for 12-16 hours over the weekend. So mathematically it makes sense. But if you’re drinking that much at once, can all other things really be equal?
Reason #2: Junk Food
Can anyone relate? After a late night of drinking you find yourself at the drive-thru of McDonalds laughing hysterically and demanding to talk to Ronald because you had something very important to say. And while there, you order a Big Mac, nuggets and French fries (maybe two for good measure and , why not, a shake!) Ok, ok – so maybe you don’t go to this extreme but it paints the picture. That is why alcohol is not your friend.
It’s true – alcohol can stimulate your appetite and cause you to eat way too many calories of junk food. We’ve all had those mornings where we wake up and walk into the kitchen only to find fast food or junk food wrappers scattered all over the counter. “Oh, no I didn’t!” is usually the first thought. Who ever went on a drink-infused fast or junk food binge and felt happy when they remembered what they had done the next morning? No one! When you drink, your food inhibitions are washed away in a sea of alcohol. You’re just not going to make good food choices, period. End of story. And seriously, this can happen after two drinks…I’m just going for full out dramatic effect here. If there’s a little part of your brain that likes junk food or fast food ,but you don’t let yourself have it normally, as soon as the alcohol kicks in, that’s where you lose your inhibitions. One of my mottos is: Eat your French fries (or whatever your desire) when not drinking so you can truly enjoy them, and own it!
Reason #3: Coyote Ugly – Pretty self-explanatory.(I’m just saying!)
In the end, If giving up alcohol isn’t ever going to be in your wheel-house, having 1-2 drinks two times a week probably isn’t going to throw off your overall healthy living goals if everything else stays in check Don’t get me wrong,. I’m not a huge fan of regular drinking while attempting to lose weight, but the truth is, it’s possible to start enjoying a few adult beverages (vodka soda with a lemon wedge) on the weekend and still lose weight. If you are going to imbibe while trying to lose weight, make sure to avoid any cocktails with calorie-laden mixers. A pina colada can send the scale skyrocketing. A good rule of thumb is if it has an umbrella in it, you won’t look good in a bikini. Keep the alcohol on the rocks or mixed with soda water and a fresh lime or lemon wedge. And be sure to eat your healthy meal – don’t drink and not eat, that’s a set up for so many things going downhill.
And to help you enjoy summer while staying true to your healthy living and weight loss goals, here are two fabulous cocktail recipes.
Orange Crush Mocktail
- 2 Cups orange juice (recommend high pulp for that crush feel)
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sparkling water (no flavor)
- 4 orange slices
- 4 min leaves
- POUR the sparkling water, orange juice and lemon juice into a pitcher and stir.
- PREPARE your glasses and add mint leaves on top.
- POUR mocktail into glasses and add mint leaves on top.
- 5 Cups cubed, frozen watermelon
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- Seas salt for glass rims
- 4 small watermelon slices
- SALT your glass rim with a lime wedge and sea salt
- BLEND the cubed watermelon, honey, and lime juice to your favorite margarita consistency.
- POUR mocktail into glass and garnish with watermelon slices!