We have a problem.
Alcohol is delicious.
And being so damn delicious there is only one thing that could mean. It doesn’t fit into our new goals for fat loss. Just like cookies, pizza and endless bowls of pasta, we are just going to have wave bye-bye to our old friend liquid courage.
We had a good run. We’ll always have those 3-30 rack nights playing beer pong. Oh the memories.
Stopping alcohol all together also means:
- No beer during football games.
- No wine at dinner.
- No “fuck this week” after work drink.
That’s about 2/3 of your social life isn’t it?
Instead of trying to conform to the perfect diet and in turn giving up your entire social life that comes with alcohol, let’s go with the diet that works for us, helps us lose fat and we get to consume God Juice aka alcohol.
So I’m going to show you how to carefully navigate around the alcohol minefield while still keeping the fat dropping faster than a college girl’s underwear (assuming they were any).
HOW TO GET FAT FROM DRINKING
WHAT’LL IT BE?
Let’s start where it seems most appropriate, the beginning of the night but more specifically your drink of choice.
Say you are feeling a little frisky and want to start the night for a strawberry margarita. Oh boy it’s going to be one of those nights.
The bartender asks you if you want salt or sugar on the rim. You reply “Sugar, because I’m sweet”. (vomit) At the rate this night is already going there is going to be more than one regret tomorrow.
Margaritas are loaded with sugar; roughly to the tune of 55g in one glass. To make that unimpressive number into an impressive visual, that’s 13 teaspoons of sugar. I got diabetes just thinking about that.
Combining the diabetes inducing sugar content with the alcohol in the tequila and you are asking to pack on the pounds, for reasons I’ll get into in a little bit.
I singled out margaritas but they aren’t alone in the poor drink category. Just about all mixers with the exception of mint, lemon/lime, tonic water and diet sodas will add extra calories to your day and eventual waist line. Consider this a tax for not being rugged and drinking straight liquor.
YOU GUYS HUNGRY?
You know the places around you that are only open from 11 pm to 4 am? Those sketchy places that would go out of business if they were open during the day cause the food sucks?
Drunk people are hungry, tipsy and need something that will make the jackhammering in your head just a little bit lighter in the morning. So these places rake in the money while we add weight to our midsection.
Everyone knows our inhibitions drop while drinking. That 4 eyeing you all night looks more and more like an 8 by the end of the night.
Well that same loss of inhibitions that get you laid at the end of the night are the same ones that let you eat an entire pizza “to soak up the alcohol”.
So how do you get fat from drinking? Drinking liquid sugar and eating crap.
HOW YOUR BODY HANDLES GOD JUICE
What makes alcohol one of the best things ever is also the thing that screws everything up. Since alcohol is not an essential nutrient, despite what your inner bro says, your body views it as a toxin. Well to be more specific, the by-product of alcohol- acetate- is seen as a toxin.
Because of this, alcohol goes to the front of the metabolic line passing over carbs, fat and protein. So while you are getting shitty on a Saturday night, your body is more or less running on alcohol.
By pushing alcohol to the front of the metabolic line, the metabolic environment inside your body changes to the opposite of what it looks like post workout. Meaning you aren’t burning any fat. A study published in the American Journal of College of Nutrition found that when men were given two drinks of vodka their fat burning dropped by 73 percent. I’m not a mathematician but that seems like a lot.
The calories from the late night Taco Bell run after a night of drinking go to the back of the line when it comes to being metabolized. By this point your energy requirements for the day are satisfied from the pre drinking food and the copious amount of alcohol you drank. So you get to enjoy that Taco Bell as fat for months and years to come as belly fat!
Alcohol also contains seven calories per gram, which is second highest to fat at 9 calories per gram. So to say there are no calories in hard alcohol is a lie. There might not be carbs but there are most definitely calories.
HOW TO DRINK AND LOSE WEIGHT
To be able to drink and stay on your fat loss pilgrimage we need to start before you take your first sip.
Leading up to drinking, fats and carbs need to be reduced while you up protein. This will help mitigate any added fat gain. Reducing fats and carbs is obvious, but upping protein might be a little confusing.
Protein will help to feel full while cutting back on the other macros. This will help you from having your own Betty White Snicker’s commercial. Plus, you can keep your gainz that you worked so hard for.
Protein is difficult for the body to turn into fat. There is a whole host of chemical reactions that need to occur to do that. The easier thing for the body to do is for the body to get rid of the excess protein through poop or pissing it out.
Personally I’d lower total calories too. A safe buffer would be by 500. If you normally eat 2000 calories per day, just consume 1500 calories prior to drinking. This gives you a little buffer to have more than one drink. Honestly who can have just one anyway.
If you prepped right, then drink choice is pretty much up to you with one caveat – you can control yourself.
10 beers or 3 margaritas aren’t going to help your fat loss cause any. Plus, by that point you are probably going to eat some less than stellar foods.
I’m all about having a good time so try to cap the night with 1-2 drinks. Just enough to ease a conversation with a stranger but not enough where you are dancing on the bar. This will help limit calories, the lack of fat burning and keep you from making bad food decisions. Bad life decisions are a whole different ball game.
But let me guess, 2 drinks don’t do anything for your right? You alcoholic you. If this is a case, might I suggest a diet soda and hard liquor drink.
Apparently there is a breed of scientist that study alcohol’s effect on the body which I don’t remember my college advisor telling me of this career option.
These scientists studied the effect of breath alcohol concentrations of hard liquor in sugary drinks and diet drinks. They found that the diet drink lead to a higher breath alcohol concentration. So not only are you saving calories with the diet drink I also get drunk? Seems like a win-win to me.
My drink of choice is the Lean Bro. That’s gym talk for a vodka and diet coke. Admit it, Lean Bro sounds better.
Despite how delicious all food looks stay away. Those nachos or the thing they are passing off as a hot dog aren’t going to help you at all. They are just going to stick to your gut for longer than you want.
Do yourself and your wallet a favor, skip the after drink meals. No one died from going to bed a little hungry one night.
ALCOHOL AND GAINZ
Without getting too deep in the weeds with this one, your body is either in protein synthesis or protein breakdown. Synthesis is the environment for gainz, breakdown is the environment for the unfathomable – loss of gainz.
Earlier I said that when you drink your metabolism prioritizes alcohol over protein, fat and carbs which creates an environment that is opposite the environment post workout, well that goes for protein synthesis too.
Post workout your body tries to repair the damage you just did by upping protein synthesis. Alcohol suppresses this protein synthesis in the favor of protein breakdown.
Now one night won’t sabotage weeks of hard work in the gym, but I wouldn’t make it a habit of drinking every night if your trying to put on muscle. You’re just making the uphill battle of putting on muscle even harder.
The best thing to do is to either workout in the morning before a night of drinking or to skip the night workout directly before drinking. If you work out the morning of at least there will be a few hours where your body can soak up protein and flip the switch of protein synthesis. I mean you did spend time trying to add muscle right?
If you can’t get to the gym in the morning, then skip the night workout right before you begin consuming. The workout itself breaks down muscle and coupling that with suppressing the post workout protein synthesis with alcohol is just a bad idea. Save yourself the aggravation, work out the next morning. It will help the hangover and help mitigate any fat gain.
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