Alcohol And Fitness: How Much Is Too Much?

A few drinks out with clients, a glass of wine to unwind at night and brunch mimosas because, well, Sunday. Duh! 

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You lead a relatively kick-ass, healthy lifestyle... So a few drinks is justifiable right? #TreatYoSelf

Maybe, maybe not...

Do you need to reevaluate your alcohol consumption?

The truth is that drinking for many people is a very important part of their life. And we get that...

It's social. It's cultural. It's celebratory at times (we celebrated EVERYTHING in college, amiright?). It's part of your job. You know that the deal doesn't get closed in the boardroom; It gets closed at the bar.

That often makes adjusting your alcohol consumption a very personal decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

But, they say knowledge is power so let’s break down booze together and see where you stand.

What You Should Know About Alcohol

Alcohol in any amount influences blood vessels and fluid volume within the body. This can result in such not-so-fun things.

Any Intake:

  • Migraines
  • Excessive urine out put
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Displacement of nutrients
Britney Spears

Chronic Intake:

  • Infertility
  • Lower testosterone
  • Shrink muscle tissue
  • Injure the liver
  • Increase fat synthesis
  • Create dependence

Alcohol is often ignored when it comes to nutrition.

Maybe we're in denial or maybe we just don't think of alcohol as calorie containing 'food'.  The truth is that liquid calories are part of what we call ninja calories and they can really add up.

Ninja calories: Calories in food items that often get over looked because they're sneaky betches!  (Such as: dressings, oils, butters, syrups and some beverages) 

1 glass of white wine = 120 calories

3 glasses of white wine in 1 week = 360 calories

3 glasses of white wine a week for a year = 18,720 calories lost to alcohol

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Ninja calories make BIG impacts over time.  They're damn sneaky so keep your eyes peeled for them and know where they sneak into your diet.

Alcohol and Work Culture

Many of us work in jobs where alcohol is part of the culture. According to a recent study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; doctors, lawyers, construction workers and miners are among the top occupations that have the highest likely alcohol consumption. 

It is even becoming more common to find beers on tap in the office kitchens, and margarita Fridays scheduled in many startup companies. 

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So….we like to drink….

I get it! 

I enjoy a smooth tequila on the rocks on the weekends or indulge in a boss craft beer selection at the staff retreat.  I’m not saying this is a bad habit and that you'll crush all your hopes and dreams of living a healthy lifestyle.  

But instead of ignoring our alcohol consumption let's educate ourselves so we can make the best choices possible.

Alcohol Tips and Tricks

Simplicity

The fancier sounding the drink, chances are the more ingredients and calories it packs. Sometimes simpler is better, but we've been bamboozled by fancy names and amazing new micro brews that pack a bigger caloric punch than we might realize.

If you want to drink, but want to minimize the caloric impact think SIMPLER IS BETTER.  Here is my all time favorite and a simple swap to nail your calorie goals:

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4 more delicious cocktails that are SUPER low-cal

**Remember when it comes to minimalistic drinks the quality of the booze maters! Spoil yourself, you deserve it :)

1.     Tequila on the rocks with splash of soda, lime and orange

2.     Low Cal Moscow Mule – ginger beer, vodka, lime juice, skip the simple syrup

3.     Low Cal Cosmo – raspberry infused vodka, soda water, cranberry juice and lemons

4.     Low Cal Mojito – hold the sugar and add extra lime

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No One Is Judging You

Go ahead and....

  • Ask your bartender to hold the sour mix, sugar rims, and simple syrups.
  • Ask for a glass of water every time you order a drink.
  • Pass on a drink when your friends yell for another round.

No one is going to be offended by you making the best health decisions possible.  Everyone is there to have a good time, and YES you can have a good time without getting shmamered. 

Pro Tips:

  1. If your friends consistently give you hard time for NOT drinking or are picking on you for your drink selection, stay strong….. It might be a good idea to remind them that you aren't just their drinking buddy - you're their friend, and you need them to support your decisions.  #HealthyAF
  2. If you feel like your being a pain in the ass for a special order...remember that it's the bartender that gets paid to serve YOU -- and remember: they work for tips so if you feel they've gone above and beyond for you, it's easy to show your appreciation.

Taking a break

You’re not going to hurt alcohol’s (or your friends' ) feelings if you want to take a break and if you need space to nail your health and/or fat loss goals.  Alcohol isn't a nutritional necessity nor is it necessary to live your best life.  

It also isn't necessary for a party despite what all the advertisements and marketing says. (just remember, they want you to buy their booze!)

Just be honest with yourself and be honest with those around you.  Not only will this clear up any confusion or unwanted peer pressure, but they can also help support you and keep you accountable to your goals.

We Were On A Break

Last Call (Wrapping It Up)

Ultimately, you are the hero/heroin of your own adventure and will always have to make tough choices throughout your life's journey. If you're on track to living your best life, keep the path. If you think you're going to need help making some healthy changes here are some resources:

Want to learn more about the science behind alcohol and your body?

Need Support with your Alcohol use or help in regards to a loved one?


If you want to get hands on, built-for-you nutrition coaching that will help you transform your body without transforming the way that you eat, click on the button below and we'll be in touch within 48 hours.


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Lindsay is the co-founder and First Lady of AMP Fitness as well as the head nutrition coach in our AMPed Nutrition coaching program. Lindsay implements a body-positive strategy to help each member and coaching client NAIL their health and nutrition goals. She's also a SUPER mom and is a pre- and post-natal coach for all things fitness.