How to Prevent Fat Gain When Drinking Alcohol
For most of the people alcohol is a part of life. It is something that makes our lives more interesting, it makes people happier, social events are more fun with it, and it allows more people to get laid.
Although consuming alcohol can prove to be healthy, there are many health issues that can be caused by it.
Alcohol abuse is very easy. It is a commonly known fact that most of the people are familiar with. However, there’s a way of drinking couple of times every week without having to put on extra weight.
You will be told by most people that you should quit alcohol. They say that in order to avoid gaining weight, you should ditch the drinks.
Here is what I think about this: you can get rid of alcohol by removing it from the diet for your entire life and call it a day, but here’s the thing – unless you are 100 percent sober – any attempts at eliminating alcohol from your diet completely will simply set you up for failure. Same is the case with trying to eliminate your favorite food items. Just think about the time when you decided that you will stop eating your favorite food item in order to lose weight? Were you successful?
Eliminating drinks and foods from the diet is not the answer. Same is the case with alcohol.
So if you love beer, bloody mary, cider or martini, there is a better way.
Yes, surely you can go for the approach of “drinking moderately”, but it is not practical. Many events happen in life and there can be times when one simply has to drink.
Therefore, what you should be looking for is some practical long-term plan which can be integrated with the current lifestyle of yours. Shout out to Andy Morgan and Dick Talens from RippedBody.jp and Lifehacker respectively, as the following tips are simply a simplified version of their guides to alcohol drinking.
How You Can Minimize (or Eliminate) the Damage:
Step 1: Know the days when you will be drinking.
The first step is to keep track of when you are drinking. Let’s assume that you have some friends in the town this week and you plan on partying with them in the bars on the Friday night. You will mark this day in a calendar as either a “casual” drinking day or a “free” drinking day.
The casual drinking days are the days when you are going to have only few drinks. For example, you can have a glass of wine with your partner or spouse.
On the casual drinking days you will log the drinks on the calorie tracking app. This is about it. If you hit the macros for the day and you stay within the calorie limit even after consuming alcohol, you don’t have anything to worry about.
Then we have the free drinking days. These are the days when you go all-out. On these days you will not be tracking anything on the calorie tracking apps because, well, you are too busy enjoying life.
For the free drinking days, you will proceed to the Step 2
Similar to how one should plan the days they eat out, planning the days when one drinks can make a huge difference in the progress. This will allow you to plan accordingly and to prepare for what is to come. A big reason why many people fail with the diets is just because of lack of planning. Here we are making the part of your plan that is related to alcohol consumption.
The problem is not alcohol. It does have calories, but alcohol itself does not make you fat. Overconsumption of the calories is the main issue, and this is why it is important that you plan out the days when you will be drinking.
Step 2: Keep the intake of carbs and fats low through the drinking day.
Try to keep the consumption of fats/carbs to minimum. This will keep the numbers down throughout the day. This will be helpful in preventing storage of fat.
Step 3 (1st Option): Eat mainly green veggies and the foods that are high in protein.
On your drinking day, you should mainly eat the protein dense foods like chicken, red meat, fish, protein powder, low-fat cheese, etc. And you should also eat huge amounts of veggies on the drinking day.
Here is why:
1. Proteins are the most satiating micronutrients, meaning that they keep you fuller for longer periods of time. By eating food that is dense in protein, you will be able to keep the cravings in check throughout the day.
2. Consuming proteins during the day will reduce the chances of you blowing your diet after drinking.
3. On the other hand, veggies contain high amounts of fiber and have low caloric content. This will be helpful for you to stay full during the day and will keep your calories down at the same time.
Step 3 (2nd Option): Fast throughout the day
You can take a second approach of implementing intermittent fasting.
Basically, how this will work is very simple: you will not drink or eat anything that has calories for most part of the day. You will only start eating once you start drinking. You will have the first meal just before you start drinking. With this meal, your goal is to eat a lot of protein from the lean sources (already mentioned in the option 1).
When you will fast throughout the day, you will accomplish 2 things:
1. You will save the calories for the later
2. You will get drunk faster, which means that there is a good chance that you will end up drinking less. And Less alcohol = Less calories.
Note: This technique is more advanced than the first option, so it should only be done if you previously have some experience of intermittent fasting.
Some random tips:
· Here are some great alcohol choices that are better than the others, calorie-wise: vodka, dry vine, rum, tequila, whiskey, and scotch.
· You can drink the alcohol mentioned above straight or you can drink with some zero-calorie mixer such as diet soda.
· You should limit the consumption of alcohol to 1 or 2 nights every week because the more you consume alcohol, the more empty calories you are consuming. This will not help you with fat loss.
Here is the best part about the above guideline – if you go according to the above protocol whenever you drink, and you don’t mess up your diet during the week, you will not gain any fat. The fact is that if you can manage to stay on calorie deficit during the week even with a night of heavy drinking, you will actually be losing fat. Isn’t it awesome?
Please note that I am not advocating that you should drink regularly. This is simply a guide on how one should drink alcohol without letting it ruin one’s (a) fat loss progress and (b) social life.