It’s Friday night and you have been eating clean all week.  Do you deserve a drink, or will it ruin your hard earned progress towards your weight loss goal? Read on to learn the effects of alcohol and then decide if the occasional drink is worth it. Plus, see the “if you must have a drink” options below.

Why Does Alcohol Make You Fat?

In short, alcohol is actually a toxin, and truth be told, your body will not use it for any nutritional value.  In fact, alcohol is an empty calorie the body will immediately work towards removing once consumed.  This means all other tasks such as burning fat, protein synthesis, the Krebs cycle, and absorbing nutrients are all pushed aside so your body can eliminate alcohol from its system.  Ultimately, this puts the body in a state of fat storage that lasts for up to 24 hours or more.  Now does that cosmo sound so appealing?

How Can This Be?

Alcohol inhibits muscle growth and promotes an imbalance in estrogen which can lead to increased fats stores if consumed on a regular basis (American Cancer Society: Alcohol Use and Cancer).  In addition, while drinking, your brain is not functioning normally and inhibitions are lowered.  This means you’ll tend to make poor decisions when drinking (we’ve all been there), which includes eating unhealthy choices, overeating and all sorts of shenanigans.

Immediately, all the greasy, fatty, sugary food you have consumed has no where to go and is ultimately stored until the body can handle metabolizing nutrients.  Essentially, the body cannot optimally convert calories into energy until the toxins are expelled.

This is why drinking is best served occasionally and sparingly.  Just because it’s the weekend, or you’re trying to de-stress, doesn’t mean you’re doing yourself any favors.  You’re actually causing more harm then good.

How Can I Coexist With My Friends And Family?

If you do have a special occasion and are on a mission to get fit and eat clean, here are some tips to avoid blowing your progress.

  1. Plan on only having one drink.  Two at the most!
  2. Eat a healthy meal before you go out.  Skipping a meal will not save you on calories, but rather increase your appetite.  This leads to more drinks and unhealthy food choices.
  3. Sip on your drink, do not pound it.  It is harder on the body to consume a large quantity of alcohol quickly.
  4. Order light beer, wine or a shot of alcohol mixed with diet pop or soda water.
  5. In between your two drinks have a glass of water.  Alcohol dehydrates you and you need to have a big glass of water for every drink consumed.

As you can see, alcohol will only hinder your progress towards a healthy lifestyle and obtaining a toned physique.  So, if this is your goal, don’t be a weekly drinker.  There are plenty of fun activities to enjoy besides drinking.  Maybe you’ll even remember them!

Cheers With Water!


Coach Jessica
Coach Jessica

Jessica & Justin Rundle are Spokane natives and the founders of Workout Anywhere (a Northwest fitness training app for busy parents, by busy parents). In addition, the two are the official strength & conditioning coaches for Mt. Spokane High School. To Learn more about Jessica and Justin Rundle, click here: Meet Team RundleFit.

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