When it comes to losing weight without ditching your weekly glass of wine, moderation really is the magic word.
In this day and age, we’re all too aware of the effects of alcohol on our brain and body. We know that it can change our behaviour, dehydrate us and affect our sleeping patterns. But something many may not know is that alcohol encourages an increase of fat storage in the body.
This is bad news for our health and fitness goals as it means that whenever alcohol enters our system our body is focused on burning the alcohol off before anything else, so burning fat is no longer a priority.
There's no denying the science behind it, but the good news is you can still have a drink or two without totally sabotaging your weight loss goals.
Winding down and relaxing is an essential part of our overall health and enjoying a drink from time to time is OK. My training and nutrition philosophy has always been big on balance and this means never completely depriving yourself of the things you love the most.
At the end of the day, it’s all about finding the perfect balance and knowing your limits by keeping these important guidelines in mind.
1. Moderation is key
Peer pressure can be a hell of a thing, so go in to your event with a planned drink limit and make sure you stick to it! Aim to have just one or two and keep yourself accountable. Not only will you keep your weight loss goals on track, your body will thank you for it the next day.
2. Make healthy swaps
Don’t forget that all drinks are not created equal. It can be as simple as replacing your usual margarita with a glass of red wine or clear spirit with mineral or sparkling water. These drink swaps can instantly cut your calorie intake. Opting for a drink like vodka, lime and soda will also keep you hydrated while you drink too. Here are some of the most effective healthy drink swaps:
- Swap a Mojito (242 calories) for a Martini (70 calories).
- Swap a glass of sweet white wine (160 calories) for a glass of champagne (89 calories).
- Swap pre-mixed vodka based drinks (240 calories) for a vodka soda (96 calories)
3. H20 is the go
Make sure you alternate each alcoholic drink with a glass of water to combat the dehydration that comes with drinking. Give it a go and you never know, you might even find that you’re more than satisfied with your water!
4. Always eat before
Arriving to drinks on an empty stomach is dangerous and can be a recipe for disaster. Never underestimate the importance of having a healthy dinner packed with good fats and lean protein before you go out. This will make sure you arrive satisfied. This will not only slow down the consumption of alcohol into your bloodstream, but also lessen the likelihood that you’ll go bananas on the canapes.
5. Squeeze in that workout
Make sure you make time to smash out your workout and build up a sweat before you indulge in a few drinks. You’ll probably find you work harder with that wine in mind and will really deserve the drink when the time comes around!
When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off in the long run, following a philosophy of balance will always be your best friend. Moderation really is the magic word and as long as you follow these steps and are sensible with your alcohol intake, there’s no need to cut out that much needed vino after a long, stressful day. Especially when it is the thing you need the most.