This is always one of the first subjects that come up when coaching our clients. So, to get us started, lets answer the two main questions.
“Do I need to give up drinking too lose weight?”
The simple answer is no, BUT, the less you drink the quicker you can get the result you want. When coaching our clients this will be one of the first things we address. People who want to get seriously lean will need to cut it out completely for a sustained amount of time. If not all the other efforts (eating clean and training mean) will not get them aripped toned body if their going out for a few ‘cheeky ones’ a couple of times a week.
“Is binge drinking once a week better than drinking a couple of drinks every night?”
This is like asking “what’s better a punch in the nose or a kick in the crotch?” Both have serious downsides. Binge drinking is a massive issue with the younger generation and something that causes havoc every weekend on the NHS. Just walk into any A&E on a bank holiday weekend and you’ll see just how seriously damaging binge drinking can be.
Drinking a few drinks a night is certainly not as dangerous as ending up in A&E BUT its important to know that alcohol is like poison in your body. Your bodies first response when you consume poison is to stop everything else and get rid of it. Even though you’re not feeling hungover by drinking every night you are always in a state of recovery which means any effort towards getting healthier (eating clean and training mean) take a back seat until the poison has been processed.
Other downsides to drinking whilst trying to lose weight:
There is a lot of sugar in alcohol. Sugar, as you probably know is not great for losing weight.
Alcohol gives you a beer belly. Alcohol, contrary to popular belief, is a depressant. This means it puts your body on a serious downer which is why you get slurred speech and stumble around. Your body in this state is highly stressed. Your bodies natural stress hormone is called cortisol and when your cortisol levels are high, you store fat around your mid section.
Alcohol makes you weaker. The effects of drinking cause your muscles to lose size and strength as well as weakening your bones and even increasing the amount of time they take to repair. Not ideal when training is a massive factor to losing weight.
Here’s the thing, drinking is a massive part of our culture and how we celebrate. As with most things if consumed in moderation, can be fine as part of a healthy balanced lifestyle. For this reason we would never tell our clients to give it up for the rest of their lives because A) they wouldn’t be able to stick to it and B) we would never ask our clients to do something we’re not prepared to do ourselves. Instead we supply them with these three awesome strategies;
Understand the difference between ‘Essential’ and ‘Non Essential’ drinking. Essential drinking counts as all the parties, weddings and social occasions where people are enjoying a drink together to celebrate. In these situations it can be deemed rude and unsociable to not drink plus, as humans, we need to relax and unwind otherwise we can become miserable bastards. Non Essential drinking counts as everything else. Getting home and having a few beers, out for lunch with a colleague or going for a ‘cheeky beer’ when you should just go home. By separating these two you will massively reduce your intake and stop yourself drinking out of boredom or habit.
Use the 1 on – 1 off rule. This works especially well on holiday. If you’re in the situation where theres a lot of drinking involved you simply alternate between alcohol and water you will have no less fun but HALF your alcohol intake and massively reduce your chance of a hangover by staying hydrated.
Pick the best of a bad bunch. All drinks are not created equal. The difference in the damage to your body between a cheap Jagerbomb and a gin and tonic are vast!!! Not only is there a s*@t load sugar but all sorts of chemicals and nastiness can be found in a whole range of drinks. So, to make a better choice, opt for white spirits (vodka or gin) and swap the lemonade or sugary mixers with soda water and a squeeze of fresh lime.
We hope you found this useful. As always please like, share and together we will make the world a much healthier place.