I think the real reason for this is I drink much less frequently than I did in my early to mid twenties and I eat much cleaner and balanced now as well. Now when I drink alcohol, my body is much more sensitive to it and being used to clean, whole foods filling my 1800-2000 calories a day, it goes on strike wihen I try to replace those calories with not-so-nutritious alcohol.
Don’t worry, this post is not going to shame you for drinking, I love a good drink just as much as the next person! I just want to address the subject and some common questions we get. Hopefully I can bring a little more clarity to the subject and help you make a more educated decision next time you do….. or don’t, tip one back!
We love macro counting because you can fit the foods and drinks you love into your daily macronutrient intake. However, does that always mean that just because you can fit chocolate cake or a piece of pizza into your macros it’s the best decision for your health? Is that big margarita going to make you feel like a million bucks the next day? Not always, but it also doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy those things.
Our bodies require protein, carbohydrates and fats to function. There are 4 calories to 1 gram of carbs and 1 gram of protein, 9 calories to 1 gram of fat and 7 calories to a gram of alcohol. When we consume protein, carbs and fats our bodies immediately get to work to metabolize our food. When we drink, our body doesn’t recognize it as one of those three necessary macros and wants to rid of it as quickly as possible so instead of metabolizing our food, it works on the alcohol instead. This can result in our body holding off on metabolizing our food and runs the risk of storing it as body fat instead of using it as fuel!
So when should you just say no to that drink and when is it okay to indulge? I say tell me your goals and that will give us your answer!
Is significant weight loss and body composition change your current goal? If the answer is yes and you really want to do everything in your power to get there, I think it is best to skip the drink.
“But Katy, one glass of red wine a day is good for your heart health!”
Sorry Charlie, but NOT drinking wine every day is better for your heart and your waist line! I hear all the excuses in the book, but at the end of the day your body is going to respond to clean, whole foods much better than it is to alcohol.
Is your goal to get shredded and see a 12 pack? Again, I would definately keep the liquor limited. Yes, there are plenty of super lean individuals out there that drink but it is going to be easier and you are going to feel a lot better if you pass up the drinks. If you are in a caloric deficit, your calories are already super limited so to fit alcohol into your macros is probably going to mean that your food intake is going to be super limited. Splitting up an already low caloric intake between alcohol and food is tough to do and can often result in an unwanted binge. It can already be a challenge mentally to adhere deficit macros, let alone when you are drinking part of those calories.
Is your goal to find the balance of healthy eating, yet enjoy your social life? If you fall in this category of coarse you can have a lean body and look amazing! You may just have to be okay with a little slower progress or not walking around with 6 pack abs 24/7. This also doesn’t mean if you are in the above two categories you can’t have a social life, obviously! This group just may be a little more lax than the others. If you love those Friday or Saturday nights out with your friends or significant other and you don’t want to track during those times or you want an extra drink or 3, then that is okay! You just have to know where you stand with your goals and that things may not move as fast if you are doing this.
At the end of the day, you know your goals and you know how alcohol affects your body. I encourage you to be honest with yourself and what your goals are. Before you tip one back, ask yourself if that drink is in alignment with your goals. At Flex Fuel we strive to help you create a plan that works for your life, while simultaneously helping you reach your goals. This looks different for each person and if you need help figuring out which path is best for you, we are happy to help you figure that out! Life is not black and white and neither is your nutrition journey!