My goal is to help women over 40 create a sustainable, healthy lifestyle and girl, I know alcohol tends to be part of that lifestyle! I am not that health coach that is going to say, “GIVE IT UP!” when once in a while you want to go out and have a date night with your sweetie, or out with your girls, and enjoy a glass of whatever! So how do you come up with a way to make it sustainable?
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If you don’t ever want to have a drink again for other reasons than that is amazing if that is your true desire. BUT if it’s because you think that you CAN’T HAVE alcohol in your life and still sustain weight loss, then that is where I want to start the conversation!! Alcohol will NEVER be on the good foods list, but there is a way you are able to have it on occasion. So, let’s break what alcohol is, so that you can go in informed about what decisions to make!
Alright, so here are the basics. Alcohol is just empty calories and there are NO health benefits in alcohol, no matter what you have heard about wine or sherry! (maybe in small amounts, but not in multiple glasses at a time.🤷🏽♀️) And it’s not the carbs that make it not good for your body, it’s not the sugar, it’s THE ALCOHOL! It is basically the 4th macro and has its own macro count of 7 grams! Think about that, that is second to fat! Fat has 9 grams. And for some people that is a lot. So, you have to balance that out when you are making these decisions of whether to drink or not.
Let’s say you had some drinks. When that alcohol metabolizes (digests), it takes about 2-4 hours to digest it, depending on how many drinks you have had. While your body is digesting this alcohol, it goes through several phases and in that phase it is broken down into acetate and acetate is highly flammable, so it starts to burn that alcohol up. But our bodies are lazy so it’s always looking for the quickest way to get energy and if there is alcohol laying around, it is going to burn that alcohol first before anything else in your body. And then it gets to the fats, carbs, etc. (If you are trying to burn fat in your body, and there is alcohol in the way, how is your body going to get to that fat to burn??? See what I am saying???)
If you have body fat to lose and you are having alcohol on a regular basis, I want you to stop and ask yourself, is this helping my goal. (I didn’t say stop the booze, I just said ask this question…) And since alcohol likes to hang out around our midsection, it can make it harder to lose that weight if that is your goal. Alcohol is a toxin within our body, and our body doesn’t really know what to do with it, so it doesn’t break it down into glucose like the other nutrients in our body. So instead, it sticks it away for storage as FAT! And stops you from reaching your goals!
So again, I want you to figure out, “What are my goals? And How many drinks am I currently having?” We all know the key to weight loss is creating this caloric deficit so if you are trying to lose weight, can you bring yourself down to having 1 drink a night to have fewer calories a day to help with that weight loss? I challenge people to look at their relationship with alcohol. Are you using it to unwind, to destress? Are there other ways that you can do that, especially if you are trying to lose weight? Because we need to create this caloric deficit when trying to lose weight.
Another thing that alcohol does to hinder us from reaching our weight loss goals is by causing us to crave foods we typically wouldn’t eat. What are some of the decisions that you start to make that you wouldn’t have made if you did not have that glass of wine or 2? Are you reaching for pizza and crap???
I am going to come back to this, and with like all things it is about MODERATION! You don’t need to do it every night, and wouldn’t you much rather eat really good food instead of wasting all of your calories on drinks instead of food? I know I would rather eat good food than drink my calories!
What do you do if you ARE going out that night for dinner and drinks?? If you are going out, great! But during that entire day, you are going to make sure you are hitting your protein numbers and you have a full belly. DON’T SKIP meals that day. The more that is in your belly, the less likely you are going to get drunk, and you are also fuller so you will be less likely to indulge too much in foods you would rather not eat. Alcohol is your TREAT, so pick your battles! Would you rather have a nice glass of wine or dessert? Or if you had a really great week, maybe you can have a glass of wine and a dessert!! Once again, I am bringing you back to MODERATION and now COMPROMISE!
Okay, so you are out to dinner, but what do you drink that is NOT FULL OF CALORIES! Try something on the rocks, like a vodka on the rocks, or with seltzer or water and stay with that drink. Don’t mix that drink on the rocks with other things like beer and wine. Just stick to 1 type during that night. Keep it simple and be sure to throw in some glasses of water in between drinks or after your ONE!
So, I challenge you, to check in with yourself and ask yourself these questions:
- Can you have X amount of drinks and feel comfortable with that?
- Does alcohol make you lose your inhibitions with food and drink and make you eat things you otherwise wouldn’t?
- Can you sleep when you drink or consume a certain amount of alcohol? Or is it affecting my sleep?
Just know magic makers that if you feel drinking may be a problem and you find yourself questioning your relationship with alcohol, it is not something to feel ashamed of. Listen to this podcast I did a while back about it and maybe it’s something to explore and have your own personal conversation with. And then grab my Alcohol Resource Guide. It has all of the information we just went over and more, plus it gives you great mocktail recipes to whip up when you are craving alcohol! Plus, I give you the details on how you can bring alcohol into your life and still lose weight. Download it and let me know what you think! Share it with a friend, a sister, a mother or a significant other and do what is right for you magic makers
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Is it time to question your relationship with alcohol?