This is one of our most asked questions by our clients. Does alcohol really slow my goals? How many drinks is ok? What if I only drink on the weekends? So if you are often wondering these questions as well, you are far from alone. In 2012, 88% of adults ages 18 and up reported that they have consumed alcohol. So this is a topic that affects almost 9 out of 10 adults. So what does it really do to our bodies?
Well calories in alcohol are “empty”, meaning they have no nutritional value. Because of this, your body has no use for it and can’t store it, so it metabolizes it immediately. It become the sole focus of your metabolism to get rid of it. While this is going on, your body also loses its ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients from the foods you eat.
Alcohol also has serious effects on your blood sugar levels. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is one of the first parts of the metabolism that stops working while your body instead tries to eliminate toxins from the alcohol as fast as possible. Over time this can cause glucose intolerance, and even lead to diabetes. Even if you only drink occasionally, it can lead to dangerous drops in blood sugar levels.
These are all bad side effects of drinking that cause weight gain, among other serious problems. But to answer those previous questions, lets look at what happens immediately that causes us to gain weight while drinking… To reiterate, alcohol can’t be stored by your body so it must be metabolized immediately. This starts from the first sip of the night. Once this process starts, your body won’t metabolize fats and sugars. Think about all those sugary mixed drinks! Those are all immediately stored as fat! On top of that, alcohol slows your metabolism. So even after you stop drinking, your body is still being affected and the weight gain continues.
That’s just the metabolic breakdown of the the effects of alcohol. We haven’t even talked about the plain-view breakdown of the calories your taking in with each drink. Let’s say you come home at the end of the day and have a few beers to relax. 3 beers equates to right around 450 calories! That’s a significant portion of your workout if you are absolutely busting your ass! If you went through a lackluster workout that day, forget about it! And that’s if you stopped at 3 beers… The brutal truth is that one night of heavy drinking can destroy an entire week of hard work. Before you know it, you could be at upwards of 1500-2000 calories. It can be a lot higher than that. Think about a night you really went all out. Maybe your buddies got a keg. Maybe you were in a case race. About 4500 calories are in a 30 pack of beer. On your best night how many of those did you handle?
So let’s get back to the question: Does alcohol really slow my goals? The answer: No. It brings them to a SCREAMING HALT! We talk about plateau busters all the time and how we can bust through them but we never talk about how to cause them. Drinking is the ultimate plateau creator. That’s if you’re lucky. If you’re a casual gym-goer, alcohol will put you backwards in a hurry. Who enjoys busting their but every workout and seeing no progress or even regressions? Nobody. But who is willing to cut out the main cause of that? It’s up to you. These are your priorities. Can you learn to have a good time sober? If you are looking to transform your body then you are going to have to. There’s no way around it. You can’t do enough to counter drinking.
There’s the brutally honest truth.
Until next time,