Episode 017: Alcohol & Fat Loss – Can You Have Both?

In this episode we’re talking about alcohol and fat loss & if you can have both! We talk about how alcohol impacts metabolism, how it can increase your likelihood of being in fat-storage mode but we also talk about becoming aware of how alcohol impacts YOU in a unique way. Does alcohol increase your cravings? Does it make you bloated? Finally, we go into practical implementation strategies for how to enjoy alcohol without trashing your fat loss goals.

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The Problem: Alcohol is a slippery slope for making people seeking fat loss. It’s all fun and games ’til the beer/wine/liquor hits the scene! Not only does alcohol take metabolic priority – inhibiting fat burning and moving food digestion to the back of the priority list – but it impairs our decision making and self control. Not only does alcohol not contain any nutrients of its own, but it can impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and vitamins from the food you eat. Alcohol irritates your gastrointestinal tract, and can damage your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, vitamins and minerals from the food you eat.

So, is it possible to enjoy alcohol and still see fat loss results? Rest easy. Yes, it is.

The Solution: Before you commit to changing – or not changing – your alcohol habits, I would challenge you to focus on AWARENESS for a couple weeks. A lot of times our behaviors when we’re drinking or our feelings in the following days are subconscious and we aren’t even aware of them. Start to pay attention to your response to alcohol, including:

  • If drinking impacts your food choices
  • Does drinking impact your exercise performance in the days afterward?
  • What impact does it have on your energy levels? Your sleep? Your focus? Your motivation?
  • Do you feel bloated after you drink?
  • Do you crave more sweets when you’re drinking or in the days after?

Practical Implementation: Consider adopting one or more of these success strategies. The key is to find the one (or more) that work for YOU. Everyone is different.

  • Carbs OR alcohol – Choose one of the other, not both. This will impact the fat storing potential of your drinking
  • Watch out for gluten in beers – beer is commonly produced from wheat products and is often pretty dang high in both gluten AND sugars – it can have a significant impact on your blood sugar levels. Remember that managing your blood sugar is a major part of staying in fat burning mode and staying out of fat storing mode.
  • Wine – opt for bolder, less sweet wines.
  • Liquor – choose clear liquors and avoid mixers (adding fruit juice or soda compounds the fat storing potential)
  • Drink lots of water to help support the excretion of your biproducts of alcohol metabolism
  • Eat lots of fruit & veggies the following day, or take a multivitamin, to replace the nutrients commonly depleted during alcohol metabolism
  • Don’t use food or alcohol as a means of stress relief or escape

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