The impact of alcohol
The feel-good effects of alcohol are hard to ignore. Tough day at work? Nothing like a glass of red wine to take the edge off. Big game for your favorite team? Nothing like a cold beer to calm your nerves and raise the level of excitement. Date night with the girls? Margaritas sound perfect!
Sorry if this comes as a surprise, but the truth is that alcohol can wreak havoc on your transformation. Or at least, too much of it can. No, we're not demanding that you go cold turkey during Transformed. Here's the case for keeping it minimal, along with some specific recommendations about how much and what to drink!
Alcohol bring plenty of extra calories
Just like protein, carbohydrates and fat, alcohol supplies your body with energy—or calories. In fact, it provides almost twice as many calories as protein and carbohydrates, to the tune of 7 calories per gram versus 4 calories per gram. So unfortunately, even straight liquor isn't "free" in a caloric sense.
Beer, wine, mixed drinks—they all come in a range of calories, ranging from not-that-much to you-really-don't-want-to-know. And then there's the sugary mixers and the mindless snacking that often accompany drinking. Beyond the calorie, however, alcohol wreaks even more havoc on your transformation goal.
Alcohol impairs recovery and fitness gains
Alcohol is viewed as a toxin by the body because, well, it is a toxin. This means that after a few drinks, your body shuts down all fat-burning and nutrient-storing processes and puts all of its energy into breaking down alcohol and ridding the body of it. This places a major pause on fat loss, while simultaneously putting you into a major calorie surplus, or a favorable position for fat gain.
Long story short: Frequent indulgences will bring your progress to an immediate halt! So here's the plan:
- For the next 12 weeks, limit yourself to drinking 1-2 times per week max, and 1-2 drinks per sitting max. Not drinking at all is also a fine option, of course.
- If you do decide to have a drink, opt for low/no-calorie mixers, and stick to your already planned meal so that you can avoid taking in even more calories.
* Ratings as of article's date of publication