Alcohol and dieting is a subject that can be a little bit confusing. It's therefore no surprise that I often get asked 'can you drink alcohol whilst on a diet?'. This is a question that pops up all year round.
This article should help you navigate the minefield of alcohol when you're training like a beast and improving your physique!
We are not all angels and we do like to indulge from time to time. When the scenario does arise I quite often get asked what alcohol options should be selected... So if you really have to drink what should you choose?!
-When looking at alcoholic drinks, there is quite a difference in the total caloric content with beer generally containing the highest number. The high calories in beer comes mainly from the non-alcoholic ingredients.
-Spirits on the whole are relatively similar in caloric content at roughly 60 calories per shot, these add up pretty quickly when partaking in doubles!
-The mixers are a very important variable when taking alcohol into consideration. Combine a shot of spirit with a glass of full sugar coke or lemonade (around 180 calories, 95% of these from sugars) and your typical vodka and lemonade could be pushing 300 calories - double the number found in the average can of beer.
-For our wine connoisseurs, an average glass will contain around 100 calories. Although not too different to beer, given that the percentage of alcohol is so much higher, one will consume far less before becoming extremely intoxicated! Although not great for the morning after, wine here would be a superior choice to beer when becoming drunk and the waist line are both goals!
-Liqueurs are nearly double the calories of a normal shot and as we all know are often consumed with other, often-higher calorie mixers such as coke or milk to make cocktails.
Given the above information we need to combine this with personal taste to ensure that we make the most optimal boozy decisions!
Look at the alcoholic percentage by volume on drinks. Compare these and take the highest (shown above with beer vs wine) as less will be consumed per sitting. Also look at the calories as a liqueur maybe similar in alcoholic percentage to a spirit however will vary massively in caloric content.
Avoid high-calorie liqueurs. Liqueurs and other sugary tasty drinks have little alcoholic taste but have extremely high caloric contents. Being able to drink a beverage so easily can spell disaster for your weight loss goals!
Another quick tip is to keep healthy food on hand when drinking. I would also strongly advise locking away all of your goodies and hiding the key from yourself as alcohol will low your inhibitions greatly! Also try keeping one step ahead by consuming super foods daily to improve your general health and liver function.
My personal choice of drink on a night out is to utilise spirits like vodka with a diet mixer. As shown above, spirits on their own possess one of the lowest calorie counts and highest alcohol percentage. When mixed with a calorie free mixer you will do relatively smaller damage to your fat gains!
Drink water between alcoholic drinks. This will increase feelings of fullness and may help to prevent over consumption of alcohol. You will also find this helps filter out the alcohol in your system and reducing your hang over. With less of a hang over you may actually make it to the gym the day after!
As Always if you have any questions just post your comments on the blog.
By Elliot Wise
On behalf of Bodybuilding Warehouse