Holiday parties are in full swing and the New Year is right around the corner!
Some choose to take time off of nutrition and fitness actions. Others choose to keep them moving forward.
Whatever you choose to do this holiday season, I wanted to share a couple of reminders today and tomorrow related to beverages – alcohol and coffee that can add calories quickly.
A question that regularly comes up during client meetings is whether or not alcohol can be included in their nutrition program?
Alcohol is a beverage that some adults do like to indulge in from time to time – and some more than others.
So where does alcohol consumption fit in a program when you are trying to eat, live and move better?
Alcohol And Calories
The first consideration is the amount of calories in alcohol. Alcohol itself contains seven calories per gram.
Proteins and carbs contain just four calories. Fat comes in with the highest at nine calories per gram. Alcohol falls in between.
Alcohol alone is high, but consider what else is included in your drink of choice. If you add high calorie mixers that include cream, soda, or sugar, you could easily end up with a drink that packs in well over 300 calories per serving.
As you start racking up the bar bill, you’re also racking up your calorie count.
Alcohol And Fat Metabolism
The second consideration is the impact that alcohol consumption will have on your fat metabolism. The minute that you put alcohol into your body, all fat burning comes to a halt.
Your body views alcohol as a toxin. So as soon as it comes in, your body is going to do everything it can to rid itself of this alcohol.
No more fat is burned off until the alcohol is out of your system. At that point you will start burning up body fat again.
So if you consume a large quantity of alcohol one night, you can expect to see your rate of fat loss drop off for a longer period of time.
Alcohol And Your Recovery
The last consideration about alcohol consumption is the impact it will have on your recovery rates.
In addition to putting the breaks on all fat burning in the body, alcohol also puts the breaks on protein synthesis.
This means that you cannot build lean muscle tissue as long as the alcohol is in your body.
Imagine what this is going to do to your workout goals?
So what does this mean for you?
For some, moderation is your target. A drink or two every now and then may be appropriate for you and your program.
For others, no alcohol may be your target.
You’ll want to learn how to experiment with this, as well as a lot of other things, as you refine your program.
It is the time to be shared with family and friends and to spread holiday cheer. But just as moderation is important on a daily basis, it’s also important throughout the holidays.
Moderation will keep you feeling good and ready to enjoy all of your festive events.