16 Mar Can You Have a 6 Pack and Still Get a 6 Pack?
I may not be the drunken fool I was when I was in my younger years however, I do enjoy a drink from time to time and have managed to do that, all while sporting a lean physique. I have been drinking since I was 16 (sorry Mum and Dad, although… I’m pretty sure they knew) and getting up to no good all while having a laugh with mates on almost every one of those occasions.
I am not naïve to the fact that drinking can have its issues, however for the vast majority of us, it can be a great time to socialise with friends and family and allow us to let our hair down.
My friends and I still reminisce about our nights out and weekend trips away as we look back and shake our heads at just how stupid we were. But you know what, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Like the time we thought it would be a great idea to skip school formal and light our farts, or the time we made a run for KFC and ordered enough food to serve a small country 2 minutes before they closed the doors, or the time we put dishwashing detergent in the washing machine only to come back to find a house flooded in bubbles. These are times I will never forget and would never trade them for any number of brain cells I may have lost through out that time.
That all aside, you don’t really want to listen to me carry on about my teenage years. All you want to know is, can you have that drink or two (maybe more) and still lose weight?
You have heard me talk at length in the past about macronutrients as well as refer to them in past articles (which you can read HEAR, HEAR and HEAR) and how many calories are associated with those three macronutrients. Alcohol falls into a category all of its own and so lets talk about this briefly before going any further.
While alcohol isn’t technically a macronutrient, it is for the sake of working out how to make it fit into your diet. Alcohol has 7 calories to every gram and the list below shows you how many grams of alcohol are in your favourite drinks or you can watch this video I made that describes in much more detail.. Put simply, as long as you have enough calories left in your day to fit in the amount of drinks you are looking to have, then you are good to go!
I can already hear you popping the champagne bottles in excitement, but let me stop you there, so I can talk a little more practically with you to show you HOW to actually make it work for you.
How Macronutrients and Your Body Work
Before we talk about how you are going to fit into that dress you bought for your best friends wedding or how you are going to lose that beer gut you have been sporting for the past 10 years, we need to discus in a little detail how your body stores fat.
As I mentioned there are three macronutrients; Protein, Carbs and Fat with alcohol being the 4th.
If you are in a fat loss phase then I suggest you look to include around 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. This should be adequate for most people to help maintain their lean muscle mass while losing weight. While you can put on weight with excess protein consumption, it is VERY unlikely.
The same goes for carbohydrates. While it is possible for our body to turn carbohydrates into stored body fat it is again unlikely.
I can already hear the carbo-phobes out there telling me that eating carbs makes you gain weight and that all carbs should be avoided.
Well…. YOUR WRONG and MISINFORMED and I really wish this demonisation of carbs would stop.
The body CAN store carbs as fat, however, this process is very inefficient and you would need to consume large amounts of carbohydrates and have VERY little to no dietary fat for many days in a row in order for that to happen. So stop worrying, that pasta you ate for dinner most likely isn’t making you fat!
If you are in a weight loss phase it is more than likely the above two scenarios are not occurring for you.
I will presume you will not be excessively over consuming protein, ridding your diet of all dietary fats or consuming large amounts of carbohydrates past your maintenance calorie allowance. I can hear that brain ticking over and getting ready to ask that burning question…. So before you do, let me jump in and answer it for you.
What does cause you to gain weight and store body fat?
Almost all of the fat that gets stored in your body comes from the calories in your dietary fats that go beyond your calorie maintenance level.
Read that sentence again to make sure you fully understand what I just said as it will be hugely important later on in this article.
Our bodies are so good at this process, that you could call our bodies the Usain Bolt of storing body fat. If you eat too many calories for any given day, any fat that you have consumed will be very quickly converted to body fat and this is where the above statement I told you to read again becomes very important.
- If you are drinking, you are adding calories to your daily intake;
- If you are adding calories to your diet then you run the risk of going over your maintenance allowance for the day;
- If you go over your maintenance calories then all of the fat you consumed will be stored as body fat.
Remember that souvlaki you ordered when you were on your way home last night, or that Maccas run you asked the Uber driver to do so you could pick up 8 cheeseburgers.
Still think it was a good idea?
How To Enjoy Your Night Out and Still Lose Weight?
I absolutely agree that you should still be able to drink and enjoy it, if it is part of your life. So if you are going to drink, then look below at these few tips and I guarantee you will be able to enjoy your time and still lose weight or at the very least not gain weight.
- If you know you are heading out on the town or going out to dinner with friends, be sure to get in a workout for the day to give you a few extra calories to play around with for that day.
- Push your fasting period out as long as you can and eat very minimal amounts at the start of the day to save up your calories for the night ahead.
- Try to trim as much dietary fat out of your day as you can.
- If you can manage to eat dinner before heading out, you will minimise your chances of making bad decisions when you are at the end of your night.
- If you do find yourself getting hungry, ask the party host or bartender for a BIG glass of water and gulp the entire thing down as quick as you can. More often than not, we mistake thirst for hunger. This is even more likely when we are heavily drinking, as we are usually very dehydrated.
- AVOID FRIED FOOD LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!
- The next day, be sure to get up within an hour or two of your regular wake up time and go for a long walk.
You did the crime, now do the time!
You will curse me when your alarm goes off, however, I promise you that you will feel better for it and those jeans will be one step closer to fitting.
Alcohol can be one of life’s great pleasures when spent with friends or loved ones. I am almost certain I have come up with the solution to solving some of the world’s greatest issues whilst drinking. From solving global warming, to ending world poverty and hunger, to finally working out how to complete a rubix cube… I just cant remember them now!
If you can incorporate the points listed above into your day when you are heading out for a few drinks, then you should have no problem at all including a few drinks during your weight loss journey. Plus, you will have the added bonus of also solving our global warming issues! Just be sure to record your conversation so we can all benefit from your truly great wisdom.