FITNESS: How to minimise the alcohol damage this Christmas

The festive season is well and truly upon us, which of course means that most of the city will be indulging in copious amounts of alcohol over the next couple of weeks.

So for those of you that are health or physique conscious, I thought I would go through how drinking alcohol can hinder fat loss and how you can minimise any damage being done,. Ssooo…..

Alcohol is a toxin to the human body, though technically a macronutrient it serves no purpose and is therefore deemed an empty calorie. Drinking is detrimental to those trying to shed a few pounds. When alcohol is consumed your body will stop using stored energy or body fat as a means of supporting daily functions and instead uses the calories gained from alcohol, this continues until the calories consumed from alcohol are burnt from our systems.

What this means?

Whilst you have alcohol in your systemthe body fat lining your stomach will go untouched and anything you eat will be stored as energy or to put it bluntly it turns to fat.

How to minimise the damage?

Drink water. If you cannot avoid alcohol spirits such as vodka and gin are your best options as they have the fewest calories. Another way to save calorie consumption is to drink white spirits with a zero calorie mixer such as diet coke or tonic with a splash of lime. If you are bold enough to drink the spirits on the rocks then even better!

If you’re not too hungover, exercise! That’s a sure fire way to burn a few of those extra unwanted calories.

Things to avoid…

Lager – not only due to its calories but the effect it has on your gut. The reason ‘beer bellies’ and ‘moobs’ are a thing is often the result of lager and its effect on the hormone estrogen.

Wine – though some wine lovers will argue certain varieties of wine have health benefits, we are not concerned by these when trying to minimise fat gain. Due to its alcohol content and serving sizes, wine is ladened in calories.

Anything with full sugar red bull – The last thing you want to be doing is adding more calories to your system, which in red bull comes in the form of carbohydrates from sugar.

Fast food on the way home – as tempting as it is, eating calorie filled food will again only add to the unused, stored calories making you gain more fat.

At the end of the day everyone needs to have enjoyment in life and a diet is unsustainable unless it is flexible, but to attain/maintain a good physique we need to stick to the moniker of everything in moderation. Drinking alcohol every weekend certainly doesn’t fall in that category.

 

By Joe Neill
Personal trainer @ No Limits Gym
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