EP. 31- What about ALCOHOL?


EP. 31- What about ALCOHOL?

This is a question that has been sent in by a lot of listeners and I also get asked it a lot when working with clients. When you’re trying to lose that last 10 pounds, what do you do about alcohol?

Lots of people tell me that not having a glass of wine or beer at the end of the day is as much of a struggle to them as not having pizza or cookies. I get it.

I actually used to drink a lot when I was in graduate school.

My brother Jacob was like my partner in crime. We would do spring break together. I did so much partying. I would drink shots like nothing and I would out chug any man in a beer chugging contest. I used to party hard. In fact, there were several times where my friends literally had to hide the bottle of vodka from me!

So it’s been a journey for me and I know alcohol is definitely an area that can feel like a struggle for many people. If I can change my relationship with alcohol, so can you.

Wherever you are with your journey and with alcohol, I’m going to share some information today so you feel really empowered and knowledgeable and you will be able to be strategic in your choices.

If you are listening and you feel like this is really a huge problem for you in your life kind of at a deeper level than this podcast episode is going to cover, I highly recommend Rachel Hart’s podcast Take a Break From Drinking. Rachel is one of the coaches I got certified with and she’s a dear friend. This is actually her area of specialty. So if you feel like this is a deeper problem for you, she has built her coaching practice on working with individuals who want to take a break from drinking but are struggling and need some support. Check out her podcast here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/take-break-from-drinking-feel-confident-fun-relaxed/id1209320782?mt=2

First I’m going to empower you with the information about alcohol and weight loss and then I’m going to empower you and equip you with strategies to try. I don’t want you to think of alcohol as being evil and completely forbidden and then start to feel deprived restricted because that just won’t work. Remember willpower does not work. It’s not sustainable. I just want you to know this information so that you can make strategic empowered choices.

Alcohol does mess with your metabolism

Drinking alcohol interferes with your body’s ability to burn fat. So any time that you consume alcohol, the alcohol becomes the preferred fuel for your body. That means that it’s no longer going to burn fat for fuel.

Now if you want to lose weight, you want your body to use fat for fuel. But when you drink alcohol, you are no longer in fat burning mode your body is now burning alcohol. That means that you are also in fat storage mode because you are not burning fat.

Alcohol is highly caloric

Have you heard of macronutrients? They are the nutrients that we put in our body. There are four different kinds: carbohydrates, protein, fat, and alcohol. Alcohol actually is its own category. So alcohol is high in calories. Carbohydrates and protein are actually 4 calories per gram whereas alcohol is 7 calories per gram. So it’s almost double the caloric value than a carbohydrate or a protein. Alcohol is calorie dense.

Even though we don’t count calories on my programs, there is math involved in weight loss. If your caloric intake is high, you’re not going to get a deficit which means you’re not going to lose weight. So I want you to also know that about alcohol: it is highly caloric.

Alcohol is 100% Empty Calories

Unlike the other macronutrients, alcohol is what nutritionists call empty calories. It’s calories without the nutrition. When you drink alcohol, your body is not getting any of the nutrition it needs.

Alcohol will affect your decision-making process

Depending how much of it you consume, alcohol will affect your decision-making process. People often like to say that it lowers your inhibitions. So often clients tell me that they planned to only have one glass of wine, but once they’d had one, they felt so relaxed that they ended up having another, and another, and dessert!

I struggled with my weight for a long time and this was absolutely part of it for me. On the weekends I would drink a lot. And because I was drinking a lot even, though I didn’t plan to eat a lot, I would binge.

So keep in mind that that consuming alcohol for many people does have an impact on their decision-making process. It is likely if you drink alcohol that you’ll no longer have your goals at the forefront of your mind.

Alcohol affects your hormones

Alcohol lowers testosterone, and testosterone plays a very important role in maintaining lean muscle mass, which is important for fat loss. Consuming alcohol really halts the potential of testosterone as a fat burner and lean muscle mass builder.

Alcohol increases appetite

One of the reasons alcohol increases appetite is because you’re consuming empty calories so your body is still seeking nutrients. When you pair this with a potentially affected ability to make very clear decisions based on your goals, it can definitely be a recipe for disaster. So alcohol does increase your sensation of hunger.

Joy eats and joy drinks

I don’t want you to feel like you can never have a drink or it’s completely forbidden or like you need to go through your whole weight loss process feeling restricted or deprived. Put alcohol in the same category as eating a donut. Just like a donut can be part of your joy eat, alcohol can be a joy drink.

You can be very successful in treating it this way and very strategic about when you drink, how often you drink and how much you drink so that you still get the results that you want.

This is how I approach alcohol and this is how I teach my clients and empower them to strategize alcohol in their life.

Keep your goal in mind and then think about what you need to do in order to get that result. Remember, none of us ever have to do anything. But if you want to get a certain result then some changes are going to have to happen. So look at the result you want and then decide how you will strategize alcohol in order to get to your results. Now that you have the information about how alcohol can affect your weight loss, you can do this from a very empowered place.

Treating alcohol as part of your joy eat can be very successful. It means you absolutely still get to enjoy your glass of wine guilt-free, not worried about your weight because you are being strategic.

Joy eat: can I have both dessert and wine?

This is another big question that I often get asked. My answer to that is you can always do anything you want. Everything is always a choice and I want you to always think about it that way because then every time your choice will feel empowered and you will not feel deprived.

Bring it back to the results that you want. If your joy eat includes both a drink and the dessert, how do you feel the next day and that week? Do you feel really bloated? Do you get the results that you want that week? Start to test it out so that you can answer that question for yourself.

Alcohol and travel

What about making strategic decisions with alcohol specifically if you’re traveling or going on a trip and it’s a little bit different than your typical week? It’s the same approach that I shared in Episode 23. Just as you would make a decision about your food and how many joy eats you’re going to have before you go on vacation, and then follow through and get the result you want, you can take the same approach with alcohol.

Decide the result that you want, and then make a plan. Choose how many drinks you will have in advance just like you choose how many joy eats you will have on your trip. Then implement that plan and observe your results. You might have to tweak it, but that’s okay.

Now that you have this information you can make strategic, empowered choices!

Remember to send me your questions and suggestions for topics you’d love to hear me talk about on the podcast to brenda@brendalomeli.com

Black Panther Recipe

My current favorite drink that I like to enjoy is the Black Panther, which I did feature on one of my YouTube videos too: The recipe is: two fresh-squeezed limes, 1-2 ounces of vodka and a splash of Diet Coke

Check you the YouTube video!