Bikini Contest Prep and Alcohol
Think Before you Drink
With the Holidays upon us, most of us will be surrounded by not only family and friends, but also lots of bubbly; From the pumpkin beer to the holiday martini's and even some celebratory shots if you are livin' it up! Alcohol will be calling our names. But before you say "yes" to every drink sent your way, tell yourself this: "The more I sip, the more I must dip". And no, I'm not talking about dipping another chip into that wonderfully delicious cheesy dip. I mean dips at the gym and working out to burn off those calories.
If you are like me and you are conscious about what foods you eat while taking into account macros and calories, then I know you care about your body. Or if you are currently in the middle of a bikini contest prep and are considering drinking alcohol, then keep reading. Make sure you keep in mind the effects of alcohol before drinking like today is your last day. Even if your drink(s) fit into your macros, you are negatively impacting your progress when you consume alcohol.
You will learn the effects of alcohol, how to make smarter alcohol choices, and how to track the calories.
Disclaimer: No, I am not against alcohol - I love my mimosas and whiskey! No, I am not telling you to stop drinking it. I am simply saying to enjoy but be more mindful of the amount you drink and the frequency you are drinking it if your goal is fat loss.
Effects of Alcoholic Drinks
#1 Metabolizing alcohol takes precedence over digesting food. In other words, our body uses alcohol as fuel prior to using the actual foods we eat so it postpones the fat burning process.
#2 It is high in calories (7 calories per gram). That is a lot compared to proteins and carbs that offer only 4 calories per gram. If you consume more calories than your body burned in one day, you will gain weight/fat. Be sure you remain in a caloric deficit if your physique goal is fat loss.
#3 It eases your inhibitions, makes you impulsive, and increases your cravings so you may be more likely to make poorer decisions regarding food while you are drinking.
#4 Alcohol lowers testosterone levels, halting its fat burning abilities.
Smarter Alcoholic Drinks
If you decide to have a little alcohol occasionally, then here are some macro-friendly options:
- "Choose wine or liquors. Steer clear of beers and mixers." Stick to a simple drink instead of one that is cluttered with many different juices and varieties of liquor. My favorite is a vodka/water and then I'll add a Crystal Light for flavor.
- If there is a Lower calorie option, take it!
- Avoid frozen drinks and instead ask for them on the rocks. Frozen drinks can be 2-3 larger in size and loaded with additional sugar!
- Drink one glass of water per one glass of alcoholic drink.
- Limit yourself to one drink per hour if you need a way to limit the quantity of drinks you have in one day/night.
- Keep healthy snack options around so you can make smarter snacking choices as well.
Track Your Drinks
No matter if you drink beer, liquor, or wine… your weight is effected by calories in versus calories out. So if you drink more calories than you burned that day, you will gain weight.
Alcohol supplies what we call "empty" calories. It does not fit into one box of carbs, protein, or fat. However I recommend you track them as carbs if you are tracking your macros. The reason is, most of us drink beer or wine which are higher in carbs. You could also track some as fats since mixers and beer are high in fats. Never track alcohol as protein (it is minimal).
My favorite website for calculating alcohol is THIS ONE.
For details on tracking alcohol and other macros, be sure to sign-up for my free 4 week online course of "Flexible Dieting University" at www.LearnFlexibleDieting.com
Bikini contest prep and alcohol can work (if you really want it to) by using the tips covered above. However, I usually recommend you only consume alcohol 9+ weeks out. Those last 8 weeks or so should become much more strict during your bikini competition prep in order to give it 100% toward leaning out as much as possible. As always though, this is completely on a case-by-case basis and we all progress differently on our bikini contest prep journey.