|Posted on April 13, 2011 at 5:59 PM|
It has become common knowledge that “empty” calories are not good- we all know this. The reason these calories get a bad rap is because they essentially have no nutritional value- they are “empty” of nutrients. As many of us know alcohol is put in this class of calories. Big shocker- alcohol is not the best for you! This is especially true in regards to living a healthy, fit lifestyle. With that said even the most hardcore fitness freak enjoys a nice, cold and refreshing alcoholic beverage now and then.
The truth of the matter is that alcohol costs our diet dearly. For every gram of alcohol we consume our calorie intake goes up by seven calories. That means every time we drink a shot of our favorite alcohol we will be lucky to stay under 100 calories, that doesn’t include any of the mixes or soda that make alcoholic drinks taste better. More calorie costly drinks like margaritas or beer can be double the calories of a simple shot of hard alcohol.
Besides basically supplying zero nutrition to our bodies, alcohol can be very damaging to the liver- especially when consumed in excess over time. The issue of empty calories for fitness lovers becomes focused on excess calories, which do cause weight gain. From this perspective the term “beer belly” suddenly becomes a reality. Research shows that with the possible exception of red wine, most alcohols lead to weight gain and more specifically fat accumulating around the midsection.
How can fitness fanatics splurge on an alcoholic drink and not end up owing the rest of the weekend to time spent on the treadmill making up for it?
If only there was a way to enjoy an occasional drink or two and not negate all the hard work put in obtaining that impressive physique of yours. Well, maybe there is… Moderation. One key to having a drink without diminishing your results as you may have imagined is controlled moderation. For some, having two drinks every day of the week is considered moderation. Ultimately, YOU have to decide how many drinks a week or day you can get away with while avoiding a substantial caloric imprint. I will tell you right now, however, two drinks each day, seven days a week is going to leave a mark, whether you believe it will or not. Another strategy is to limit the calories of the drinks you allow yourself to have. In other words, drink low calorie alcoholic drinks. Yes, there is such a thing- light beer, vodka tonic, and smaller portion drinks are good examples. A small glass of chardonnay is going to be way less damaging to your diet than a pitcher of stout beer. If you are making your own drink use low or no calorie naturally sweetened beverages to mix instead of calorie expensive soda or juice.
Of course, It is important to relax and enjoy yourself after focusing on your workouts, but don’t let over-indulgence cancel out your hard work. Limit your alcohol consumption as much as necessary and when you do indulge make it as calorie conservative as possible.