In this post you will learn how to enjoy alcohol while dropping fat and building muscle. My philosophy can be summed up in three words.
Win, Win, Win.
I want you to get the greatest enjoyment and pleasure in life, while working towards your fitness goals.
Now first, ask yourself this – what’s the point of looking fantastic if you can’t enjoy it? That’s crazy! Your fitness and nutrition program should be a part of your lifestyle, not the focal point of it.
Getting in fantastic shape is totally awesome, but it’s not everything. Going out and socializing does not have to be put on hold until you reach your goal. That logic is absurd and it will only end up biting you in the ass.
You’ll invariably put much more attention and mental energy into your fitness and nutrition than needed.
This will lead to a lack of motivation and inevitable burnout.
The More You Stress, The More Likely You Are To Burnout
You see, the more you obsess about your workout and diet, the more likely you are to screw up. But when you blend your fitness and dieting efforts into your life, the journey is much more rewarding and smooth.
So by all means go out and have drinks a couple times per week. Letting loose, having fun and enjoying the progress you made that week will only bring you more happiness, fulfillment and further motivation.
It doesn’t have to be a trade off! You don’t have to choose between going out and getting in shape or eating dessert and having abs.
So in this post, you’ll learn my very strategy to enjoying alcohol, and food, while making gains.
Whether those gains are to drop fat and lean down or to build muscle and bulk up! Alcohol, in no way, has to diminish your results.
This Is The Kinobody Guide to Drinking & Getting Lean
Here are the facts of the matter.
Fact #1 – The only way to gain fat while drinking alcohol is to be in a calorie surplus
That is how the body works and fifty years of research supports this.
So long that you consume fewer calories than you burn, you can drink to your hearts content with absolutely no fat gain. Of course, this is easier said than done.
If you’re planning on slamming back eight beers over the course of the night, that’s 1200 calories that you need to make room for.
Fact #2 – A moderate intake of alcohol may increase testosterone in men
We’ve all been told that drinking will destroy testosterone levels and kill our manhood. Well, interestingly enough, a low dose of alcohol (approximately 4-5 drinks for the average male), actually leads to a small increase in testosterone.
So much for alcohol killing your testosterone. Now obviously, if you’re planning on getting hammered drunk, you will negatively affect your T levels. That said, as I will be addressing later, getting hammered drunk is a win lose strategy (not a win win).
Fact #3 – Alcohol calories are not as fattening as one would think
There is some debate on whether or not alcohol calories even count. This is because, drinking calories from alcohol doesn’t result in the expected weight gain.
It’s important to understand that there is absolutely no way to store ethanol (alcohol calories) as fat. That said, drinking alcohol will impair fat burning until the alcohol has been metabolized.
So if you’re in a calorie surplus, your body will store any food that hasn’t been burned as fat, but the alcohol will not be stored as fat.
Now interestingly enough, some research shows that alcohol leads to a decreased appetite for food. This, in itself, can help support fat loss.
Fact #4 – Moderate drinking is not unhealthy
Research shows that moderate to light drinkers outlive non drinkers. As well, moderate alcohol consumption improves insulin sensitivity, allowing you to better handle carbs.
Fact #5 – Moderate drinking does not impair muscle gains
While yes, excessive drinking is in no way productive for your goals of building strength and a great physique, moderate drinking seems to be fine. The research is clear on this.
Fact #6 – After 4 drinks, alcohol gives you nothing
Roughly four drinks in and you have all the positive effects of alcohol with little impairment. You feel mild euphoria, a sense of well being, relaxation, joyousness and talkativeness.
What’s more, alcohol in moderation is effective at reducing stress and tension, depression and feelings of self-consciousness. As well, low dose alcohol has been found to improve certain types of cognitive performance – including problem solving and short term memory.
Exercise self control and alcohol will give you more than it takes from you. It’s only when you abuse alcohol that it turns into something negative. Being able to drink alcohol moderately is really the key. And something we will be exploring in this article.
As a general rule, one drink or less per 40-50 pounds of bodyweight is around the moderate level. This is over the course of a night (3-4 hours), and not to be consumed rapidly.
How To Drink Moderately And Reap The Benefits
If you want to get the most from alcohol, you must learn to drink moderately. Moderate drinkers experience some amazing benefits, it’s only when you take things to the excess, that alcohol becomes something unhealthy and takes more from you than it gives you.
Moreover, by drinking moderately, you limit your calorie intake, and you’re able to wake up feeling like a million bucks the next day. Now, no question about it, some days you’re going to want to test your limits.
But on the whole, the idea is to learn how to nail down this whole moderate drinking thing. Which, of course, requires us to address why we’re even drinking in the first place.
Why Do You Even Want To Drink?
Most people drink because they want to socialize or party. They’re hitting the bars with friends, they’re going to be talking to people, and frankly, sobriety just ain’t going to cut it.
Maybe you’ve had a long day and your brain is stuck in work mode, sometimes having a few drinks can break you out of that – making you a more loose and fun person to be around.
Not too bad, now is it?
Well the problem comes when you put too much weight on alcohol. When you rely on alcohol to give you confidence and to throw away your inhibitions. Essentially, you’re walking through life stifled, hiding behind the real you, and using alcohol as a crutch to express yourself.
This is not cool. And something every grown human being needs to get past. The question you need to ask yourself is “how can I truly express myself without having to dumb myself down with excessive drinking?”
The Answer Is To Be In The Moment
What is stopping you from letting go and having fun? Your mind. When you’re able to ground yourself in the present moment, dissolving the past and the future, there is no fear, no anxiety.
You simply can let go. This isn’t easy and is often best accomplished by taking small steps. But the key, is to take action. To push outside of your comfort zone.
Enjoy a few drinks, but don’t rely on the drinks to give you confidence. Just make a few drinks part of the experience. And enjoy yourself, have fun, and let go.
How To Develop This Ability To Be Present
Having the ability to just have a few drinks and be completely un-stifled is insanely awesome! You’ll save tons of money on alcohol. You’ll get in way better shape and you’ll develop natural confidence, not a false sense of confidence that’s dependent on alcohol.
On top of that, you’ll be much more composed and witty when you’re not in a drunken stupor. Your social acuity and ability to read situations will be much higher.
Now developing this presence is unfortunately not as simple as reading this passage and then deciding that you’re going to go out and not care what people think and not be stuck in your head.
You Need To Realize That Socializing Is A Skill Set
Think of it as a skill and you have to develop it. It will be awkward at first, you’ll have to push through that and eventually your ego will let go. You’ll reach this incredible state where you’re totally at ease, nothings holding you back and you feel incredibly confident and totally present.
One thing that really helped me was the audiotape, Practicing the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Listening to that audio on a daily basis is insanely powerful at developing the ability to be present and alive in the now.
If possible, I’d recommend listening to it every morning for 20 minutes for two weeks straight. You will be blown away at how much more present, relaxed and comfortable you become.
Do You Have Other Motives To Drinking?
Some people want to drink to escape their problems and to cope with the daily stresses of life. Or maybe they just want to get out of their head and feel alive and express themselves. And the answer is still, to be present. What problem do you have at this moment?
There aren’t any problems in the moment. There are things you either have to accept, or work towards making a desired change. But why turn something into a problem?
Now without further ado, let’s discuss some drinking strategies to let loose, have fun while still progressing towards your fitness goals.
This Is The Kinobody Guide to Drinking
1.) You Need To Stick To Lower Calorie Drinks
If you’re just going to have 1-2 drinks and you really want a beer, some wine or a cocktail, then go for it! That will only be 250-300 calories. That said, if you want to drink 3-5 drinks, I recommend the lowest calorie option.
That would be your favorite liquor of choice (vodka, whiskey, gin) and some sparkling water! The advantage of sparkling water is that it will help fill up your stomach with no calories, while also hydrating you.
A great tip if you’re fasting is to have 1-2 glasses of sparkling water if you start to get hungry. I learned this from one of my clients and have been using it since.
An ounce and a half of liquor is around 90-100 calories. That said, alcohol calories don’t result in the expected weight gain. So if you make room for the alcohol calories, you’ll likely be in a greater calorie deficit than you’d expect.
2) You Need To Drink in Moderation
I’m going to keep stressing this because it’s that important. If you want to lead a win win win life, you need to become a master of moderation. This means being able to only have 2-5 drinks during a social outing.
Do that and you will get all the positive effects of alcohol with little drawbacks. Overdo it, and alcohol will take from you.
3) You Need To Make Room For The Alcohol Calories
There’s no need to completely cut out carbs or fats, doing so is just unenjoyable. I mean, who wants to eat nothing but chicken breast and broccoli to enjoy some drinks?
Not me! Not to mention, a low carb and low fat diet suppresses testosterone and sex drive. Not ideal if there’s the possibility of sex later. The easiest way to make room for alcohol calories is to intermittent fast.
Skip breakfast and eat two meals per day. A solid lunch and dinner. Enjoy meals composed of lean meat, veggies and potatoes for maximum fullness.
Remember, as long as you are consuming less calories than you’re burning, there’s simply no way of storing fat. Most likely, you’ll wake up leaner than before.
4) You Need To Avoid Eating Late At Night
The biggest issue with drinkers, is what happens after all the alcohol. Late night IHOP, Pizza or here in Toronto, it’s all about that Poutine. Well of course, if after slamming 8 drinks, you decide to ingest 800 calories, you’re going to gain weight.
My recommendation is to avoid after drink snacking. If you have the room in your calories, a bag of pop chips is a personal favorite option of mine. It’s only 370 calories and it’s filling as heck, and takes a solid 10+ minutes to eat.
Another solid option would be 1-2 quest bars. In fact, having these options available is extremely helpful. Another sweet option and a personal favorite of mine are 2-3 cheese quesadilla’s. These are fantastic and if you make them for a girl, she will forever love you.
Are You Allowed To Drink During The Day?
Ah yes, summer is coming up and sometimes we want to do a little day drinking. Well in that case, you’d follow the same layout. You’d just have your 3-5 drinks around lunch time.
Either before lunch (fasted), or after lunch (fed). Yup, I’ve done fasted day drinking before and it’s actually quite fun. And then when it’s time for my first meal of the day, I’m usually not even as hungry, interestingly enough (this is good if the goal is to get lean).
If you are going to do fasted day drinking, I advise you to be careful. Limit yourself to 3-4 drinks and drink lots of water. And if you need to eat something, by all means eat something. I’m just sharing what has worked well for me, but by all means, don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right to you.
Now if you plan on doing day and night drinking all on the same day, well it will be difficult to stay in a calorie deficit. So you might have to settle with maintenance (no fat gain or loss).
Can You Actually Stay Fit While Drinking?
I hope this post gives you the tools to enjoy alcohol while making positive progress to your goals. I also hope it has freed you from the belief that alcohol will sabotage your fitness goals or health.
Exercise moderation with drinking and start intermittent fasting and you can live a win win win life! In fact, recently I got back from an all inclusvie week long vacation in mexico.
My schedule went down like this – coffee for breakfast, chips and guac for lunch, a couple afternoon mojito’s, double orders of steak for dinner, more chips and guac, coconut icecream for dessert, and a few late night gin and soda’s.