How To Make Progress While Enjoying The Occasional Alcoholic Drink

Summer is here and enjoying an alcohol containing drink on the boat, at the beach, or in the backyard is part of that “summer life”.

For many of us, drinking derails us from achieving our goals.

It prevents us from losing weight or from recovering from training.

What if I told you that you can still reach your goals even with the drink or two this summer?

Well, today that is what we are going to cover.

Here are 4 ways to ensure you make progress if you are consuming alcohol this summer.

1) Make sure you account for it in your calories.

Weight loss is fundamentally about energy balance. If you want to lose weight or gain weight, you have to ensure that you take energy balance into account, which includes alcohol consumption.

Tracking your alcohol intake is a great way to account for your alcohol intake and ensuring that you are hitting your caloric needs.

From a calorie perspective, there are a few ways to track your intake.

The first is to simply utilize entries in tracking programs like My Macros+ or the actual labels on the drinks (store-bought drinks such as beer or seltzers are required to have calorie information on them).

Secondly, you can track each individual ingredient in a mixed drink and assigned 7 calories per gram of alcohol (a standard shot contains ~14 grams).

2) Don’t let alcohol influence your food choices.

I am as guilty of this as anyone.

I have a few drinks and all of a sudden that plate of nachos I wasn’t planning on touching has now vanished.

Consuming alcohol lowers your inhibitions and your ability to control food intake. Most research shows that as alcohol consumption goes up, so does your calorie intake.

3) Keep your drinks simple.

Simply put, the more complicated and more ingredients in your drink, the more calories it probably has.

For example, the average Pina Colada has around ~300 calories in a single drink while a Long Island Iced Tea has ~800 calories.

Conversely, a vodka-soda or rum and Diet Coke has <100 calories.

4) Make a plan and stick to the plan.

You can have a drink or two and still make progress.

You can’t have 10 drinks and still make progress.

Set yourself up with a plan of having a moderate and sensible intake over the span of a month and stick with that plan.

A few drinks a week won’t “break the calorie bank”.

P.S. Did you know we have a podcast? With 16 episodes already uploaded and 15 more in the hopper ready to be released, you can binge-listen on iTunes or Spotify while hiking, driving, cycling, or walking your dog!