ALCOHOL | When, What, How to Enjoy Booze During Your Transformation
It's time to talk about alcohol. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of ways people think about alcohol in the context of changing lifestyles.
Some drink whatever they want and have no problem with alcohol in its effects. They consider it “a little refreshment” from time to time (which might be every other night for some). The other group is very concerned about every drop of alcohol that they might consume. And might get quite anxious and won’t be able to enjoy themselves at all.
We all know alcoholism isn’t ideal and being an alcoholic is problematic. By definition this is someone who drinks daily, or has more than 14 drinks in a single week. At this point a person is considered an alcoholic and will experience negative effects.
The best option might be that you should avoid alcohol altogether. But on the other hand, our purpose here is to teach you methods which you could follow all your life. A better quality of life is the very purpose of a lifestyle change, so a moderate amount of alcohol when in good company might be one of those things you can allow for.
At the end of the day, we do not need alcohol to enjoy life nor does alcohol alone destroy life. The poison is in the dose, and having a moderate amount will permit you to reach your health and fitness goals and enjoy enhanced social events.
First Principle, you might want to know a couple of things about alcohol. Let’s start with calories. Every gram of pure alcohol gives you 7 kilocalories, which are also called empty calories, because you get nothing useful from them, as you do with food.
In fact, alcohol demands Protein, Fat, B Vitamins & Electrolytes to be metabolized, leaving you depleted of the same resources your body relies on to build and sustain muscle mass and energy. But this usually isn’t the only problem; it is also the added sugars inside alcoholic drinks that are the biggest issue. Let’s take a look at some common alcoholic beverages that we drink and how they affect us.
Besides the calories and nutrients, there are some other problems with alcohol. Alcohol reduces our willpower and we can habitually overeat or snack much more often under the influence. For some the opposite is true, and they just wont eat due to the depressing and sedative qualities of alcohol.
Then there are neurotoxic effects, hangovers, and other nasty stuff that we won’t go into. But all of this doesn’t mean we should completely avoid alcohol or treat it like pure poison. Alcohol is an integral part of our culture; the key is just to be mindful of alcohol consumption and make the decision that leads us in the right direction.
First thing: Choose the correct alcohol. The best options are:
- Dry red wine
- Strong sugarless spirits, like vodka, gin, and whiskey
Avoid sugary alcohol like:
- Beer and Cider
- Sweet wine
Second Principle: is to apply the same principles that were covered in the controlled indulging Article. It is much better to plan ahead when, what, and how much you’ll be drinking. It is also much easier to do when you don’t have the alcohol just lying around the house. This might be necessary for you if you drink daily or have a habit of drinking after work.
The best way is to only buy what you drink. It is much better to underestimate and under-drink than overdrink. Of course, if this is never an issue for you, don’t bother with this advice.
If you are committed to your goals you will find best success with moderate alcohol consumption or 1-4 drinks/week or a single evening a month where you consume more than 6 drinks.
In today’s society this might seem abysmal and over the top but the consequences of uncalculated and unrestricted drinking are much worse for your health and fitness goals.
For those seeking to gain muscle, only 1-2 drinks alone in a single evening can destroy your chances of recovering from a workout, delaying your recovery, adaptation and any gains you were hoping for.
Definitely avoid drinking the same days as lifting sessions and try to have a buffer day between the day you drink and the next workout.
Third principle: do not use alcohol as a beverage to go with food. This isn’t a good habit for many reasons, even if it is considered normal in many families. Alcohol has its time and place and it isn’t for every dinner or meal.
So, there it is, the 3 most essential principles of healthy alcohol consumption. For most of us who don’t have an alcohol dependency, the principles above will be enough. For those who think they are not in full control of their consumption, they should seek out information about alcoholism treatment. An excellent place to start is to consult with your healthcare service provider or begin the 12 Steps Book.