I was at a fitness event last week and heard of a new-to-me term: Alcorexia. Those who follow this diet skip meals and/or eat fewer less during the day in order to save calories to use towards his/her alcohol consumption later on. Unsurprisingly, this concept left me feeling horrified. Er hello, does the idea of health mean nothing anymore??
The sad reality is that many people tend to adopt this approach to alcohol, be it a conscious decision or not. While I totally understand the desperation to lose weight, the idea of replacing food with alcohol is absolutely ludicrous to me. Between alcohol’s calorie content & its effect on metabolism, the hard truth is that drinking too much will eventually slow down weight loss…even if you incorporate it into your daily caloric allowance. Fortunately with a bit of precaution, drinking alcohol can definitely factor into a weight loss plan. And there are certainly more effective (and healthier) ways to keep it in your diet without stalling your weight loss/management goals:
1) Skipping meals pre-drinking is a recipe for disaster. Instead line your stomach to stabilize your blood sugar levels, delay the rate of alcohol absorption into your system and also prevent a hangover. Ideally aim for a meal that contains a good balance of carbs and protein like eggs & toast, Greek yogurt & berries, sweet potato & tofu, sushi…options are endless!
2) Skip cocktails, shots and sugary mixers (i.e. juices & fizzy drinks including diet alternatives). On its own, alcohol is already calorically-dense and packs in a hefty amount of sugar. Adding in more sugar can easily result in each drink packing in 300-400 calories!!
3) Instead opt for straight alcohol like wine or spirits on the rocks or diluted with soda. Although soda as a mixer is far from exciting, I find that adding ingredients like lemon/lime juice, fresh fruit slices, and mint leaves can make a tremendous difference.
4) Avoid binge drinking and cap your intake to 2, max 3, drinks a night. When you drink alcohol, your body needs to process it before it can continue to break down food calories and stored fat. As a result the the more you drink, the longer it will take for your body to burn fat.
5) Practice moderation and limit your intake to twice a week. That nightly glass of wine adds up far quicker than we’d like to admit!
6) Along with watching your alcohol calories, be weary of the calories you consume post-drinking. Anyone who has had too much to drink will agree that those cravings for greasy fast food are almost impossible to resist.
7) As alcohol acts as a diuretic, be sure to stay hydrated and alternate each drink with a glass of water.
So long as you exercise some degree of caution, you can certainly have your drank lose weight too ;)!
What’s your current drink of choice? My go-to is tequila over ice with lime juice & a splash of soda