This may be the reason why you’re not seeing change…

Working extremely hard in the gym, eating the right things, staying within your calorie target but seeing little or no change? Something that is often overlooked and needs consideration is calories consumed through drinking alcoholic drinks…

Certain individuals may indeed eat very healthily and work hard during the week however, when the weekend comes they may indulge in binge drinking which in effect “undo’s” all the hard work put in during the week.

During a night out, it can be difficult to track how many calories you are actually consuming, how many are contained within a certain drink and the volume of drinks you are consuming. With this in mind, you can easily and inadvertently exceed your calorie target for the week which will take you out of being a calorie surplus and thus impact body fat changes.

Calories in Popular Alcoholic Drinks
(From drinksaware.com)

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– Cider (pint) – 216 calories

– Beer (pint) – 180 calories

– Wine (175ml) – 159 calories
(Both red and white wines are equally calorific)

– Alcopop (small bottle – 275ml) – 170 calories

– Champagne – 89 calories

– Spirits (25ml) – 61 calories
(Adding mixers will increase calories)

The Impact of Binge Drinking

Let’s imagine an individual with goals of fat loss. They train 3 times a week and eat well. They track their calories and based on their physical requirements and exercise levels they know that to effectively reduce body fat they must consume around 2000 calories per day (a deficit of 250 calories per day).  Over the course of the week, if they stick to their calorie targets, they will create a deficit of 1750 calories which, over time, will cause a body fat reduction.

However, over the weekend they consume 4 pints of beer, 4 mixers and cokes and an alcopop. This equals roughly 1290 calories and therefore reduce their overall weekly deficit from 1750 calories to just 460 calories. In addition to this, they stop for a takeaway on the way home from a night out which essentially wipes out the calorie deficit that they had created during the week.

Hopefully this gives you an idea of how deceiving drinking or a night out can be and how it can demolish the calorie deficit that you have worked so hard to create during the week.

Tips for a night-out
– Consider reducing overall alcohol intake per week and avoid a binge to ensure you stay within the calorie deficit
– Drink high calorie alcoholic drinks in moderation
– Try to stick to Spirits and Low-Calorie Mixers if possible
– Plan your night and ensure to monitor how much you’re drinking
– Avoid the temptation to binge eat on the way home

Alcohol Recommendations

The UK Food Standards Agency recommend that we do not consume more than 14 units of alcohol per week for both men and women. In the past, it was recommended that women consumed a little bit less than men however, this has now been adjusted.

14 units is equal to:
– 6 glasses of wine
– 6 pints of beer
– 5 pints of cider
– 14 glasses (25ml) of spirit

It is recommended that women don’t exceed more than 3 units per day whilst men are recommended not to exceed more than 4 units per day.
You should avoid “saving up” your units for one day and units should be spread out over the course of the week, ensuring that you have several alcohol free days.

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