It’s the weekend! Going out to the bar/pub or even drinks at home is a regular Friday/Saturday routine for many of us. If you are in university, then Rack Tuesdays for pints, Wild Ranch Wednesdays and Union Hall Thursdays might also sneek into the schedule. #YOLO?
For many of my clients, friends and people that I talk with in general, they are fine with working out and eating fairly healthily, but they cannot make the sacrifice to give up their weekend drinks. I am going to help you with your damage control. By no means do I recommend to drink your face off on the weekends, but I do believe consistency and a balanced lifestyle are important in accomplishing desired goals, so going out for some weekend fun can have its place.
I am going to help you out with a little bit of damage control. A few simple changes to your drink orders could literally save you 1000s of calories, helping to keep off that beer gut, freshman 15 and overall bodyfat.
When you make your drink order you have essentially three options: beer, shots and mixed drinks.
-Mixes can cause a lot of damage, whether that be lime/cran/pineapple. It all sucks, and sucks a lot. We also have our pop options of coke/sprite/ginger ale. These suck just as much. In a single mixed drink, the mixes alone pop/juice can add 80 calories and 15 grams of sugar, which is somewhere between 4-7 packets of sugar ingested. Depending on how much you have to drink that night, it is extremely easy to intake 1000+ calories just in mixes alone.
If you are going to be ordering a mixed drink choose from water, diet coke or soda water. These are all zero-calorie mixes that are much better options than drinking a glass of sugar. You almost always have bar limes and lemons to add a little flavor and a few vitamins to your night.
But really, how bad is a binge drinking night out? Well let’s assume a night out includes 10 drinks (which would be child’s play to many of you university and college-goers). But let’s assume. You have 5 jagar bombs and 5 mixed drinks.
5 shots for your mixed drink + 5 mixes (pop or juice)
= 750kcal (70ish per shot 80ish per mix)
5 shots of jagar + 5 “bombs of Red Bull” (just a splash)
= 675kcal (105kcal per shot of Jagar + 5 splashes of Red Bull)
We are looking at about 1425kcal in empty calories. Let’s also be honest, after your night of drinking you probably aren’t going for a salad or lettuce rap, so all of these factors really do add up.
If you were to go out once a week, that is 5700kcal a month which is over 1.5lbs of fat. 1.5lbs x 12 months is an extra 18 pounds hanging on you by the end of the year.
Now let’s take a damage-control option:
5 shots of a clear liquor (let’s say vodka)
= 320kcal (64kcal per shot)
5 mixed drinks 5 shots vodka + zero-calorie mix
= 320kcal (64kcal per shot + zero calories for mix)
Total we have 640kcal. We have now saved ourselves over half the calories by using our damage-control options. That is only 8.7lbs of additional weight. With a little extra cardio on your hangover day, we can be somewhat decent.
However, it’s not just about the calories that add up to be a negative. Other harmful impacts on the body such as disrupted sleep and dehydration can be a setback, but perhaps one of the biggest setbacks is that alcohol impacts cellular repair. Protein metabolism is negatively impacted by alcohol. This puts a burden on muscular repair, erasing our hard work dedicated at the gym.
I hope that this causes some awareness. I know and see too many people that have so much potential but throw away their progress and results to the weekends.
Oh ya, and I’ll take a water to go with my results.
Michael Dietrich runs Edmonton’s fitMD and can be contacted here.
CC photograph courtesy of Rainas Traidas on Flickr.