*The title of this post was taken from the Howlin’ Maggie song of the same name*
As with food, alcohol consumption is one thing I try not to tell people to do drastic bouts of elimination with. However, like food, alcohol can be a trigger for many people. As I’ve discussed in previous posts, many people just need to be shown what a measured portion of something looks like and they can keep it moderate in their diet to see their goals. Plus, the fact that they have not been denied something they enjoy helps keep them on track.
Others, go from one to multiple drinks in no time flat, racking up calories upon calories since they’re generally trying to eat in efforts to absorb the alcohol.
Or, maybe this sounds like a more common scenario: a drink when you get home from work (pre-dinner), another drink with dinner and then a nightcap.
Say hello to the extra 300+ calories you just consumed that weren’t food.
A refresher for those who need it, to get approximately 100 calories from a serving of alcohol you only need:
1.5 oz of liquor
4 oz of wine
12 oz of beer
Sounds somewhat harmless, right? Perhaps.
Bear in mind that many liquors will scale into the 125-150 calorie range for the same serving size. Wine can scale upwards of 250 calories for 4 oz (and you will almost ALWAYS get served far more than 4 oz at a wine bar or restaurant.) Craft beers can get you somewhere in the range of 250-500 depending on the amount of alcohol contained in the 12 oz size.
For another frame of reference, consider that many of the women we train at RevFit are aiming for somewhere between 1200-1400 calories per day total intake to lose weight. As you can see, the calories can slip by quickly if you’ve not been mindful of the food intake for the day.
So, does this mean you have to give it up altogether? Not necessarily.
Many dietitians will tell you that if your food has been in line for a given day, you can generally afford 10% of your daily intake to be whatever you want: chocolate, beer, candy, etc. Meaning: our ladies referenced above can choose around 120-140 calories (to meet the aforementioned totals) and consume what they like. I’ve grown pretty fond of Four Roses bourbon over the last couple of years but I would be considered a lightweight when it comes to my alcohol consumption. I’m generally a one serving guy and that tends to suit me fine.
Your safest bet?
Make sure you’re hitting your calorie goal first. Then see what the liquids you’re consuming are doing to change your overall totals. While you don’t have to completely abstain to see results, many people get to their goals quicker if they are able to minimize their alcohol intake until the scale starts to behave.
Cue to the shot of me with my little man (who is far from drinking age.) 🙂