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To Drink Or Not To Drink: 3 Tips For Balancing Alcohol Consumption & Fitness Goals

By April 17, 2019 No Comments

In my opinion, New Orleans has its own, unique set of seasons.

There’s Mardi Gras Season, Crawfish Season, Festival Season, and Football Season.

They cross over the other seasons (winter, spring, summer, fall), bleeding from one to the next. Each one is very unique, but all are characterized by celebration, music, dancing, and especially drinking.

So it should come as no surprise that Louisiana ranks pretty high on lists of the most obese states. We like to drink, dance, and party and make no apologies for it. And despite working at a gym and being a nutrition coach, I will be one of the first to say that despite all of my knowledge, I will not sacrifice drinking beer with my crawfish or passing up king cake. As a gym we prioritize community events and yep, there is alcohol at those events. We even put less emphasis on the CrossFit Open this year because it conflicted with Mardi Gras. And I know the CrossFit Open is cool, but bedazzling my face and wearing a wig while dancing down on St. Charles for 5 days was more important.

But when it comes to health, fitness, and reaching the goals people have set out for themselves, I so often see people plateau. This leads to frustration and a dark, scary path down a rabbit hole with a rabbit and a clock. One of the biggest things I see is that people know how to eat, they know what’s going to help them reach their goals and the foods that hinder them. They crush it during the week. Then Saturday rolls around and there is always something to do in this city, so despite all of your consistency and badass-ery from Monday-Friday, you blow it out on the weekend and basically spend the next 3-5 days trying to get back to where you were or come to the gym to“sweat out your weekend”. Not only are you consuming extra calories through alcohol, but it can lead to making poor food choices, disrupted sleep, and increasing your recovery time.

Just for some perspective, check out this list:
  • 1.5 ounces of Vodka, Rum, Gin, or Tequila: 100 calories
  • 12 ounces Regular Beer: 150 calories
  • 12 ounces Light Beer: 100 calories
  • 4 ounces of Wine: 120-125 calories
  • 4 ounces of Champagne: 85 calories
  • Martini: 120-150 calories
  • Mojito: 150 calories
  • Pina Colada: 500 calories
  • Margarita (4 ounces): 170 calories

With all of this being said, there is a level of balance you can achieve where you enjoy all of this city has to offer, but can still reach your goals. So we have 3 tips to help you still get the most out of your favorite season, without sacrificing all your gainz.

1.Use a smaller glass.

What? What does this have to do with anything? Patience, young grasshopper. I’m getting there. So often we drink out of pure habit. I have one nutrition client that has described it as her “afternoon snack”. At the end of the day, having survived, you reward yourself with a glass of wine or whiskey. By simply using a smaller glass, you still satisfy that urge but are just consuming less.

2.Slow down.

You finished your drink. After looking down at the empty glass and what once was, your instinct is probably to head immediately back to the bar for another. Hold on, hot stuff, here’s your next tip. After you finish your drink, put your glass down. Have some water, wait 5 to 10 minutes. A lot of times we can end up distracting ourselves and don’t even want more to drink. Or even if you decide that you do, you’ve consumed some much needed H2O in between glasses and slowed down.

3.Phone a friend.

One of the biggest keys to accomplishing any goal, is to create accountability. So tell someone your plan before you go out. Tell someone who you know will hold you to your word. Maybe it’s a coach you have a good relationship with or your designated driver. Tell them what you are going to do that day or night; like “Only have 3 drinks.” Then ask them to check in on you if they don’t hear from you. Adding a layer of accountability, no matter how big or small forces us to be more intentional with our actions.

And that’s it!

Did you think we were going to make it harder? Nah. Ultimately, unless you are training at a professional level or have some health issues, we don’t believe you have to abstain completely. But making a few small changes to your approach can be the difference between meeting your goals and not. Go forth, have a great weekend! And we’ll see you in the gym on Monday.

 

Whether you are just starting your fitness journey or a seasoned pro looking for something new, we’d love to meet you!  And guess what? Your first class is on us. Click HERE to schedule your FREE Jumpstart Class and let us show you what makes Roux Fitness different!

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