There’s a faction of dieters who still believe “calories in-calories out” is the ticket for weight loss. I’m not a member of that club. I’ve felt the truth of healthy, sustainable weight loss is in the quality of the foods you eat. This conclusion came from running the gambit of 400 to 1200 calorie diets with no lasting changes. Suffice it to say, I’ve been there and done that. As for me and my clients we’ve made a conscious decision to change our thinking and realize we’ve come to agree with the thinking of the organization NuSI.
Rather than following the “conventional wisdom…that obesity is an energy balance disorder…” NuSI seeks to prove whether this old thinking or the alternative hypothesis is true. The “alternative hypothesis is that obesity is a growth disorder, in effect, caused by a hormonal/enzymatic defect that is possibly triggered by specific foods in our diet. By this logic, combating the obesity epidemic requires that obese and overweight individuals restrict consumption of these specific foods, and that our environment change to reduce their abundance and availability.” NuSI (Nutritional Science Initiative).
To carry this off I advocate for listening to what your body wants to use as fuel. Don’t allow yourself to be swayed by current diet standards. Good judgment, mindful eating and keeping track of how you feel after you’ve eaten will give you the answers you need.
DRINKING ALCOHOL Now on to the topic for this post. Alcohol, Booze, Hooch, or Firewater. No matter what you call it, these are empty calories. Normally in a weight loss program alcohol consumption is discouraged. I’m certainly not saying alcohol will help your weight loss, it will most assuredly slow your loss. However, I’ve learned that for some people having a drink is something they want to do (especially during the Holidays) and they’re okay with slowing their progress toward a lean body. Screaming at them, throwing guilt or judging them in any way will disparage you and your client. Adjusting to fit your lifestyle is what makes this program sustainable. If you can’t live as you like, you’ll never stay with a program.
So, I encourage my clients to be Lean Drinkers and drink responsibly. Here’s how.
- When you set your goal for weight loss, consider how soon you want to get to that point. If you’re in a hurry I recommend you either refrain from drinking or limit consumption.
- Always count the carbohydrates in your drinks and choose beverages with lower carb counts. Beer has higher carbohydrate counts. It has fiber, but not much. Beer (12oz) – 12.5g. All of these have zero grams: Bourbon,
Brandy, Cognac, Gin, Rum, Scotch, Tequila, Vodka, Whiskey. Vermouth, Dry – 1.4g, Vermouth, Sweet – 4.5g (sugar — get it?), Red Wine (4oz) – 2.0g, and White Wine (4oz) – 0.9g. Liqueurs have a higher carb count. For example Kahlua has 17g. Now the mixers can get you too, so make sure you select a diet drink that will have less and fruit juices should probably be put on the back burner until you reach your goal.
- Your body will stop burning fat when you drink. You’re a fat burning machine. When you workout you kick the body into burning energy….already existing energy in the muscles. After workouts while you are reading, watching television and kicking back your body WANTS and needs to burn fat. However, that doesn’t happen when your body processes alcohol.
- When you drink you will eat poorly. That is a fact and something I have seen over and over when I review my client’s food diaries. Sometimes people skip meals all day because they know they will drink. Bad idea. Eat well, eat lean and fresh and have no added carbohydrates or as few as possible. Then drink responsibly and don’t allow yourself to dive into a plate of nachos or a 16″ pizza.
When it comes to weight loss and partying, be conscious of what you are doing. A well executed food diary will tell you how your body can or cannot handle alcohol. You don’t really want to be “THAT GUY/GIRL” anyway, do you? Enjoy the Holiday. Party Mindfully!