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Breakthrough Fitness

Has Your Alcohol Consumption Increased During Covid-19? Read This!

Has your alcohol consumption increased over the last six weeks with the stay-at-home orders?  Mine definitely has.

When it comes to alcohol it’s not just the added calories that can mess with our goals…….and alcohol consumption messes with our body composition and health goals big time.

Don’t worry you can reach your goals and consume alcohol.

Let’s look at the big picture and remember the most important question you can ask yourself about drinking – Do my behaviors match up with my goals?

I’m not giving up my wine

“Coach I want to drop 30lbs in three months, but I’m not giving up my wine.”

“No problem Lou Ann (fictional character) we have many members who enjoy wine and reach their fitness goals. How much wine to you drink?”

“A bottle a night and more on the weekends. I’ve heard a little wine each night has health benefits.”

“Yes indeed. A little red wine may have health benefits. Broccoli has many health benefits as well. How much broccoli do you eat?”

Oh, I don’t like vegetables.”

“I see.”

If you’ve been reading my stuff then you know I am not the personal trainer who is constantly beating you over the head with Do Not’s.

Like do not eat this or do not drink that. I work with grown adults. I help these grown adults lay out a plan for eating nutritious foods most of the time. Most of the time always works if you do it consistently.  A little wine or alcohol is fine, but I’ve learned over the years that everyone’s definition of “a little” is different.

I enjoy drinking and I know that it can be part of a healthy lifestyle. I have witnessed members losing 20+lbs  without giving up their booze completely. My intent of this article is to provide you with information on alcohol and how it may be affecting your fitness progress.

Here is what happens to your metabolism when you “skin back a few”……

  • You stop burning fat at a cellular level – The body doesn’t store alcohol. When alcohol is ingested it becomes first priority for your metabolism. Your body will convert the alcohol into energy instead of using carbs and fats.  So while you are drinking and shoveling in chicken nachos, there is a good chance those nachos turn into back fat instead of useful energy.
  • Your blood sugar takes a dip – Hooch temporarily “paralyzes” your liver’s ability to make its own sugar, which causes a drop in blood sugar. Low blood sugar makes you crave simple carbs like Krispy Kreme donuts. Oh look! The hot light is on!
  • Your growth hormone drops– Alcohol causes this directly. Alcohol also affects sleep, which affects growth hormone as well.
  • Your testosterone plummets– Alcohol increases the conversion of testosterone to estrogen in body fat- a process called aromatization. This explains why I get emotionally unstable after a night of drinking and scroll Netflix for a good romantic comedy…….Fools Rush In sounds good!
  • Excessive calories– A bottle of wine is roughly 25 ounces and 600+ calories. If you enjoy good beer that’s two beers – insert hysterically crying emoji here.

I know what you are thinking. I can just add a couple of extra workouts in a week to burn the calories. Forget about the calories. The affect alcohol has on hormones, blood sugar and sleep are far more crucial.  Take a look at your goals. Do your behaviors match? Could your alcohol consumption be holding you back?

Keep moving,

Coach Dom