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Why You Might Consider Ditching Alcohol To Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Why You Might Consider Ditching Alcohol To Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Achieving your fitness goals takes a lot of dedication and sometimes sacrifices. One of the most challenging aspects of losing weight or improving your fitness is figuring out how to avoid temptation when it comes to alcohol, especially at social events. You should not have to give up enjoying a glass of wine or two but instead, learn how to consume your alcohol in moderation to prevent it from affecting your ability to reach your goals. With that being said, it is important to know how alcohol may prevent you from getting your desired results in the gym, even if you follow a healthy diet and consistently work out. This article will go over some of the effects alcohol can have on your fitness to help you decide if you should or should not cut it out of your diet.

The Effects Of Alcohol On Your Fitness

Alcoholic Drinks Can Mess With Your Calorie Intake

It is no secret that alcohol contains quite a few calories. On top of those calories from the alcohol comes the sugars from grain and fruit in beer and wine, or processed sugar in mixed drinks. The calories from drinking alcohol can add up very quickly and you must be careful to keep track of them, especially if you are in a calorie-deficit working towards losing weight. Drinking too much or too often can quickly hurt the progress you have been making in the gym and those nutritionless calories will sneak up on you faster than you would expect. 

Alcohol Can Throw Off Your Body From Processing Fat

Strangely enough, alcohol is our body's preferred fuel source. As your body is processing the alcohol in your system, it is postponing processing the fat from the food you eat. Precisely how long it takes your body to process the alcohol out of your system depends on many factors such as your age, gender, weight, and alcohol tolerance. When your body is ridding itself of alcohol, it is not working on processing fat which can lead to weight gain. 

Alcohol Can Slow Down Your Metabolism

Our body typically uses three energy sources which are carbs, fat, and protein. This is why personal trainers often recommend diets high in these energy sources to ensure you are meeting your fitness or weight loss goals. However, most people do not know that ethanol (found in most alcoholic beverages) is another energy source for our bodies. This energy source is broken down by the liver and is prioritized by your body to be processed first because of its toxicity. Your body uses its energy to break down the ethanol and eliminate it from your body as opposed to breaking down the carbs and fats in your system. 

This means that no matter how hard you work out the next day or even a few days after, you are more so just working out the toxins from the alcohol you were drinking before. This can greatly slow down your body's ability to shed pounds as fast as you would without drinking. 

Alcohol Can Mess With Your Hormones

There is some research and evidence that suggests that alcohol consumption is associated with increased abdominal fat. This research suggests that alcohol's specific effects on the body lead to increased fat deposits in the abdominal area, which is a more difficult area to lose weight in. Alcohol has also been shown to increase your cortisol (stress hormone) levels, which can hinder your ability to lose fat.

Calgary’s In-Gym And Online Personal Trainers

Drinking alcohol can lower our inhibitions and lead to poor food choices like a late-night drive-thru run or greasy breakfast to help cure a hangover. Alcohol is high in calories and low in nutritional value, hindering your fitness goals rather than being beneficial. It is unrealistic for most to live off a strict, healthy diet their entire life with no cheat days. Some people prefer using their cheat days to indulge in a greasy burger with fries or a few pieces of warm apple pie whereas others prefer using their cheat days for a night out drinking. It is up to you how you want to balance your calorie intake and diet to reach your fitness or weight loss goals. For some, that means cutting out alcohol entirely to use their cheat days for sugary foods while others prefer to do a balance of both alcohol and treats. It all comes down to how often you exercise, how much alcohol you are consuming, and what your diet is like around your alcohol consumption. 

At Jensen Fitness, our personal training, fitness coaching, and weight loss programs will provide you with all of the support you need to achieve your personal goals while helping you sustain your new healthy habits for the long term. To start your weight loss or fitness journey, contact our team of personal trainers in SE Calgary by calling 1-403-200-0199 or by filling out our online contact form.


Q: Can an online personal trainer help me reach my fitness goals?
A: Yes, they can. Online personal trainers offer the same services as an in-gym personal trainer just online. They will be able to provide you with workouts you can do at home as well as diet recommendations to help you reach your fitness goals. 

Q: In order to lose weight, do I have to exercise and follow a diet?
A: You will need to incorporate regular exercise and healthy eating habits to see faster and more optimal results.

Q: How often should I work with a personal trainer?
A: This will depend on the time you have, your goals, and your budget. It is common to work with a personal trainer 2-3 times per week, however, you can work with your trainer as much or as little as you want.


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