Last Updated on November 25, 2011 by Jimson Lee
I remember the fall of 1988 where my varsity athletes had to attend a compulsory “Awareness seminar” on Drugs.
Now we all remember what happened in September 1988, right? But after sitting in a room with hundreds of varsity athletes and coaches, they failed to mention the number 1 most harmful and deadly drug in College athletes:
I posted an article on Alcohol and Weight Loss last July.
That being said, I am frequently asked, “How come so many alcoholics are skinny?”
My answer is, “Well, I know a lot of fat alcoholics, too!”
With that in mind, and to put an end to this argument, I asked the Burn the Fat expert Tom Venuto about alcohol, and how it fits into a burning fat program. I am not talking binge drinking, just one or two a day.
As a bodybuilder, Tom keeps his body fat remarkably low, but not as low as Clarence Bass. Here was his response with a reference to his Burn the Fat ebook, which is a great read only because I own a copy.
A couple drinks on the weekend and or on special occasions probably won’t have any major impact on your fat loss results (although I would encourage you to consider the mindset that EVERYTHING you do either helps or hurts).
A drink or two on occasion is a part of enjoying life for many people, and it’s important to find lifestyle balance for the sake of your long term happiness and success.
However, I do not recommend drinking every day.
“A couple every day” adds a LOT of extra calories to your daily diet. If you’re talking about two 150-calorie beers, thats 300 calories extra a day or 2100 extra calories a week.
Multiply that out for a year and you have 109,200 extra calories! WOW! That’s potentially 31.2 pounds of fat in a year.
If you DO account for the calories in those drinks, then you have another conundrum – the alcohol calories displace good valuable food calories…
Drinking gives you empty alcohol calories with virtually no nutritional value (and some negative value in more way than one), while pushing out important vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, fiber and other good stuff.
Alcohol also inhibits fat burning. While your liver is busy metabolizing alcohol, it puts your fat metabolism on hold. That’s why I do NOT recommend any drinking when you are on a fat loss program (at least if you are serious about it).
When you are on a regular, year-round lifestyle/maintenance program I recommend that if you drink, you do so in moderation, keep it to special occasions or weekends and remember to factor in those calories to your daily intake.
By the way, there’s a major risk to drinking every day – even just one or two – that most people don’t even think about:
Daily drinking is habit forming. Anything you do every day easily becomes a habit that is difficult to break later.
On the other hand, if you could establish the habit of eating 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables and getting some exercise every single day, those would be habits worth forming!
Let me know how else I can help. This question comes up often, so I did cover alcohol and fat loss in much greater detail in chapter 13 of the Burn the Fat book: www.burnthefat.com
Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, an NSCA-certified personal trainer (CPT), certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS), and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, “Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle” Tom has written more than 200 articles and has been featured in print magazines such as IRONMAN, Australian IRONMAN, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Exercise for Men and Men’s Exercise, as well as on hundreds of websites worldwide. For information on Tom’s Fat Loss program, visit: www.burnthefat.com