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When you’re on the 5.4 8 week challenge and aiming to lose weight, steer clear of alcohol until you have gone onto the maintenance plan as alcohol can sabotage your weight loss efforts.

Why?   Alcoholic drinks contain more calories than most people think and the glasses quickly add up!  It releases estrogen into your bloodstream, promotes fat storage, and decreases muscle growth. It reduces your inhibitions too so you’re more likely to grab a kebab, hot dog or pizza on the way home.

Life is about enjoyment though and alcohol is often consumed at special occasions like a birthday or a wedding.  So if you are going to drink, here are some tips so that it doesn’t set you back on the challenge:

1. Choose red wine.  The antioxidants which may protect the heart and help lower inflammation. Or, opt for a drink with clear alcohol and no sugary mixers, such as a vodka and club soda or a tequila on the rocks with lime.  Here is a comparison chart of popular drinks and their calories:

 

2. Make every second glass, a glass or water.  Pace yourself and the extra water will keep you adequately hydrated, too.

3.  Eat a 5.4 meal before drinking.  Alcohol is quickly absorbed via your stomach and small intestine so eating a well balanced meal like a 5.4 meal will help slow down the process.

4.  Watch out for the munchies!  When you drink alcohol, you crave food high in salt and fat.  Indulging can set you back so make good food choices with your drink.

5.  Don’t get your glass topped up.  When someone tops up your glass without you noticing, you lose track of how much you have had to drink and things can quickly get messy!

so we don’t want to be a killjoy but remember to enjoy the odd glass with a nutritious meal and always drink responsibly.