It’s Friday night, you’re out with your friends, everyone’s drinking, laughing and having a good time. You want to join in but you’re immobilized the fear of eating into your fitness gains for the week. You’re right to be cautious, alcohol is not your friend when it comes to building muscle and burning fat, but you can always minimize the damage by making smart(ish) choices.
1. Beer and Wine are not the best option
These are loaded with sugars and beer is a notorious cause of major bloating, even into the following day. Do you want to burping your way through your morning cardio tomorrow? I thought not. Plus, I assume you want to get a buzz here, which means we need to optimize the calorie to alcohol/ml ratio a little bit! Enter your spirits.
2. Vodka is better, but not the best
If you’re going for spirits (which I recommend), then Vodka is the classic choice. Vodka and soda if you need a mixer. However, though it is undoubtedly a classic, this isn’t the best low-cal option. A gin and (slimline) tonic clocks in at a mere 112 calories, compared to 128 from the vodka and soda. Plus, you’ll feel sophisticated as all get-out drinking it.
3. Keep track
we all know that a few drinks has a tendency to snowball into an all-night bender, so to avoid this, set yourself a limit and stick to it! If you need to mark the number of drinks off on your hand it can be a great way to visually bring your consumption home to you. Plus if you hit your wrist, you know it’s definitely time to go home!
4. Hit the gym the next day
You may not feel like it, you may not enjoy it, and it probably won’t be the best session of the year, but get to the gym the day after your night out. This helps reinforce to your subconscious mind that the things you enjoy are NOT allowed to interfere with your goals. You can have a good time, but then you get right back on it. Plus, it can take as little as 15 minutes of cardio to burn off each G+T.
As I mentioned, alcohol is not really your friend when it comes to living a fit, healthy lifestyle. But you can work to offset and modify your behavior so it’s more of a speed-bump than a roadblock. And even if you do get carried away and end up on the sangria, then spend the next two days in bed, chalk it up to experience and get back in the gym afterwards. Remember, this is a marathon not a sprint, and if you do it right, one fun Friday can’t hurt once in a while!