Is Alcohol Sabotaging Progress?

You are killing it. Killing your workouts. Handling your meal prep like a boss.…

but are you counting what you are drinking?

Even if you are a moderate drinker (as in 1-2 drinks a day), those empty calories can add up quickly. As in an additional 1000 calories or more each week. (For heavier drinkers, that could easily be each day!)

For example:

A single glass of wine is 5 ounces. Most restaurants pours are about 6-8 ounces. My wine glasses at home can hold 15 ounces! So much for “just one” glass of wine!

On average beer contains 90-300+ calories.

Beyond just the added calories…just how else does alcohol effect your diet?

Alcohol slows the metabolism. When we eat food our body has to metabolize or break it down to be stored for energy. Our bodies do not however, store alcohol. It goes into attack mode immediately, treating it like a toxin and breaking it down to get rid of it. While our bodies are busy breaking down the alcohol everything else we consume (nutrients/food) gets stored as body fat. Alcohol use overtime causes the metabolism to get slower and slower and we accumulate more and more body fat.

Alcohol can lead to unhealthy choices.

Facts… along side the empty calories we are drinking, we are also much more likely to reach for savory, high fat, sugar loaded foods when drinking.

Sleep and Alcohol…not the good combination you may think.

Whether it’s a glass of wine, a beer, a night cap…alcohol has a direct impact on the quality of your sleep. I wear an Oura Ring on a regular basis that measures my sleep quality. My scores are in THE TRASH not just the morning after, but for about the next three days after I had even one or two drinks.

Crappy sleep leads to crappy food choices. It also leads to blocking your body’s ability to metabolize, increasing cortisol on and so forth. Studies have shown that even as little as .25 grams of alcohol per kg of body weight results in a 9% drop in quality of sleep. Heavier consumption can lead to a 39% drop in sleep quality. Add in that even if you can bring yourself to haul your butt to the gym the morning after drinking, that training session is sure to be a wash.

So you’re thinking of reducing your alcohol consumption to meet your weight loss goals, butsocial situations. Our peers can be our biggest supporters, or, our biggest nemesis.

Here are three ways to help out when faced with that scenario:


Adding seltzer water to your wine or mixed drink is a great way to quickly and easily cut calories.

Have a “no thanks” response ready

“I don’t drink,” “I have an early day tomorrow,” or the best one, “I’m driving.” While having these responses ready is helpful, remember you don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why you are not drinking.

Get social support

Finding a buddy to stick to your goals with is always super helpful.

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Michael Allen

Author Bio

Michael has been working with clients in the gym and countless adults in a physical therapy setting since 2013. He spent 3 semesters working at Towson University with student-athletes from nearly every sport at the school. He served as the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for Kennard-Dale High School during the 2019-2020 school year. His goal is to always get better and give you the safest and most effective use of your time at First Capital Gym.