I was writing an eating plan for someone and all these notes came out so I thought I’d share it here with you! I hope it helps you! If you have any additional brilliant thoughts to share, please comment below. I am always learning and love feedback!
It is unrealistic when on a Burning Fat Mission to say we will never have a drink again. The trick I’ve found is to time it right so it does the least damage to my efforts and body.
But first, a quick education:
- In a nutshell (you can do your own research for more info if you like) the body can’t process alcohol and food at the same time; too much work for the kidneys and liver. Even if we eat healthy chicken and broccoli and a nice glass of red wine, the body will store the food as fat while it spends at least an hour processing the liquor. Bad news bears.
- Our bodies release HGH (human growth hormone) at night when we sleep because that is when the body repairs itself and gets you ready for the next day and rebuilds your muscles after you’ve broken them down so nicely. However, when alcohol is present in the system, it halts this process. So if you worked hard in the gym that day and then drink late at night, your body won’t repair and recover as it wanted to and you won’t be as fresh and ready the next day.
- Alcohol stops the fat burning process immediately. Enough said. I want my fat burners on while I’m on a mission.
Okay, back to finding a place for it on this plan and ultimately in life. Here is what I’ve figured out works:
For the first week of your clean eating plan, preferably two or three weeks, try to go cold turkey and not drink at all. In my opinion this allows you to really get in the zone with the eating and gets your fat burners turned ON full force. It also shows you that YOU HAVE WILLPOWER.
Now, if you can manage the Cold Turkey Phase, then once a week enjoy a drink (preferably only 1, or 2 max).
Ideally, you would savor the drink on it’s own and not with food, but in true Cheat Meal fashion, if you have a glass of wine with The Most Amazing Pizza Ever, whatever. The sky wont fall and you won’t gain 10 pounds as a result.
Ideally though, as I was saying, you would have it separate of food, which means timing is key. My new sparring partner, Dirty Pete, asked me, “When is that, 6am? “ Haha. Notsomuch.
I have found the best time to drink alcohol is “happy hour”, which is about 5pm or so depending on your day, and what country you live in. Whatever the case, drink at least 1 hour after your last snack and at least 1 hour before your dinner. This allows the body time to process the liquor on it’s own. Notice I say “before” dinner, not after, which would interfere with sleep and the ever-important repair of your beautiful body.
Also, and this is highly important, so pay attention, ALCOHOL IMPAIRS JUDGMENT. I know, I know, this is breaking news! Those drunk dials you made were completely fine and not at all a result of the liquor hitting your brain saying “everything is a GREAT idea and you are SO smart! You should absolutely call that person right now and fly to Rio. Naked.”
I bring this up because if you are going to be impairing your judgment before dinner, you NEED A PLAN for that dinner. If you don’t know what healthy and clean dinner you will be eating after your trip to Rio, you are likely to rationalize eating something not on your plan. So be careful not to completely sabotage your hard work by drinking liquor and then eating junky food you will absolutely, positively regret later.
- Don’t drink for the first week or two of your new eating plan or Get Lean mission.
- When that time is up, drink only once a week, and separate of your dinner.
- Drink before dinner, at Happy Hour.
- Think twice, or three times, before you drink. If what you want is to “relax after your workday”, tea will do. Trust me.
- When you do drink, ENJOY IT. SAVOR IT. And drink the good stuff.
By “good stuff” I mean, don’t drink the cheap liquor. Treat yourself if you are treating yourself.
But you are probably asking “what is the best liquor to drink if you are going to drink?”
Well that depends on what you like.
- Red wine. (White wine is higher in sugar). And “studies show” that a glass can actually be good for you.
- Vodka rocks/neat. (no added sugary junk mixers). Squeeze fresh lemon/lime/grapefruit juice for flavor if you need it.
- Any darker liquor NEAT, no added mixers/soda.
- Light beer.
*Whatever it is, ONE is always the best idea. Two is picking up your phone. Three has you packing an overnight bag. Four probably has you realizing you left that bag at home as you land in Rio. Naked. Trust me, liquor hits you faster when you are eating clean.
Well that about covers it.
Cheers to your Amazing Body and Willpower! You CAN do this!