I was flicking through some magazines earlier and couldn’t help but notice all the diet tips and fitness plans.
At this time of year there always seems to be a big demand for advice on how to slim down and tone up.
As I was reading through the countless ‘diet hacks’, I was surprised to find that alcohol rarely got a mention.
There were all kinds of tips about upping your protein intake, lifting heavier weights and cutting out sugary fizzy drinks… but quitting drinking? I didn’t see that suggested anywhere, even though alcohol is a diet disaster! It’s full of empty calories.
So I wanted to put things right.
If you need a bit of motivation to stick to your alcohol-free goals this week, let’s talk all about the beach body benefits of a booze-free lifestyle…
1. You’ll save thousands of calories, making it easier to lose weight
I strongly believe there should be clearer calorie labelling on bottles of wine. I haven’t met many people who truly understand alcohol units, but calories? Most of us get that.
A glass of wine contains around 200 calories. A whole bottle is 600 calories – that’s the equivalent of scoffing three donuts or a McDonald’s Big Mac. It’s no wonder the average wine drinker puts on half a stone a year due to the excess calories.
2. You’ll be more likely to eat healthy food (and stick to your diet!)
When I was feeling hungover, my motivation went out the window. I snacked on pastries, chocolate, crisps and caffeine. Eating salad was rarely on the agenda!
I’m not going to pretend that sobriety has turned me into some kind of saint – I’ve always had a sweet tooth and still do. But in sobriety, I can get away with my chocolate habit because the rest of my diet is now pretty good.
I don’t skip breakfast anymore, I eat a healthy lunch, I drink plenty of water and I cook a proper dinner in the evening. When you’re being fairly healthy, most of the time, it makes a big difference to your waistline.
3. When you do go to the gym, you’ll make it count
As a drinker, I’d sometimes drag myself to the gym despite my hangover. (I was convinced I could sweat the alcohol out.) But all that effort was rarely worth it, because booze is a terrible workout buddy.
Alcohol can dehydrate your body for up to a week. Not only does this make you feel like crap, it also means you’re more prone to musculoskeletal injuries such as cramps, muscle pulls and strains.
Drinking also lowers your rate of protein synthesis, which is needed for building and repairing muscles. So basically, if you want to get results from your workout, alcohol is never going to be your friend.
4. You can wave goodbye to bloating and puffiness
There’s a reason why celebrities like Jennifer Lopez don’t drink – it’s because they don’t want alcohol to ruin their looks. Booze makes your face puffy, bloated and more prone to redness.
If you’re thinking about quitting drinking, take a selfie first. I get all the women I work with to do this and I love seeing the results (you’ll be amazed at the difference). Alcohol is so sneaky – the chances are it’s affecting your appearance more than you think.
5. You’ll get your beauty sleep
Alcohol screws up your sleep cycle, which is why you often wake up at 4am, tired but somehow wide awake.
Lack of sleep doesn’t just affect the bags under your eyes. There’s also a clear link between sleep and obesity. Let’s face it: when you’re tired, you’re more likely to snack and skip the gym.
6. Quitting drinking will get you better results, in all areas!
Take a moment to think about all the time, money and effort you put into trying to look your best. Perhaps you invest in nice clothes, fancy face creams, gym memberships or getting your hair done.
If you care about how you look – and most of us do – why not maximise your results and get your money’s worth?
Without alcohol getting the way, that expensive moisturiser might actually make a difference. Those nice clothes will fit better. And that gym membership might just start paying off 🙂