It’s fun to catch up with friends over a few drinks, but before you say cheers make sure you know the facts about alcohol and how it affects your goals – Honida Beram has researched with experience!
Uh-oh! It’s The Morning After the Night Before
Why is a kick drum slamming into my temples? I slowly pry open my mascara-encrusted eyes to establish time or place and on onslaught of vertigo sends me into a spin cycle of nausea. It must be morning.
I fumble for my phone and neon numbers slowly come into focus: 11:48am. My eyes move down the screen to 12 missed calls, four text messages.
No need to read the messages. I’ve let her down – my running partner, my fitness-sister, my friend. I bolt out of bed and that late night kebab wishes me a good morning …
I Had a Plan for My Girls’ Night Out
Backtrack to the day before. I had a long checklist to get through before the much-anticipated Girls’ Night Out. I’d been looking forward to this weekend for ages! All my besties were joining me for a night of talking over each other, sharing decadent desserts and dancing like loonies. The excitement bubbles were delightfully tickling my insides.
The kitchen whiteboard was emblazoned with my To Do list.
• Morning workout (done)
• Housework (done)
• Pack kids’ bags for sleepover at Grandma’s, drop off (done, done)
• New dress, shoes (done)
• Pizza phone number for hubby (done)
• Get ready to party (soon)
I knew I was going to have a few drinks. I’d stuck to healthy eating, had three alcohol-free days this week, worked out and was feeling confident in my new dress.
But I didn’t stick to the “few drinks” I’d accounted for. I can’t even recall how many alcoholic beverages I consumed – clearly too many. The Girls’ Night Out ended up costing me not only a hangover, but set me back in my fitness goals and put strain on the relationship with my training partner.
Why Alcohol is Bad for Your Goals
Alcohol is a part of many people’s lives. We know heavy consumption leads to disease, inhibits rational thinking, leads to poor choices and other negative impacts. But in moderation it CAN be enjoyed socially or after a long day at work to help unwind.
The role of alcohol when you’re trying to transform your body is often overlooked or misunderstood. The health limits on alcohol intake are recommended at no more than one to two drinks per day and, no, they can’t be saved up to splurge on a weekend. Binging is definitely out – things spiral out of control and a whole week’s worth of work can go down the drain!
1. Empty Calories
A few drinks quickly add up to the same calorie count as a main meal! But they have no nutritional value. A schooner has 150 calories, a glass of wine 120 calories and a mixed drink 250 calories. On top of that, beverages are often accompanied by snacks of chips, cheese or nuts. Alcohol also provides nearly as much energy per gram as fat – 7 calories per gram compared to 9 calories per gram for fat.
2. Energy Zapping
The day after overindulging is never pretty. If you can muster the energy to train, you will feel much less motivated than usual. Your body will be dehydrated and craving carbohydrates due to the crappy sleep you’ve had. Your blood will contain less glucose and impede your usual oomph by 10-20%.
3. Slower Fat Burning
After a night of drinking, the alcohol in your system is metabolised first, which slows down fat burning. It increases fatty acids in your blood so you burn fewer calories, and also acts a diuretic, increasing the production of lactic acid, worsening exercise fatigue.
My Lesson Learnt
After calling my running partner and making amends, I promised myself to exercise more willpower the next time I plan a Girls’ Night Out. As my head cleared and the pounding subsided, I tried to figure out how much exercise it was going to take to burn off all those drinks. I think I’ll need a calculator …
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