I want to begin this article by saying I’m not advocating that people should drink. I wanted to bring you value in this piece and let you know that if you were looking to drink socially, there are some choices that are better than others. This article will showcase four alcoholic beverages that are the best options when partaking in social gatherings where alcohol is served. More specifically, drinks that won’t ruin your six pack abs!
If you are 100% committed to weight loss, your best bet is to not drink at all, or only on occasion. If you want to make sure you’re working with the right macros and calories, you can always use the IIFYM macro calculator.
While IIFYM allows you flexibility with your foods and beverages, binge drinking and abusing alcohol can have detrimental effects not only on your waistline but also your health.
If you feel you have a problem with alcohol, seek professional help. And if you are in need of nutritional guidance, definitely check out the IIFYM.com programs to help you achieve those six pack abs.
What You Need To Know About Alcohol To Keep Your Progress
Many people think that alcohol is simply empty calories—and they’re right. It truly has no nutritional value to promote health.
Sure, it has some antioxidants and trace amounts of nutrients that can aid in overall health benefits, but when you compare alcohol to whole nutrient-dense foods, there’s no comparison. Overconsumption of alcohol can soften your six pack abs and hide them behind fat and a layer of water.
How Many Calories Are In Alcohol?
When it comes to caloric values, we all know that each gram of protein is four calories, each gram of carbohydrates is four calories, and each gram of fat is nine calories.
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What people are often unaware of is where alcohol fits into this all and how it can affect your six pack abs. Well, for every gram of alcohol, there are seven calories. This is almost double that of carbohydrates and protein, and only slightly below that of fat.
The amount of alcohol consumed can easily have you consuming enough calories to overdo your caloric needs for the day if you aren’t paying attention and ruin your six pack abs. Not only that, but many people are consuming drinks with added calories on top of the alcohol.
Let’s take the classic rum and Coke for example. For each one that you drink (depending on the rum) you’re looking at 150 calories. We all know that when you go out with friends, more than likely people aren’t going to only have one. Let’s say they drink three or four by the end of the night—that puts them between 450 and 600 calories just in alcohol.
The Wrong “Six Pack”
Similar to a rum and coke is beer. On average, one can or bottle of beer is around 150 calories. It’s not uncommon to see guys hanging with their buddies drinking over six beers (enter joke about having a keg instead of six pack abs) in one night (how many of your friends have six pack abs?).
That’s 900 liquid calories accounted for—ouch! That in itself is taking up a good portion of your daily calories and we haven’t even factored in the food you ate during the day or even the food you were snacking on while out.
Have A Plan
In addition, think about what’s taking place when alcohol is around. Consumption of snacks. What kind of snacks? Highly-palatable ones in the form of chips, pretzels, pizza, and other generally salty foods that people pick at. By the end of the night you’re looking at well over 1,000 calories—not exactly a good plan when you’re trying to uncover your six pack abs.
Now, I’m not telling you that you need to skip social events or parties, or even go there and be miserable by not drinking or having a few snack items.
However, you need to be aware and conscious of the drinks you are consuming and in what quantities. It’s easy to be hanging with the guys, finish off your drink and simply grab another without mentally keeping track. Or your buddy notices you’re empty and grabs you another beer while getting one for himself.
This could be disastrous for your physique if you don’t have a game plan in place before heading out. Try to stick to a certain number of drinks based off of your calories for the day.
Be Mindful While Consuming Alcohol
Speaking of having a plan, IIFYM’s coaching program speeds up the process of uncovering your six pack abs. This 12-week program is customized to fit your wants and needs. Take the guesswork out of things by signing up!
You should also keep your drinking to a minimum. You don’t need to drink every single night or every weekend. You’re not in college anymore. It’s time to be a responsible adult.
Forgetting you’re no longer part of a fraternity can lead to poor behaviors and send you down the rabbit hole where your friends and family will have to send search and rescue to bring you back. Drink responsibly when you do, and only drink on (special) occasion.
So, what are your best drink choices for at home and when out (even when following the IIFYM lifestyle)? Below are four of your best options to keep your calories low and your six pack abs in check:
1. Straight Liquor
nything straight is going to be your best bet—vodka, rum, scotch, bourbon, tequila, whatever. Where you get in trouble is when you start mixing drinks with sugary beverages.
This can be in the form of regular soda or fruit juice. You can have your liquor neat (no ice) or on the rocks (with ice). It’s personal preference how you want your liquor. Some people will use the ice to dilute the strength of the liquor used while others like the full-flavored variety.
The key to drinking liquor straight is to sip on it and enjoy the flavors present. Straight liquor doesn’t mean lining up shots on the bar and trying to impress your friends.
You are getting the highest alcohol concentration through liquor, which means you shouldn’t be looking to slam these home unless you’re looking for your night to end early and the bloating to make your six pack abs disappear.
2. Calorie-Free Mixers
If you aren’t a fan of straight liquor and need something to mix it into so it dilutes the potency and taste, opt for a calorie-free and sugar-free mixer. Rather than a rum and Coke, order a rum and diet. Something like Diet Coke, Coke Zero Sugar, Sprite Zero, etc.
If you’re not a fan of beer or liquor, there’s always wine.
Just find something that is zero calorie and zero sugar to mix your alcohol with. This will save you a bunch of calories by the end of the night. Your six pack abs will thank you.
3. Light Beer
Regular beer consumption and ruin even the best six pack abs. When it comes to light beer, you are generally saving about 25% of the calories when compared to a regular beer.
So, instead of 150 calories, a light beer will yield you around 100. Some will have more, others will have less—it all depends on the type and brand of beer you get.
Yes, the overall flavor of the beer can be “watered-down,” but the flavor is still there for you to enjoy. Light beer is generally “lighter” (no pun intended) than a heavy beer such as Guinness and can help reduce the bloated feeling you get after consuming multiple heavy beers.
4. Red Wine
If you’re not a fan of beer or liquor, there’s always wine. Red wine holds its place in between regular beer and light beer. For a five ounce pour of red wine, you are looking at around 125 calories. Most wine drinkers will partake in one or two glasses before setting their glass down for the night.
Red wine generally has a higher ABV (alcohol by volume) compared to beer, so if you decide to drink wine at an event or party, be aware that you will start feeling it much quicker than if you were drinking beer.
IIFYM.com BONUS TIPS!
Two quick aspects to keep in mind when you plan on spending a night out on the town with friends or family and drinking will be involved. In order to keep yourself in check (as well as your six pack abs), follow each alcoholic drink up with a glass of water.
This will not only help you stay hydrated, but it will slow down how quickly you get your next drink. This will help you think clearly and keep track of how many drinks you have already consumed.
The second piece of advice is to never drink on an empty stomach. By having food in your stomach, it slows down the absorption rate of the alcohol being consumed. This will help keep your mind sharp and slow the effects that alcohol has on your judgment.
No one likes a sloppy or belligerent drunk (or one that is passed out on the floor). Before going out, you could try one of the amazing macro-friendly (low-calorie) recipes from IIFYM.com.
These recipes are delicious and can help you achieve the six pack abs look you’re striving for. Or better yet, get the IIFYM recipe book that IIFYM.com has on the site. 100 simple recipes that fit your IIFYM lifestyle.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matt Weik is the Founder/Owner of Weik Fitness, LLC and is a well-respected fitness expert/author with a global following. He’s a certified strength and conditioning specialist, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist. His work has been featured in over 85 fitness magazines and over 1,500 websites. Check out weikfitness.com