I have never been the trainer who tells their clients that you absolutely can’t eat this and should never drink that. That is not my philosophy, never has been and never will be. In fact, my clients have always related to me better for keeping it real. I love a glass of red wine with dinner or a beer at the pub with my mates. I also have a sweet tooth and rarely say no to a good piece of chocolate. So, how do I still drink and maintain my health and fitness? I’m big on balance and I practice what I preach.

I know my body and I know my limits, so whilst I might indulge here and there, I also train hard and eat healthily most of the time. So many of us operate in that “all or nothing” mentality whereby as soon as we hear that something is bad for us, we cut it out completely. We restrict, feel deprived, fall off the wagon and enter a vicious cycle of restricting and indulging. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can drink alcohol and still lose weight. It’s all about finding the perfect balance.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t me giving you the green light to make the most of the happy hour at Friday night drinks. There are still some factors to consider. Your favourite alcoholic beverages, for example, increase fat storage, as your body will preferentially use alcohol as a fuel source, sparing your fat reserves. The double negative occurs when you consume high fat foods while drinking, as the fat in these foods is directed to storage, rather than being burnt as a fuel source. Drinks aren’t created equal. There’s a big difference between a glass of red and a white chocolate espresso martini. Keep that in mind when perusing the drinks list.

Alcohol is not just bad for your waistline or performance goals – it damages your liver, and as it is a neurotoxin it interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and longer term, decreases brain function. Always drink wisely.

Here are 5 simple tips to help you enjoy a couple of glasses a week without stalling your weight loss

1. Don’t go overboard.

Have a limit in mind and make a commitment to stick to it. Go out with the strong intention to only have one or two drinks & stay strong.

2. Pick the healthier option.

Sure, that strawberry margarita might sound (and probably is) delicious but it’s also a sugary and calorie dense option you can live without. Opt for clear spirits and soda water or a nice glass of wine.

3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water. Not only will this re-hydrate you but you may find that you’re happy just sipping on h20. Some of us simply want to have a glass in our hand when out in social situations. Soda water and fresh lime is my go-to non-alcoholic beverage. You can even tell that pushy friend who’s always up for a big one that it’s a vodka, lime and soda.

4. Don’t skip your workout

Work hard, play hard. Get your workout done first thing in the morning before your night out and have a workout scheduled in for the next morning. You’re less likely to go overboard if you’re booked in for a 9am spin class with a friend. In the event you do, you’ll certainly regret it when spinning the pedals!

5. Don’t skip meals but don’t overeat

A big mistake people make is that they skip dinner to compensate for the calories they’re going to consume drinking. This is NOT the answer and is often a recipe for disaster! Eat a healthy dinner full of lean protein and good fats before you head out to slow down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. This will also help you keep your cool around canapes or resist the late night Maccas run which is always more tempting when you’re completely starving.

Feature Image: thehomemadehaus


Sam Wood

Sam Wood is Australia’s favourite personal trainer. Gym owner, founder of Gecko Sports, creator of 28 by Sam Wood and proud family man. Beyond his business success, Sam is also a regular media contributor with frequent online, radio and television appearances. Sam combines 17 years industry experience, an unwavering passion to make a difference and his charismatic personality to deliver refreshingly honest and relatable messages to tens of thousands of people every day. As the pioneer of children’s fitness, owner of Australia’s biggest personal training gym and creator of 28 by Sam Wood there is no question that Sam is one of Australia’s leading fitness experts.