"...[M]ost people drink alcohol late at night before they go to bed which is when your body is even more likely to store all those empty calories as fat."
This is something that is rarely addressed when talking health and fitness, but lets face it, in today’s world, you would be hard pressed to go a few days without having the opportunity to have a brewsky or a glass of wine. What I wanted to address in this article though is how does alcohol fall into your P90X or Insanity nutrition plan…Should you avoid it altogether or is the occasional drink okay?
First off let me tell my personal view on alcohol (just in case you care what I think, lol). I have not had a single drink of alcohol in about five years. I lead a life of conviction and if I were to drink alcohol, I would be going against my convictions and I dont want to do that. I dont think that drinking alcohol is bad in and of itself, but its just not for me (thats another discussion). I used to drink in college just to get drunk, but that was a previous life. I dont mind sharing this with you guys, but I am a born again believer in Jesus Christ and He has changed me through a personal relationship with Him!!! That relationship drives most all of my decisions, including the decision not to drink.
But I fully realize that not everyone lives by the same convictions or beliefs and thats okay! I know for many people that having a few drinks on the weekend is the “usual” routine, and for some, you roll with a group of friends that usually ends up doing a little social drinking at the end of the night. So what should your approach be in these types of situations if you are trying to get the best results possible from P90X or Insanity (or for any program for that matter)?
Well, lest first look at it from a nutritional point of view. In 1g of alcohol there are 7 calories. In 1g of carbs there are 4 calories, and 9 calories in 1g of fat. What does this mean? Alcohol has no nutritional value, meaning that the calories do not benefit you in any way nutritionally. We refer to these as empty calories. They dont fuel muscle growth, they dont aid in fat loss, in fact, alcohol is a sedative and the calories are more easily stored as fat. So can alcohol hurt your progess, yes…but so can ding dongs and little debbie treats!
“Okay Coach Todd, so how much will the occasional drink hurt my progress?” – Honestly, probably about as much as the occasional ding dong! Some people can slam a 12 pack without even thinking about it. I personally would rather have 12 ding dongs, but thats just me, lol. So am I saying that you should never drink? No….What I am saying though, is that if you are not careful, especially with social drinking, the amount of empty calories you take in can add up really quick. Another ding in the fender is that most people drink alcohol late at night before they go to bed which is when your body is even more likely to store all those empty calories as fat. P90X + late night drinking = Not the best idea.
So my personal recommendation is that you avoid alcohol as much as possible, especially if you are trying to drop body fat quickly. Of course some of you have dropped the body fat and are in a maintenance mode and can afford the occasional empty calories. But even for those in maintenance mode I recommend accounting for those calories in your daily intake budget so that you arent just adding them on top of what you would normally take in. What you can do is eat less carbs and fats throughout the day if you know that you will be having a few drinks later that night. Planning is key to success gang!
“But wait! The antioxidants in wine are good for your heart!” – Here is a great quote from my coach: “Ah yes, wine has antioxidants and resveratrol from the red grapes, which are good for your health. There is no denying that. But news flash, you can get those same things in fresh fruit. You don’t have to drink wine to get them! Burying a spinach leaf in your Twinkie doesn’t justify eating Twinkies! There are still side effects of the Twinkie you can’t deny, no matter how much you want to elaborate on the benefits of that spinach leaf buried in there.” – Coach Wayne