The Booze Balance | Working Out vs. Going Out

NAMASTE-AT-THE-BAR(RE)?

This weekend, you may be indulging in your fair share of booze and long weekend fun, but how will it affect your fitness goals? Not to worry, we think there is always a way to strike a balance in life, and we'd like to share how you can find it.

TIMING

To booze and then 'detox'? or To 'detox' then booze? That is the question.

The hang over cure? There is no doubt that you will sweat out the booze, so it's not necessarily a bad thing to get it out of your system after a late night of partying. But it does matter, if you are not well hydrated before a workout, you could be inhibiting protein synthesis, which means your workout may not further your goals.  You'll simply break even (and I am not talking about calories).

If you're going to workout before you go out, you may want to think about your post-workout recovery first. Right after you've worked out your body needs it's fair share of nutrients; h2o, protein, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and much more depending on your internal beauty goals (like anti-oxidants & omegas).

So all in all, just be prepared to give your body what it needs before and after your workout, even if you didn't drink the night before, or don't plan to drink afterwards.

WEIGHT LOSS

Eek, the news we cringe to hear, but will ultimately help us meet those weight loss goals.

The numbers game, is what can make or break your goals to change your weight. First off, the most important number for you to focus on is a healthy number.  It's useful to know your BMI (calculate it here), because it will give you an idea of whether your current weight is in a healthy or unhealthy zone. In addition, you can use the number to help to find that healthy zone, but know BMI is not the end all, be all, so don't over focus on the number either.

Counting calories can be helpful, but it can also be obsessive.  It's not worth it to have your health goals and the effort to achieve them, stress you out.  Stress, not matter if it's from your job, over focusing on your goals, or even how you work out, it will translate into Cortisol, the hormone that contributes to weight gain, particularly in the belly!  When it comes to your workout, look at calories taken in versus calories expended.

 A good utensil to use is a wearable tracker, like UP by Jawbone and FitBit (I use UP, find me and let's join teams!). With trackers, it takes the guess work out of finding your daily caloric burn, you even have a resting burn! (you must calibrate your band when you get it btw)  Plus there's a place to log what you're eating and drinking, booze included.  UP allows me to scan the bottle or enter a general amount, like 1 glass of white wine.

Of course when it comes to weight loss, it's going to be about keeping your caloric burn higher than your caloric intake, and alcohol is ultimately empty calories...

Knowing how to read your scale, is a huge part of feeling like your meeting your goals.  Here's where our initial discussion about BMI is greatly needed.  You don't want to obsess about the number if a couple of things are happening:

1. You're getting stronger: This is a sign your building muscle, yay! 

Muscle is going to weigh more than Fat, period, so stop freaking out at the number on the scale.  The benefits to having more muscle means higher caloric burn, which is made possible by your increased strength and endurance. It also means your resting burn will be higher, as everything you do becomes a workout, especially when done in proper form (right KM'ers!).

2. Your clothes are fitting differently: Tight in new places, loose in others.

Everyone's body is different, so if you have no butt, and you start to fill out your favorite skinnies around the hips, you haven't gained fat, you've gained muscle in your booty (aka your glutes).  If you used to fill out the calf portion of your skinnies, and now they are loose, you've slimmed out your lower leg, and made your foot and ankle stronger too! So start to notice how things fit, you may be surprised when you connect to those subtle shifts.

3. You're within your BMI: Remember healthy is sexy!

So you're probably looking at the lowest end of your BMI scale as a goal weight, but that's not necessarily the best way to use the tool.  You could be obsessing again, and that not only leads to stress, but even to self-hate, and that's not sexy at all!

Remember that when it comes to sexiness or being attractive to another person, it's about some primal shiz too. Like survival of the fittest, is this person going to be able to continue the existence my species (or family) and not go extinct due an unhealthy body (or habits).  Not sure what I mean, take a look at the different ways women are portrayed to men vs. how they are portrayed to women (i.e. Maxim vs. Vogue).

At the end of the day, if you aren't feeling sexy and your within your BMI, you need to change your thoughts. It's time you ignite the inner vixen, and start struttin' what your mama & daddy gave you! 

So at the end of the day, we all know that alcohol adds unnecessary calories to our diet, but if you're like me and want to feel like you're not just living to be skinny, the best thing to do is find balance. Keeping track of your caloric burn and caloric intake, as well as keeping a healthy perspective on your body, BMI and beauty will ultimately help you find balance and relieve your mind & body of stress, all while freeing you up to make better decisions!  Connect within, listen to your body.  You may find you can benefit by not going overboard while drinking, but still enjoy a few here and there with friends.

A good trick, especially for summer, is to start ordering those wine spritzers.  Feels like you're drinking freely, but your drinking half the amount of booze and the sparkling water (if it's not sodium free) is like drinking electrolyte enhanced water due to it's sodium content.

And for those of you looking for more scientific findings and understandings on alcohol consumption and it's effects on the body, I thought this article was fairly comprehensive: click here.

So I leave you with a quote from Wayne's World:


"Party on Wayne. Party on Garth."


Go and enjoy yourself, and keep shiz balanced!


With Love,
❤ Claire

(originally posted for FIT + FLOW YOGA)