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Are You Letting Alcohol Limit Your Progress?

January 15th, 2014

1013394_10151530583087887_1537413089_nPosted by: Patrick Blackford BS, CSCS

Let us start with a quick self reflection: how often do you consume alcoholic beverages?  Is it daily or only on the weekend?  What is your drink of choice?  Wine?  Beer?  Or maybe you prefer hard liquor?  And lastly, how many drinks do you typically consume in one sitting or evening?  Time after time gym goers are often overheard complaining about the lingering 10-15 pounds that they just can’t seem to lose.  It doesn’t matter whether they run an extra 5 miles each week, add a couple spin classes to their regiment or pick up an extra personal training session here and there, the bottom line remains: that last 10-15 pounds won’t budge.  Let’s explore why, the following shows what we know about the average caloric content of alcohol:

5oz. glass of wine = 125 calories

12oz light beer = 110 calories

14oz craft beer or microbrew = 150-200 calories (ie. Blue Moon = 164 calories)

1.5oz of hard liquor = 90 – 120 calories (ie. Grey Goose Vodka = 97 calories)

Now that we have that information under our belt, let’s do some math.  Since wine seems to be the main culprit for most people we’ll use it in our example.  If you average just ONE glass per night (or 7 glasses weekly)  you are consuming an additional 45,625 calories per year!  So what does that mean for your weight loss goals?  It means you would GAIN a total of 13 pounds per year! And if you over pour your wine by just 1 oz. (which is easy to do), you increase your calories to 54,600 calories per year or 15.6 extra pounds!  Having only 2 glasses of wine per week would equate to about 3.7 pounds per year and over the course of 5 years that continued behavior would result in a gain of 18.5 pounds.

Be honest with yourself, are you letting alcohol limit your progress?  If the answer is yes, try cutting your intake down.  To determine if alcohol is holding you back, challenge yourself to 30 days without a drink, at the end of the 30 days you should expect a 1-5 pound weight loss!

And for those of  you who drink more than one glass of wine each night, one bottle of wine (3-4 glasses) contains 650-850 calories…


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