Balancing out the gym and drinking on the weekends

Balancing out the gym and having a life

The weekend is nearing, and for many including myself it is more difficult to keep on track with your fitness goals.  My weekday routine puts the gym first since I work out first thing in the morning.  All my meals are timed out, and everything is on track.  I am extremely strict on the weekdays and pretty much eat perfectly clean and never skip a workout.  When the weekend rolls around, I don’t do my normal workouts, my meals usually get off track and I turn into “Weekend Adam”.

Unless you are prepping for a competition or on a mission to get absolute 100% maximum results, you can still have fun on the weekends in the form of alcohol without completely ruining all your hard earned gains.  I am one that likes to drink on the weekends, and I usually end up drinking a lot.  Hey, you only live once and I like to have fun.  Drinking makes me happy — so what?  The problem with drinking is that it is high in calories, and is very easy to accumulate several hundreds of calories in a matter of a couple hours in alcohol alone.  Plus, this doesn’t even include the food that looks extra tasty when you are buzzed.

I usually drink every weekend, but just a couple shots on one of the weekends, and every other weekend, to be honest, I pretty much get drunk both Friday and Saturday.  That is the weekend my girlfriend comes over, and if we do not go out, we usually drink together, play pool and have some fun.  I used to only drink fireball shots, which are 108 calories per shot.  Problem is I always have the large shots, and many of them!  It’s not uncommon for me to end the night on my 8th shot.  If you do the math, that’s over 800 calories, and more since the shots are pretty large.  Combine this with food and doing this both Friday and Saturday, and it was easy for me to gain a solid three pounds over the weekend.  No bueno!

Recently, I have switched more to drinking vodka, which is one of the lowest caloric alcohols.  It is only 97 calories per shot vs 108 per shot of Fireall.  So I am sure you are thinking, “That’s only 11 calories different!?!?”.  Well true, but keep in mind that Fireball is 33% alcohol, and Vodka is 40% alcohol.  So not only are you saving 11 calories per shot, you are getting 1.2 times the amount of alcohol.  So what this means is that you can drink less shots and feel the same effect.  Furthermore, Fireball Whiskey has 11 grams of sugar that equates to 11 grams of carbs PER SHOT, while Vodka is carb free!  So instead of having over 50 grams of carbs on my drunken nights, I am having zero, at least in the alcohol.

While I highly recommend Vodka for fitness fanatics that like to drink, you can still consume other drinks in moderation.  Whatever it is you drink, you need to figure out the approximate calories you are using to get buzzed, and deduct them from your daily calorie intake.  For example, if you need to take in 2500 calories a day and drink 500 calories, be sure to only consume 2000 more calories in total for the day.  Ideally, you will want to increase your protein macros and lower your carb macros for the day that you drink.

To help ease the effects of the alcohol diminishing your gains, be sure to drink lots of water when you drink.  Alcohol will severely dehydrate your body, so you need to drink a lot of water to make up for it, plus you should be drinking lots of water anyway.  So pretty much just drink water all day long!

If you really want to be sure your drinking has the least affect on your hard earned work you have done all week, do some extra cardio during the day before drinking, or the next day after drinking.  Ideally, it would be best to do it the next day so you can quickly burn off the alcohol calories and get them out of your system.  This is because alcohol calories must be burned off first before your body burns any other type of calories in your system.  Either way would still be beneficial, however.

So go ahead and have your fun on the weekends if you so desire.  Life is too short not to enjoy yourself, and if you are anything like me, it is fun to live it up on the weekends and get your buzz on.  Just be smart about it and remember these tips so you can have your fun and keep your gains as much as possible!

P.S. – If you have any added tips on this subject, let me know in the comments below!

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