We know that drinking alcohol can hinder our performance in the gym. The reality is drinking in excess does have the potential to prevent us from seeing any progress in the gym. But there’s good news, you can still enjoy yourself without letting all your hard work go to shit.  And yes, this can be done without having to count calories.

The rules for drinking alcohol and working out are:

  • For this day, restrict your intake of dietary fat to 0.3 g/kg body weight (or as close to this figure as possible).

  • Limit carbs to 1.5 g/kg body weight. Get all carbs from veggies and the tag-along carbs in some protein sources. You'll also want to limit carbohydrate-rich alcohol sources such as drinks made with fruit juices and beer. A 33 cl/12 fl oz of beer contains about 12g carbs, while a regular Cosmopolitan is about 13 g.

  • Eat as much protein as you want. Due to the limit on dietary fat, you need to get your protein from lean sources. Protein sources such as low-fat cottage cheese, protein powder, chicken, turkey, tuna, pork and egg whites are good sources of protein this day.

For effective fat loss, this should be limited to one evening per week. Apply the protocol and you will lose fat on a weekly basis as long as your diet is on point for the rest of the week.

Good alcohol choices include:

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  • Dry wines which are very low carb, clocking in at about 0.5-1 g per glass (4 fl oz/115ml).

  • Sweet wines are much higher at 4-6 g per glass.

  • Cognac, gin, rum, scotch, tequila, vodka, and whiskey are all basically zero carbs.

Dry wines and spirits are what you should be drinking, ideally. Take them straight or mixed with diet soda. (No need to be super-neurotic about this stuff. Drinks should be enjoyed after all. Just be aware that there are better and worse choices out there).

Basically, the nutritional strategy I have outlined here is all about focusing on substrates that are least likely to cause net synthesis of fat during hypercaloric conditions. Alcohol suppresses fat oxidation, but by depriving yourself of dietary fat during alcohol consumption, you won't run the risk of storing anything. High protein intake will also compensate for the weak effect of alcohol on satiety and make you less likely to blow your diet when you're drinking.

Last but not least, have FUN. Enjoy yourself.

We work hard all year long so we can enjoy these days/nights like this. Don’t feel guilty about anything and if you wind up eating four slices of pizza post drinking, it’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up about it and use the extra calories to kick ass in the gym the next day.