Some would say that the complete opposite of staying fit is drinking beer. Alcohol, according to many fitness experts, is a bane to the six-pack abs you want. If you want to be as sculpted as the David, you have to stay away from Dionysius.
This is, however, nothing but a misconception. Alcohol consumption doesn’t always lead to a beer belly, so long as you keep everything in moderation. It all boils down to simple math: to get the body you dream of, you should burn more calories than you eat.
How Many Calories in a Cold One?
An average can of beer has 100 calories. All it takes to burn that is seven minutes of jump rope or twenty minutes of ping pong. Strictly speaking, a beer a day won’t do much damage to your waistline. If you’re satisfied with your current body, all you need to do is extend your exercise to account for the extra calories from the alcohol.
It’s a different story for people who want to sculpt their abs and shed off pounds. You have to move more than you consume, so your daily caloric intake should be limited. Better allocate those calories to food rich in nutritional value.
So ditch the normal beer and opt for something lighter. Here are some options:
- A single shot of Jack Daniels – 55 calories
- 4 oz. Chardonnay – 90 calories
- 12 oz. Light Beer – 110 calories
Stay away from margaritas and piña coladas. Those things carry well over 500 calories. A reminder for snacking, too: you may pass off the beer but binge on the snacks. Be vigilant about your food during drinking sessions.
Okay, so one can of light beer every few days is acceptable. Does that mean you can stay away from alcohol the entire week and catch up on four cans on the weekend? No—that is not moderation. A drinking marathon done four times a month is binge drinking, which leads to a bloated belly, which in turn leads to weight gain.
That’s because when you drink alcohol, it’s not just adding calories. Alcohol also hogs the fat-burning capacities of the body. When you drink beer, the alcohol temporarily stops the body from burning fat because the body prioritizes flushing the alcohol out of its system. As such, the energy you extracted from the food you ate prior won’t be used; instead, it will be stored as fat.
It takes an hour for the liver to process a standard drink. So if you drink a couple of beers, you are drastically slowing down the ability of your body to burn fat.
The trick, therefore, is to drink slowly and steadily: a light beer every other day, not four beers a weekly session. There are benefits to this alcohol diet. You won’t get too drunk and get home or to your city hostel safe. It’s easy on the pocket, too—you can save up to $444 a year.
Yes, it’s hard to stay away from beer, but nobody said being hot was easy. Don’t worry, once you get to your goal weight, you can go back to one-beer-a-day. Provided that you exercise to maintain the David abs, of course.