One Controversial Tip to Keep Metabolism Fast When Dieting

It’s a well-known fact in the fitness industry that dieting will slow down metabolism.

Assuming the dieter is diligent in their tracking, training sensibly, and sticking to their macros, then the only reason a fat loss plateau occurs is that their metabolism slowed down.

Metabolic downregulation is an inevitable part of reaching a lower bodyfat percentage. We should be grateful our bodies do this, otherwise humans would exist today; this capability has allowed us to survive through countless famines.However, it can be extremely frustrating when trying to get into the best shape of our lives.

The simplest and most effective way to speed up a slowed down metabolism is to eat at maintenance, period. But is there something you can do to prevent your metabolism from slowing down in the first place, or at least slow down the slow down?

Yes, of course! For starters, you ought to make sure you are eating at a reasonable calorie deficit, not doing too much training or cardio, and including refeeds at least once a week.  There is one more nugget of knowledge that I recently came upon though… and you may freak out at what I recommend.


EAT SUGAR WHEN DIETING

(Oh shit really!? Don lost his mind!!!)

Seriously!

First, let me clarify what I mean by sugar. In the scientific sense of the word, sugar is a carbohydrate. These are molecules with 5-6 carbons arranged in a ring. Often, these single rings, called monosaccharides, are joined with other monosaccharides, forming disaccharides (like sucrose and lactose), and polysaccharides (like starch and glycogen). But in layman terms, sugar seems to refer to sucrose or fructose, so for the purpose of this article we will define sugar as sucrose and/or fructose.

A primer on relevant sugars:
Glucose: everyone who took high school biology knows that this is the main source of energy for our cells. Obviously it is beneficial, though many have reasons for excluding it from their diet. Unless a woke doctor tells you otherwise, or you are aware and accepting of the benefits/drawbacks of ketogenic (low/no-carb) diets, it may be in your best interest to eat glucose in some form.
Fructose: a simple carbohydrate found in fruit. This has a slightly different chemical structure than glucose, but otherwise is fairly similar.
Sucrose: a disaccharide formed between glucose and fructose. It naturally occurs in sugar cane and sugar beets. This is the devil, apparently. Woe to thee who eats this crap.

 

Second, I want to dispel they myth that sugar makes you fat. I’ve heard many justifications for sugar being the cause of fat gain like “its a fast carb that raises insulin and makes you fat” or “if you don’t go exercise the sugar off within an hour it gets stored as fat”. Both are bullshit and honestly make me feel queasy.

The only thing that makes you fat is eating more than you need. And If you’re concerned about sugar and diabetes risk, here’s some evidence that sugar is actually BENEFICIAL in the fight against insulin resistance.

Despite wanting to delve into the many interplays between sugar and health, I want to keep the focus of this article on how you can use sugar in your weight loss journey. I’ll have to talk about all the other health aspects of sugar another time. 🙁
But, If you have any concerns about sugar and health, let me know in the comments and I’d love to talk about it!
One thing i will say is that, although i am not a registered dietician, nutritionist, and whatnot, i do believe that very few things are harmful in moderation. moderation is key.

 

Before I jump into why sugar will be beneficial I have two cautions for deliberately increasing sugar in your fat loss diet:

You’re eating less calories, so you’ll want to eat filling foods (different from satiating/satisfying food, which satisfy you on a deeper, hormonal level). Filling foods tend to take up a lot of space with little calories. Fiber and water content are things to look for.  Sugary foods tend to not have those two things (except for fruit); and

Sugar is an important component in hyperpapatable food, the type of food that tend to associate with addictions. I believe it is possible to have a few hyperpalatable foods that really satisfy you (for me, cannolis, organic chocolate and sometimes ice cream/froyo), but it is also possible to have foods that trigger a binge (I once ate a whole box of Oreos in less than an hour). Also, hyperpalatable foods tend to lack the vitamins and minerals that ‘healthy’ food provides, so if you eat a lot of hyperpalatable food it is more likely that you will have a nutrient deficiency. For more information on hyperpalatable food, addictive eating, and how it affects the brain, I highly recommend checking out Precision Nutrition’s two articles here and here.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into what I really want to talk about!

Sugar and Metabolism

Sugar has been shown to maintain resting metabolic rate during a very low calorie diet!

This study pitted sucrose, sucrose and protein, and fat and protein diets against each other in 23 obese women, all with a constant (and very low) 800 calories per day. Groups sucrose and protein, and fat and protein, experienced a slowdown in resting metabolic rate (RMR), while RMR *slightly* increased in the sucrose only group!

Another study showed that women who were injected with 100 grams of pure fructose over 7 days experienced no drop in metabolic rate and no muscle protein catabolism!

If you haven’t already shunned these findings due to the almost universal bias against sugar, then there are a few steps I would use when implementing sugar in your diet with the goal of helping metabolism.

Step 1: Track macros if you haven’t already

Tracking macros is already something I highly recommend doing anyway, and if you haven’t started now is the time! You won’t be able to gauge the effect of sugar on your metabolic rate if your intake as a whole is a crapshoot.

Step 2: Use your waking underarm temperature to measure metabolism

First thing in the morning (and I literally mean first thing) take a regular mouth thermometer and put it in your armpit. Do two trials per side. A hotter temperature means a faster metabolism. A range 97.5-98 degrees indicates that metabolism is at a fine speed, any lower and I recommend a maintenance break. Note that abnormally hot or cold sleeping conditions may have an effect, so use your best judgement here and keep the environment consistent. Use this metric to see if sugar is helping you.

Step 3: Start by making sure a quarter of your carbs are sucrose or fructose and gradually increase if desired

If you’re tracking macros already then this step should be easy. If you’re tracking your waking underarm temperature then deciding whether to increase sugar intake should come from your own interpretation of data.


Let me wrap up by reminding you of my disclaimer:

Disclaimer

I am not a certified personal trainer, dietician, nutrition coach, and so forth. I am just a person who is passionate about health and fitness. All that I offer here is just advice, opinions based on independent research, and personal experience. I am not responsible for any adverse effects from practicing the recommendations, ideas, or acting on the information on this website. By practicing what I advise or the ideas I share here, you accept all pertaining risks and responsibilities. Always check with a doctor before starting any exercise or nutrition protocol. 

It just seems relevant to do so because suggesting sugar can actually be good for you will likely make a few people shit themselves in anger. If/when people tell you of the woes of sugar, remember that moderation is key!

I hope you find nothing but positive results from this little diet hack! Let me know in the comments what you think. Don’t forget to subscribe!

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How To Start- First Steps on your Health and Fitness Journey

Reaching your destination is a lot easier if the first step is in the right direction

Envision how you want to look. I’m talking your dream physique. Take a sec and really, really focus on it.

Now look at yourself. What are the differences? Are there a few? That’s ok!

Think about the journey. What kind of habits will you need to form? How will the journey to your dream physique shape your schedule, your lifestyle, and you priorities? What “inner changes” will you have to make?

Thanks for playing along. Are you overwhelmed? There’s no need to be! 

In this post I want you to learn THE MOST IMPORTANT aspect of getting to your dream body. I also want you to form a two simple habits that will take little more than 20 minutes a day and some attention.


There are some numbers floating around the fitness sphere claiming that improving your body and health is 70% nutrition and 30%  exercise, or 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, or you may hear phrases like “abs are made in the kitchen”, “you can’t out-train a bad diet”… what have you.

While I’m not a fan of the arbitrary numbers and most of the cutesy taglines (they add to my distaste for sensationalized fitness stories in the media and cult-like ideals in the fitness industry), I do believe that nutrition is one of the most important factors for your results.

That being said, there are some nutrition habits you can start now before embarking on any protocol. These habits will be the foundation for fat loss, permit building muscle, and influence general health.

Habit 1: Track all calorie intake

When I first realized that all weight loss takes is manipulating calorie intake (and not eating “clean” food) I immediately started tracking what I ate. I did this with gusto and precision and I have my OCD to thank for that 😀

After coaching some folks, I realized that this habit isn’t universally easy to form. Some even opposed it, despite knowing how relatively easy the habit was and the immense benefit that stems from it.

Well, sorry ’bout it. Tracking your food is the most valuable habit to form, especially in the beginning of your health and fitness journey.

Also notice that I’m not even suggesting you start manipulating calorie intake yet! Just get an idea for how much you eat!

This habit will do cool things for you other than giving you a foundation for the rest of your journey:

1 ) Make you more aware of your intake;

2 ) Force you to slow down before eating; and

3 ) Combat unconscious eating (i.e. boredom, social, stress… any eating that doesn’t stem from a true physiological drive for food)

Note that I’m not even suggesting tracking macros now! Cross that bridge when you get to it (i.e. when you either start a program or have the calorie tracking habit formed).

Tracking calories is rather easy, provided you cook most of your own meals (which will be so much more helpful in the beginning). Here are the steps:

1 ) Download a tracking app. (I use My Macros +. It may not have the most extensive food library but it has very useful features and makes macro tracking a breeze, even when you only want to track calories. I can add any food that isn’t in the library anyway.)

2 ) Get a food scale that measures in metric and imperial. Weigh all whole food (meat, potatoes, etc.) and look up the nutrition by weight either on Google or in your app. WEIGH ALL FOOD RAW.

3 ) Get measuring cups for all things that are more convenient to measure (butter, oil, pasta, etc.). Understand, however, that  weight is more accurate than volume, but it won’t be by any meaningful degree.

4 ) Simply look at the nutrition label when the food has one. Be careful when reading the amount per serving and number of servings in the package. Food manufacturers can screw you there.

It may seem like a lot of work at first, and honestly it will be for some folks. Just remember that as it becomes a habit, it will get easier. If you stick to simpler meals, it will be easier to track. Also, know that you shouldn’t have to do this forever!

As you meticulously weigh and measure your food, take note of what the amount looks like and feels like after you eat it. You can even come up with different visualization cues to help you estimate calorie and macro content in meals you didn’t make. That’s a topic for another post, though.

Despite the importance of tracking your food accurately, you want to be able to estimate calorie and macro content without jumping through hoops. After all, you don’t want to track forever, but you do want to be in shape forever!

Habit 2: Food Journal

Food journaling will force you to be mindful about what you put into your mouth. From journaling, you should learn:

What food satisfies you the most;

What leads to uncontrolled eating;

What situations trigger uncontrolled eating;

The subtle differences of the different types of hunger or satisfaction: gastric distension (full stomach), hormonal, and craving; and most importantly,

How to listen to your body to let it, not your mind or cravings, guide your food choices.

It isn’t that hard. When you are about to eat, take note of how you are feeling. Note any changes during the meal. After, just write how you felt about it. Jot down anything that seems relevant: time of day, items you ate, calorie or macro content, who you were with, was the onset of hunger prior to the meal sudden or gradual, how do you feel after, etc.

Food journaling, just like tracking calories, will shine a light on your eating habits and give you valuable insight on what to manipulate when dieting, bulking, or trying to live healthier.


Hopefully you can form these two habits to make your journey so much easier; the journey is always easier when you take the proper first steps. Tracking your calories will give you valuable data that can make you, like, 300x more ready for any program you start. Starting a food journal will help you see which food really satisfies you, what food/situations could lead to uncontrolled eating, and really makes you be in tune with your body’s needs.

Even if you wanted to take your health and fitness journey alone, these two habits (and tons of practice) may be enough to get you results. However, I recommend you learn so, so much more and get some personalized guidance. That is why I want to make you aware of two programs that will help you immensely:

My personalized coaching program, where I coach you 1on1 to your dream physique; and

ShredSmart, a pdf-style workout and nutrition protocol written by one of the best fitness minds in the industry who values your TIME and GOALS (in other words the plan is efficient and easy to follow while still getting you amazing results).

Finally, feel free to use this blog as a free resource for your journey. I post weekly and am active in the comments section. Feel free to comment any questions or concerns. Subscribe to my email list to be notified about new posts, offers, weekly summaries, and other happenings!

Is there anything you’d like to see me cover?

 

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Fitness Advice for a Busy Bureaucrat (and other busy professionals)

So I’m writing this post on Fathers Day, and its fitting that my dad is the inspiration behind this. He’s a hard-working public servant (aka bureaucrat) that doesn’t have much time to devote to health and fitness, especially in the oft-extremest manner many other ‘experts’ would prescribe. With all the “no days off”, “go all in”, and “live in the gym” notions flying around, its pretty derailing when you can barely string together a continuous hour of free time.

I’m a little afraid too. When I have a 9-5, kids, a half-hour commute, and a house to maintain, will I have time to stay in shape? Will I have time to ensure I hit my macros and the gym?

Luckily, I have some tips to make getting (and staying) in shape a breeze, even for busy professionals and parents!


As we know by now, being in shape (in terms of physique) comes down to two things: hitting your macros and exercising the key muscle groups. Let’s break this thing down into two sections then.

Hitting Macros

There are many different strategies and foods to eat for health, but for manipulating body fat and weight they are all largely irrelevant.

If you eat at restaurants most of the time, then find the nutrition data of your favorite meals at those restaurants. Easy-peasy.

If you have meals cooked for you, and you don’t know the exact macros, check out my macro estimating guide. This comes in handy when you’re eating a home cooked meal from your spouse, at a restaurant with no nutrition data, or at that office party.

One tip: stick to simple food that you are used to eating. That makes eyeballing the amounts easier.

What if you don’t eat out every day, have someone to cook for you, or want to be as accurate as possible with your tracking?

Enter: meal prepping

For busy folks, meal prepping will be an easy way to ensure proper intake with minimal time. All you need is one day to cook for the entire week!

(Sorry, you may be giving up a Sunday. If it gives you an hour of rest during your hectic work days, is it worth it?)

Look at your plan for the next week, day by day, and think of recipes for each day.

You can get as simple or complex as you want. It will be easier to just make a week’s worth of baked chicken and potato wedges. Simply take your normal recipe and multiply it by however many meals it’ll take to hit your macros.

If you want to shake it up (and you should a little to diversify your micros), you can still do that in an easy way.

Literally just pick 4 different proteins/preparations, 4 different carbs sources/preparations, use a few different oils, and mix it all up!

For example: cook up some baked chicken breasts, pork loin, sautéed chicken and veggies, 93% lean ground beef scrambled with veggies, (lightly) fried potatoes, potato wedges, a sweet potato/large russet for baking, and brown rice. That yields 16 meal combos you can make, and you made it all on one day.

Depending on what you make, you can flash freeze, refrigerate, or even elect not to cook. For instance, I just prepare many of my recipes and keep in the fridge. Then when I want to cook it I save time by having preparation already done. This is actually my preferred way so that I eat a freshly cooked meal. It seems that the preparation is more burdensome than cooking, anyway.

 

For personalized help, click here!

 

Hitting the gym

I always preach the minimal effective dose for the gym. There’s always a law of diminishing returns, and that law comes to fruition when folks to a million sets of a billion reps with like 10 exercises for the same muscle group. You’d spend like a decade per day in the gym to complete this lift. You may have been led to think that this is the way to make any gains at all.

I usually advise to have lifts at an hour and a half, tops (including warm up, stretches, mobility, and extra rest time if needed) and I regularly finish 15 minutes before that limit. For a busy person, I bet you can cut that time in half! All you need to do is focus on the exercises that hit the muscle groups you want to develop.

To maintain an attractive and capable body, you only need a weekly rotation of 6 movements at a time.

For example a week’s workout could look like this:

(3 sets each with 3 minutes of rest, done RPT-style, excluding warmup sets)

Monday:  Weighted pull-ups , barbell rows
Wednesday: Squat, deadlift
Friday: Bench press, standing overhead press

Of course, this is lacking a lot of accessory exercises and a lot of volume for sarcoplasmic gains (read this article for more info on sarcoplasmic gains, and when and how to add volume). Your physique won’t be optimized per se, but you will build/maintain a solid foundation of strength and lean muscle mass. If your body fat is low enough, you will see great muscle definition and

This super-minimalist routine will provide a good starting point if you find a way to free up more time in your day.

Don’t spend any time in the gym doing stretching and mobility work aside from a quick cool down. Rather, use stretching and mobility to get your blood flowing during work and when you’re at home. Pepper it in those random ~5 minute breaks you have throughout the day. You know, those breaks that are somewhat annoying because there isn’t enough time to get anything done or truly relax. That way you can truly optimize your minutes instead of sitting in limbo.

I don’t have many specific recommendations for what to stretch other than to stretch what feels tight; however, I highly recommend for every one hour seated, spend one minute in a deep hip flexor stretch for each side. I mean DEEP.

Humans aren’t supposed to sit for 8 hours a day, and doing so leads to tight and weak hip flexors that will wreak havoc on your power output, mobility, and physique.

Lastly, for cardio, simply consider walking. An hour of brisk walking can burn 400 calories for an average-built man. Walking can be a substitute for a taxi ride, can be capitalized on during your commute, and already occurs when you get groceries or walk your dog.

Walking is also so low-intensity that you can stack activities with it. For instance, you can have a long phone call as you stroll around your building. You can listen to an audiobook as you walk to and from work. Heck, you can even break open the pocketbook for a treadmill desk so you can work regularly whilst walking!


There you have it, you big-time moneymakers! Getting in shape in a time-starved schedule takes some adjusting and some rounded corners, but it can be done. Don’t let anyone convince you that you need to spend 2 hours in the gym or to spend all your downtime over a stove.

For nutrition, you will front load the work for the entire week and use some eyeballing strategies to hit your macros.

For lifting, you will focus on 6 key lifts that most of my advice, recommended programs, and programs in development are predicated on anyway. You will just miss out on the icing on the cake.

Your will sprinkle in stretching and mobility work throughout your day as you see fit. Be sure to get 1 minute of a deep hip flexor stretch (each side) for every hour of sitting.

Finally, integrate walking into your day and reap the benefits of stacking activities.

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How to Drink Alcohol and Stick to your Cut

A few days ago, I was sitting at Waffle House at 2 in the morning, trashed and acting a fool. My friends and I had just wrapped up our end-of-the-school-year bar crawl and had the drunches (the drunken munchies- an increase in appetite) like nothing else. As I ordered my go-to WaHo meal, I proclaimed that I wanted more food (understand that my normal WaHo meal is already quite large). A fellow macro-tracker chimed in with jest, “You’ve drank so many calories, and knowing you I bet you’ve eaten a lot today! How do you expect to fit this into your numbers?!” I wasn’t worried for a couple of reasons.

First, I followed my preferred eating strategy which comes in handy in situations like this. Second, I hold a pretty unique view of calories from alcohol.

In my drunken state it was near impossible to explain my view, but luckily I’m writing this blog post sober (well, started it sober). In this post I will tell you why I don’t track alcohol calories, why I don’t stress about a night of drinking ruining my fat loss/maintenance or health, why you shouldn’t either.,

I will also tell you two strategies I use to cut any worry of undoing my fat loss progress for the week. Let’s begin!

Hey Pink Panther, don’t look so blue! Alcohol isn’t as fattening as you’ve been told!

Alcohol: the second most fattening macro

Alcohol has the second-highest calorie density at 7 kcal/g. Fat, with 9 kcal/g, is the only higher macronutrient. So we should view it with the woe it deserves, right? If you have a shot of tequila that is 1 fl. oz., and 1 fl. oz. is about 30 grams, then that shot of tequila is 210 calories. I know your ass is having more than one, too. That’s a hefty price tag, is it not? I say no! In certain situations (that are made through after the protocol I’m about to present) you should not bother tracking alcohol calories.

Alcohol in the Body

Despite all the love we have for alcohol, we must remember that alcohol is toxic. Our body has a complex system in which alcohol is absorbed, broken down into an even more toxic molecule, acetaldehyde, gets rendered less harmful in the form of acetate, and finally excreted.

It is always excreted. Our body does not want to store any toxin, especially not one as volatile as alcohol. If alcohol is always excreted, then it cannot be stored as fat.

Key takeaway: alcohol cannot be stored as fat! 

Because alcohol is toxic, it’s processed and removed before any other macronutrients are digested and assimilated. Therefore, that hefty price tag of 7 kcal/g makes its way to the front of the line as fuel our classy dance floor antics.

There is also the growing notion that  Alcohol calories don’t even count!

This could be because of two things: alcohol metabolism costs the cell a considerable amount of ATP, and a molecule of alcohol gets excreted before we have enough time to use all the energy it had. The tangible evidence for this is that studies where subjects exchange fat and carbohydrate calories for alcohol calories, they lose weight dramatically; almost as if they cut those calories out altogether.

Further, there is a fair amount of anecdotal evidence suggesting that alcohol calories don’t count. Maybe even test whether alcohol calories count for yourself (with caution, and remember any fuckups aren’t my fault).

Set your calories at maintenance for the week, except make 20% of those calories from alcohol. Do you lose weight at the rate you would expect for a 20% calorie deficit? If you try this, report back to me in the comments below. I’m interested in your results!

That’s some science you CAN try at home, kids.

(Disclaimer 1/3: Drink responsibly)

The Caveat: Alcohol’s Effects on other Energy Sources

Because alcohol takes priority as an energy source, the use of other energy sources (food, body fat) are put on hold. Yes, some of those nutrients are stored as fat. Technically you will gain some fat, but you will not experience any noteworthy increases. Remember the overarching rule of fat loss and laws of thermodynamics. If you consume less calories than your body needs, then you will not gain fat!

What all of this entails…

Assume, for now, that alcohol calories count. Now that you know that we must get rid of alcohol ASAP, and that they can’t be stored as fat, then that means they’re a pretty fleeting energy source, right? They will only put a stop to using other fuel for a short time!

 Further, as long as you are under your maintenance calories for the day, you will not gain fat at all. You may have stored some food as fat because your body used alcohol as fuel first, but this is negated because your body either will tap into fat oxidation or has made room for some negligible fat storage via a caloric deficit. Mass (aka tissue) cannot be made without energy; there is no way around the laws of thermodynamics.

That’s just assuming alcohol calories actually count!

If this is the case, then you literally have nothing to worry about if fat loss/maintenance is your goal! It’ll be as if alcohol is as zero-calorie as water and coffee!

However, until we get more conclusive research, I say assume alcohol calories count (with certain conditions). Fortunately, I have an easy strategy that I use any time I know I’ll be drinking to ensure no fat gain happens.


My strategy:

Don’t Count Calories from Alcohol

When I plan on drinking, I don’t count alcohol calories as long as I follow the following guidelines.

Intermittent fasting + some cardio

As you may know, I am a huge proponent of intermittent fasting. I truly believe the benefits far outweigh that of normal eating patterns. One such benefit is that it saves all of your calories until the end of the day, which is helpful for fat loss as well as staying lean. It also serves as a natural detox so that your cells can clean house.

Essentially, fasting before getting trashed will do two things: it will ‘make room’ for the oxidative stress your body will endure from the alcohol, and it will give you a huge calorie deficit.

Some light cardio will give you some extra room in your macros to eat a little more. You’re partying, so set the stage to let yourself have some more food.

High protein first meal, save most carbs and fat for drunchies

The second part of my strategy is breaking the fast with fiber, 50-75% of my daily allowance for protein, and a small amount of fats and carbs. I prefer to do this normally, but when I intend to party this becomes much more important. The main reason for this is that protein is the hardest macronutrient to convert into fat (we’re still assuming, for now, that alcohol calories actually count and that your body holds food as fat until alcohol is excreted).

Preloading most of your protein will also let you hit your carbs and fats in your drunchie meals. Your average Waffle House or McDonalds meal is most likely lacking in protein, but plentiful in the other macros.

Favorite drunchie meals premeditated and ready to be tracked

This will just save some headache from tracking and cut some guilt you might have if you feel like you overate. Having the meal ready to be tracked can:

a) serve as an eating limit so that your drunken inhibitions don’t lead you to overeat, and

b) let you stay in the moment so that you don’t have to add macros as you sit in a drive-thru slinging slurred words at the intercom from the back of your friend’s SUV.

If you vow to yourself to only eat what you had preplanned, you will have less of a chance of screwing up your deficit.

Calorie deficit

As I said earlier, if you are in a caloric deficit, you cannot gain weight. Period. So this one’s a no brainer. However, it is possible for alcohol oxidation to lead to fat being stored in fat cells, as dietary fat is the most easily converted macro from a substrate to storage. This is similar to  how insulin’s presence puts a stop to fat oxidation.

Realize, though, that fat is stored and burned throughout the day, and sometimes with no net effect (these are called futile cycles). Understand that any fat storage will be negated by the calorie deficit, and intermittent fasting can be your cherry on top (due to the absence of insulin in the fasting window increasing fat oxidation).

Moderation

Alcohol’s effects on fat storage are dose dependent. The amount of alcohol in the system is proportional to the time it takes to make it harmless. What that means is having a single drink, letting it clear your system, then having another drink will have less of an effect than having back-to-back drinks. It also entails that having a moderate amount (say, less than 5 drinks for most men and 4 drinks for most women) is beneficial to avoid an alcohol buildup.

Drink hard liquor and low-carb wine. If drinking any cocktails, beer, cider, or sweet wine, have them premeditated and ready for tracking

I recommend sticking to hard liquor (with water or carbonated water) or low-carb wine (most dry wines, specifically red wines). This is to avoid unknown calories from carbs or fat in your drink. While alcohol calories shouldn’t be counted, the sugar, barley, or cream in your drinks should.

That said, feel free to indulge in a delicious mojito or face an Irish car bomb if you have the non-alcohol calories accounted for. It helps a lot to have your favorite cocktails plugged in to your macro-tracking app to be used at a moments notice. When entering the info for your cocktail, remember to ignore calories form alcohol!

Have less than 3 drinks on lifting days, keep heavier drinking reserved for non-lifting days

The effects of moderate drinking on recovery, anabolic hormones, and muscle protein synthesis have been grossly exaggerated by fitness hardos. Moderate drinking following a sensible exercise program will not hinder results to any meaningful degree.

This is a topic for a different post, but the main reason I recommend less drinking on lifting days is that you will probably want to be in a caloric surplus following your lift. As we know, a calorie surplus with alcohol will probably lead to more fat storage than we want.

Note that it doesn’t mean you won’t build muscle, but if staying lean is your goal it would behoove you to drink even less. Perhaps set your limit at 3, and drink at an even slower rate. Do this only on lifting days where you’re taking in more calories; on non-lifting days go back to a limit of 5 drinks.


“This is cool for those chill nights out, but if I want to really party, I won’t be shitfaced enough!”

I get it. There are those nights where you want to throw caution into the wind. Well, there is this strategy that will help you in this situation as well.

If you plan on drinking heavily, then you should limit your intake of fat and carbs as much as possible. Maybe have 50-60 grams of carbs and 30-35 grams of fat. Get the rest of your calories from protein.

This is because protein is the hardest macro to be stored as fat, and fat is the easiest; carbs sit in the middle.

The restriction on fats and carbs will severely limits your drunchie options and will have a negative impact on your hormones, recovery, and other aspects of health. However, you can basically drink as much as you want without any fear of meaningful fat gain.

Don’t abuse this, as it is unhealthy. Keep this trick for rare occasions.

(p.s. disclaimer 2/3: don’t be stupid. Stay safe)

Lastly, if you want to get trash-trash, you could just say “fuck it”. Eat a normal ratio of macros and drink as much as you want.

Understand that there will be some steps back on the journey to your dream body, but also understand that fitness is only one aspect of life. How many weddings, graduations, retirements, promotions, etc. will you celebrate in your lifetime? The few steps back could be worth it if the trade-off is delicious food, comfortable drunkenness, and special memories with those close to you.

As long as you’re smart and do damage control to not overeat a few thousand calories, you’ll be back where you were in less than two weeks.


Well, that’s a wrap on alcohol and its effects on fat loss! Look forward to a more in-detail post on how it will effect your muscle and strength gains!

Disclaimer 3/3: Let me end by telling you to stay safe, know your limits, don’t be ratchet, and follow the law. Don’t be that guy or gal.

Finally, remember that this is a very new blog. I’m working hard to churn out more content for you. I have some great ideas of what to talk about next and I’m open to suggestions (and edits, if you’re credible and what you say makes sense). Note that all underlined words are either stand-ins for links to a post I have yet to write about the topic, or they are citations that I am too lazy to link to at this point. Thank you for your patience!

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