Happy Monday to you. Can you believe that we’re into the last month of the year already? December time can throw any program upside down. There are Christmas functions to attend… The kids are home for the holidays and there will be more bread in the house… etc etc.
On the one hand, you’ve worked hard these past 42 days. You’ve lost the weight and your summer clothes are starting to claim their space in your wardrobe. Then your phone pings and you receive the invitation to your client’s end of year staff party. As you remember the previous year’s buffet and booze options, you break out in a cold sweat, because none of the above seem to have a place in your new eating plan. So you quietly and not without a tinge of resentment, type the words…”That sounds like fun, and we’d be happy to join you”
The very next message sent, is to me… “Bro, I’ve been invited to this party, and there will be lasagne and beer — Help!!!”
To this dilemma, I would suggest the following:
Starve vs Feed
During the day, leading up to your party, make sure that you eat your fill. Do not starve yourself, rather fill up with the foods that you have become accustomed to eating whilst on the program. If it’s an evening gig, you may even want to have your healthy meal before you go out. This is not to say that you should not partake in the finger food that is offered to you… You can have that too, but I want you to have made sure that you get the nutrients that your body is craving. You won’t be as ravenous and those little party vienna’s just won’t look like the holy grail anymore. Have what you want, but be sure to have had the foods you should be having.
The other method, ie starving yourself before going out, will only make you really tuck in to the foods that aren’t going to help on the program.
Then there’s the booze to think of. Since this is a lifestyle program and not a once-off, you may want to set the way you consume those drinks. We don’t want you to don a priest’s outfit and sip on sparkling water, whilst wearing a sour “I’m seriously missing out here” look on your face.
Can you have some drinks and still get into awesome shape?
Unlike most questions that get asked repeatedly, this one isn’t annoying; in fact, I kinda love it.
Probably because it’s always got some other coach’s name attached. “Do I need to give up alcohol? Coach John Smith says I do.”
Telling anyone they “need” to completely stop doing anything — especially something with as much social interaction tied to it as drinking — is pretty insane.
Of course, in a vacuum, that makes sense: any amount of alcohol will things more difficult.
Firstly, it adds extra calories (7 calories per gram, for those keeping score at home). Secondly, it may hinder performance, making it a harder to hit your goals.
And most importantly, alcohol tends foster poor dietary decisions.
So, if it undeniably makes things harder, why not eliminate it completely? Why does anyone who wants to make a change in their body drink alcohol at all?
Uh, for the same reasons anyone drinks it: it’s kinda awesome.
What I mean is, life doesn’t take place in a vacuum, so neither can a fitness plan.
People who demonize alcohol in any absolute sense are missing two very important things.
The first is that most people enjoy drinking.
Secondly, there’s the broad view of things.
Every single culture in recorded history has — independent of one another — found a way to ferment something and create a concoction that creates a euphoric experience.
From the Mesopotamians to the Babylonians to the Egyptians to the Aztecs to the Greeks and Romans to the Germanic tribes to the Vikings — each had some form of alcohol and used it in various ceremonies.
And they still managed to build pyramids and temples, invent democracy and philosophy, and conquer half the known world.
So, if alcohol is good enough for Ramses, Aristotle, Caesar, and Alexander the Great, maybe your coach is being a bit of an alarmist when he tells you that drinking is going to “kill ya gains.”
Let’s get down to brass tacks, friends.
Yes, in a number of ways, alcohol can inhibit your fitness progress.
However: you do NOT need to abstain at all times.
In fact, if you’re willing to practice moderation — either while you’re drinking, or in terms of how often you drink — you really don’t need to abstain at all.
Put somewhat more bluntly: as long you’re not being a total asshole about it, you can have a few drinks every week and still make great progress.
When I share this with my friends, they are endlessly relieved..and a bit skeptical.
You might be, as well.
But it’s true — even if you’re trying for MASSIVE fat loss.
Here’s the trick: if you give up alcohol for the first 30 days and the final 30 days of the average diet or (16+ week) body transformation, you can still drink in the middle, and everything is going to be just fine.
If you’re willing to abstain from alcohol for a total of 60 days — 30 days on either end of your transformation period — and as long as you’re not going on complete benders, you can drink and still drop all the weight you want and look great.
Not only is this what I do personally, it’s what I recommend to all my friends on the Challenge.
What I am saying is that being on some sort of transformation plan, or a coaching program, or trying to change your body doesn’t mean you can’t indulge at all.
You can’t pound beers after work every day, but if you’re on a date or at a christmas function and want to enjoy a glass of wine, go for it.
Enjoy your life.
This is what I tell all of my clients. And how I teach them to work things into their daily lives, whether it’s drinking or donuts.
A Gift and a giggle…
This one will make you laugh, but let’s get real. There actually ARE ways to get your drink on whilst minimizing the damage. This guy (credit to John Romaniello) talks you through the booze dilemma.
Combine alcohol and food and water Alcohol and water makes you WGW (whit girl wasted) You need to hit all 3 in the right proportions Know your tolerance — how many drinks are you having? 6 drinks, have 5 glasses of water Eat before you go out Hit your Makro’s consumption before you go out Have the last 30% in the evening About 10% less of your daily caloric intake
L-Glutamine and Glutathione
I saw this on the Jo Rogan show, but it seems like L-Glutamine is your friend when it comes to booze. Your brain produces less glutamine while you’re drinking. When we drink, we get what is called a “glutamine rebound” Glutamine is an energy source for your brain. When you drink, you deplete your glutamine stores. When you stop drinking, you experience a glutamine rebound which means that the glutamine that was depleted, is now rebounding, giving your brain a lot of energy. What's crazy, is that your brain now has energy but your body is tired. That means that when you get up in the morning, your body may be rested, but your brain is not. That's why we feel so sluggish when we wake with a hangover. It's just your brain that is tired. This is why its hard to find the motivation to go train with decent motivation. If you have some glutamine, it will stop the reduction of glutamine while you’re drinking, and the system remains more balanced, so you don’t have that crash and rebound.
Now Glutathione is a secret weapon when it comes to preventing hangovers.
I’m not trying to make you more booze resistant, but I’m helping you to mitigate the bad after-effects of the party.
The holiday season is around the corner. We will be spending the next few days, prepping you for phase 3 of the program. I want to send you into December, knowing what you’re supposed to be doing. I have been nothing short of blown away by the progress that you have been making. I want you to stay the course for your own sake. The positive effects of this new life, will ripple through so many aspects of your life. The new year will have you rearing to go, confident that if you can change yourself, you can change anything for the better.