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Using the ‘good’ to justify the ‘bad’

When it comes to your health and fitness, can we use the “good” to justify the “bad”?

A lot of people are happy to put in a few hours of exercise every week as long as they can enjoy their favourite tipple at the weekend.  But how much exercise does it take to enjoy your favourite bottle (or two) of Merlot at the weekend and still lose weight?

It is important to remember that fat loss will occur when the body is in an overall calorie deficit, regardless of whether those calories come from booze or broccoli!

So if you decide to reduce your overall calories on a daily basis to allow for the alcohol calories, then it is still possible to lose weight.

On the other hand, excessive alcohol consumption is not conducive to overall health and fitness. It reduces energy levels, and increases appetite for unhealthy processed food, which can lead to an over-consumption in calories. The body also presses pause on fat burning and shifts the focus to burning off  the alcohol; only when this job is complete will it revert back to burning stored body fat again.

Working out to work it off

Medium glass red wine – 20 minute run

Pint beer – 30 minute walk

Alcopop – 30 minute spin class

Vodka (no mixer) – 12 minute walk

Glass prosecco – 10 minutes on a rowing machine



  1. Moderate consumption – one drink a night is better than a weekend binge.
  2. I tell clients if they must drink on social occasions to have no more than three – and in between drinks, have water.
  3. Have something to eat when drinking. Skimping on food in order to “make room” for booze will backfire and could lead you straight to the local McDonald’s.
  4. Once you get closer to your fat loss goal, it may be necessary to remove alcohol temporarily until you overcome plateaus and force the body into burning fat on a consistent rather than intermittent basis.

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