Alcohol and the Weekend, How to Stay on Track?

The weekend (not the singer!) is coming and the first thing we think is ‘’I deserve a beer or two to relax! I had a great week, eating really clean from Monday to Friday (until breakfast) so now I can eat dessert after lunch, have a few drinks on Saturday and eat that pizza on Sunday night.

Congratulations!! Your four days of proper nutrition during the week did absolute nothing to your overall week rather than feeling really proud of yourself for these 4 days.

Let’s recap really quick, in a body where the hormones are working properly, the secret to lose weight is: to consume fewer calories than you spend over a period of seven days, simple math: 1kg equals approx. 7.000kcal. So, to lose 1 kg of fat in a week you would have to consume less 1000kcal/day , if you want to lose 0.5kg/wk less 500 kcal/day, the same goes for those who want to gain 0.5kg/wk you need to eat 500kcal more per day.

Ok, so why sometimes we weight x in one day and after two days you are weighing nearly 1.5kg less? Did you eat negative calories ?? No, of course not! Our body is made up of 65% or more of water and on the weekends people usually eat foods that contribute to fluid retention, such as alcohol, sweets, fried foods and simple carbohydrates (bread, pasta, pastries etc. ). This 1.5kg you lose is mostly water, but it is an encouraging factor for the beginning of any diet.

Our week has seven days, if you eat properly for 4 days, we still have three days (nearly half) you ate excessively and contributed to an increase and no deficit needed to lose weight. As I’ve stated before to lose weight you need to follow the diet for a certain period of time, for example 10, 15 or 30 days, and after this time you maintain with strategic meals to keep a balanced and healthy lifestyle (living on a diet or constantly being calorie defict is NOT good!!). One year has 365 days, if you spend 20-30 days (8%) to achieve your goal and then just maintain, you can have a balanced life, have your drink on the weekends and eat your pizza on Sundays. This is exactly what happens to most people (here we are talking about people working almost 10 hrs/day and exercising 3-4x/wk) that can’t lose or gain weight because the weekend blocks it. By the end of these 7 days you end up ingesting sufficient amount of nutrients and calories to maintain your weight and not lose or gain.

Remember that we are talking here about losing weight, right? Now how to stay on track weekends? Simple, I will help you trying to explain through the comparison below:

Our macronutrients in supply power as follows:

1g of carbohydrate = 4 kcal

1 g of protein = 4 kcal

1 g of fat = 9kcal

Now alcohol. ..

1g of alcohol = 9kcal

100ml of vodka, rum, whiskey = 220kcal! Surely you don’t drink only 100ml on the weekend..

1 liter of beer = 450 kcal with 20-30g of carbohydrates (depending on the beer)

1 glass of wine  = 125kcal 5g of carbohydrate

4 tablespoons of white rice = 120 kcal (20-30g carbs)

Alcohol is much worse than eating fried foods and sweets because the effects of alcohol on our body goes far beyond next day’s hangover. Alcohol decreases the production of testosterone, hormone responsible for muscle mass production not just the next day but for the next 15 days after consumption. It also directly affects the hormones that regulate our blood sugar, this applies for people who drink excessively, a drink or two one day of the week won’t harm you and won’t affect your social life.

” Wow Julia, this is really annoying, I don’t want to know about the calories I’m drinking! Weekend is almost here , weren’t you supposed to give us some tips?”

I just want to show you more or less the quantity so you can compare what you drink to what you could’ve had eaten. The reason why your diet is not giving you the results and you are constantly dieting and trying to achieve your goals without success and blowing up your 4 day of good behaviour in 2 days. This is one of reasons why I like to be flexible when it comes to dieting, you surely can have your chocolate bar 3x a week or a beer on the weekend so you don’t save all your cravings and ended up binging in one day but just remember you need balance for the other meals.

Now, back to our topic, alcohol comsuption..Usually, what do you mix your drink with?? SOFT DRINKS AND JUICE! NICEl!! A glass of orange juice (200ml) has approx. 90 kcal and 20 g of carbohydrates (there you have your bowl of rice) or 200ml of soda and guess what? Orange/apple/cranberry juice have the same sugar and calories of a can of soda. Add it to your 100ml of vodka and what we have? Your 4 day diet throw on the trash!

“But Julia, the orange juice is much better than a can of soda !!” Correct, however no one needs to consume 700ml of orange juice in a day, this is vitamin C for the whole week! And that’s what you usually consume when mixing it with alcohol.

My point: hard licquor has a higher alcohol content so contains more calories, but at the same time they have 0 carbs when consumed with a diet soda or sugar free juice, I know they might not be as natural as your OJ or cranberry juice but in the end you are drinking with alcohol, not too sure If you are that concerned about all the things they add to your licquor. Either way, soda or natural juice, diet or light the side effects will be the same: dehydration, water retention and headaches.

Check out the comparison below: a 6” Subway x Vodka and OJ

Subway: Oven Roasted Chicken = 320kcal 45g of carbs x 200ml Vodka + 500ml of OJ = 660kcal 50g of carbs


Beer contains more carbohydrates than spirits and is always associated with some peanuts, cashews (not the good ones, usually full of salt) and fried finger foodswhich only adds up to your daily intake..also that hunger you feel after drinking beer is because you are dehydrated (If you ahven’t noticed beer is diuretic) so It is very improtant to drink water while drinking.

Tip: No mather your choice of drink: have a proper breakfast with good sources of proteina and fat, drink loads of water before, during and after consuming alcohol. Try to have your lunch and your dinner with also good sources of lean protein such as lean meat, chicken, turkey or fish) and choose good sources of fat such as olives, nuts, avocado, cheese.

Avoid mixing industrialized juices, energy drinks, or natural juices with licquor and try to have 1 cup of water in between each drink (after the third glass is hard to remember..I know. but try! Drink at least 500ml before bed! )

For the next day try to eat good sources of green vegetables because they contain iron and zinc that will help restore your mineral levels, lean meat such as fish, chicken and turkey. Eat carbohydrates always allong with a protein source to prevent blood sugar spikes already “spiked” the day before with alcohol. Drink LOTS of water, I know you will feel bloated, but the next two days you will probably eliminate this water with a low sodium and clean diet.

To sum up: Drinking goes far beyond that saturday night..the “after party” on your body continues for the next 3 days…