Alcohol and Fat Loss – Do they even mix?!

Well in part 1 we discussed stress, you can see part 1 here: Part 1

In part 2 we are going to discuss how alcohol can cause issues with fat loss.

Now a lot of people understand that we don’t store alcohol as fat. That’s a good thing.

However, what we are discussing is how alcohol can affect appetite management.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I love a few beers/glasses of wine when I am stressed out. It really helps me switch off and relax.

I’m pretty open about this, I am happy to be judged by other fit pro’s who live a clean living lifestyle or whatever else crap they like to peddle.

It’s a normal behaviour trait. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it happens.

Currently taking 5 weeks break from it all myself.

Anyway, back on topic.

The What

Why do people use it?

To relax.

To switch off from kids/work/money worries.

To enjoy themselves.

It’s pretty ingrained in Western culture for the most part, it would be pretty stupid as a coach to try and completely eradicate it from our clients diets. Rather, try and come up with strategies, such as Martin Berkhan’s Leangains protocol to promote adherence with it.


The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Too much booze can increase insulin resistance = bad.

Moderate intake can increase insulin sensitivity = good [1]

High level drinkers and binge drinkers, disregard the good, because its not really going to do you any good long term.

We know that alcohol intake generally lowers people’s inhibitions, so their food choices are going to be somewhat questionable. I mean who would really eat a doner kebab when they were sober right?

Just a small amount of intake such as 4 units, or 2 pints of beer to the MEN who are reading, leads to much higher energy intake around that time. [2]


Longer Term

In the long run, we’re looking at energy intake over the days following.

I can count on one hand how many clients have had a night of drinking, and have gone home and ate a salad.

Then the following day/s the food intake has ALWAYS been significantly higher.

The mechanisms behind this can be lack of sleep (will discuss this in post 3), some hormoney stuff that’s probably too clever for me to discuss, a disruption in Circadian Rhythm (love this stuff – currently doing a LOT of reading on this) and a lack of inhibitions.

Drinking on a regular basis, we’ve found has massively increased appetite and people find it extremely hard to control it.

Every single person’s attitude to alcohol intake is very different. Ranging from the extreme, to almost non-existent.

Learning what makes the individual tick and putting in strategies to ensure the correct choices are made are key in my opinion.

Eating a Large Pizza when recovering from a few bottles of wine is usually great, however it doesn’t help with fat loss goals.

Some of the strategies I personally implement with clients who enjoy a little tipple or two include the following:

  1. Have your food prepped for the next day. Ensure its fibrous and protein stacked.
  2. Have an EXTRA meal prepped. This will promote fullness and the person will be less likely to go off track.
  3. If needing food that evening, have a chicken meal with pitta. (UK folk read = Chicken Shish)


Longer term strategies to put in place for those who utilise alcohol as a stress management tool, will be addressed in the next post.



Alcohol isn’t the demon its made out to be.

However, in terms of dietary adherence, its a bit of a pain in the butt.

Dieting sucks for the most part, alcohol intake only makes it harder.

Learning how it works is key in my opinion, adherence longer term promotes better results and an adoption of a lifestyle, rather than just a short term result.

Coach Danbeer






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