How to Stay Fit If You’re a Social Drinker, According to a Personal Trainer in L.A.

Yes, you CAN have the best of both worlds.
a handful of girlfriends toast with cocktails and wine to a fun night out
(via Unsplash)

(via Unsplash)

Work-life balance doesn’t just apply to the office. Taking care of our body is a job in itself. With everything else in life to manage, making it to the gym regularly and putting in the effort is no easy feat. Throw a few libations into the mix, and things can get slippery. How to drink alcohol and stay fit is a concern for many—but luckily, it can be done.

Skyelyfe had the pleasure of chatting with Chris Tye-Walker, a trainer at L.A.’s new Kamps Fitness HIIT studio in Miracle Mile. The fitness pro addressed all our burning concerns, so keep scrolling to stay fit with an active social life.

The Golden Rule of Drinking Alcohol and Staying Fit

There isn’t necessarily an amount of calories you’re allotted for the day—but whatever the case, you’ll have to burn more calories than you’ve consumed. And that pertains to anything, whether it be food, alcohol or both. If you’re wondering how to drink alcohol and stay fit, there’s pretty much a golden rule.

“All food and alcohol contain macros: proteins, fats, carbs,” Tye-Walker says. “If you’re in a calorie surplus at the end of the day—meaning you’ve consumed more calories than you expended—you’ll continue gaining weight. The goal is to drink low calorie drinks, like tequila soda and lime, but also control what you eat during the day. While it may sound fun in the moment, eating a burger, fries and a brownie won’t help when you’re also consuming calories from alcohol.”

The fitness pro stands by the saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen.” He explains, “You can’t outtrain a bad diet. You can offset the damage, but if you want changes in your body, you have to eat right in alignment with your goals. If you’re looking to lean out, your macronutrient count must be spot on and the calories have to be in a deficit to lose the weight.”

Drinks to Stick to and Abstain From in Order to Stay Fit

This goes without saying, but steer clear from sugar! Those piña coladas you gulped down on vacation aren’t helping you (though we’re guilty of them, too!). While that may be obvious, Tye-Walker shares some other pointers to keep in mind.

“First rule, lighter hard alcohols will usually be cleaner,” he explains. “Whisky is dirty compared to a tequila or a gin. Mix with soda, water and lime instead of a sugar-based drink like 7UP. The new seltzers are a good way to go. However, if you’re looking for the old classic college favorite like vodka Red Bull, maybe you can graduate to a vodka and Celsius!”

Plan Ahead

Much like your meal prep during the week, you’ll want to do the same when it comes to alcohol-fueled nights also. No matter what, you should always eat carbs after drinking: “It sounds cliché but you must soak up the alcohol,” Tye-Walker says.

But this is where the planning ahead comes into play.

“I’m not saying eat a whole pizza, but you can find yourself an option with some good nutritional value,” he shares. “I always plan for this. Make sure you have food prepped to come home to, rather than hitting that red button on the Dominos sign.”

Tye-Walker also recommends pre-scheduling some kind of workout for the next day.

“Just sweat it out,” he says. “Whether it’s a game of tennis or basketball, or your favorite boutique gym where you can sweat a ton, the movement will make you feel better. You may feel awful during, but once you recover from the session you’ll be back ready to crush the day. I wouldn’t go as hard as you would normally—and consume the correct food and the right amount of water beforehand.” 

Be Mindful of Your Relationship With Alcohol

Like with anything in life, balance is key.

“Enjoy life when the moments are right,” Tye-Walker says. “You don’t need Tuesday night wine at home alone for no reason. Focus on your goals and remind yourself why you started. Put up notes around the house of what you want to achieve. Then plan your fun nights out and have those as your moments to enjoy life and live freely because you know you’ll put the work in the other five or six days that week.” 

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