Balancing a social life with fitness is difficult , you want to train hard as well as play hard but unfortunately we can’t have everything! Since breaking into my forties 4 years ago I have slowly stopped my excessive alcohol consumption. Don’t get me wrong a little of what you fancy once in a while is great - if you are forever banning yourself from having little treats then you will start to resent your fitness regime and your motivation may start waning.
When I was in my late thirties I started feeling the after effects of a heavy night a lot more. If I had a late night and didn’t even partake in a cocktail or two I still felt rotten the next day and if you add in toddlers to that equation well its a recipe for a stressful day for everyone involved! When I started training seriously in my 40s alcohol really was the David to my Goliath. It wasn’t just the next day that it affected but I felt it during my sessions for the first part of the week. It may have been fun quaffing the few drinks that I had on the Saturday night but boy did I feel it after. During this time I started questioning whether to stop drinking altogether, the main reason for me was the effect it was having on my training regime and also my lack of patience with the children. Whenever I drink I go to sleep fine but always wake up around 3am wide awake. This is a problem for anyone but if you have children to look after that day its a disaster!
So for these reasons I decided to cut-down my alcohol consumption this meant no drinking during the week and maybe 1-2 on a Friday or Saturday night, it works for me as now I don’t drink much so 1-2 is plenty! I feel like I have more energy, I sleep better, its cheaper when I shop and I am not consuming empty calories!
Look I am not telling you not to have the odd glass of wine/gin at the weekend but what I am saying is try cutting down, see how your mood changes and your sleep improves. Take a look at your energy levels and how much easier it is to hit those PBs. Jump on the scales and see how much weight is lost when you stop drinking through the week. I promise you it will be worth it.
If you still are undecided and still want your daily tipple to relax you after the kids have have gone to bed try swapping calorific wine / lager for the popular G&T using slimline tonics. There are so many different types of Gin on the market and with a mixer in there’s more in the glass so takes longer to drink than wine. Another idea is to try the organic Proscecco this apparently doesn’t give you a hangover and also Prosecco has less calories than wine or lager.
Like I said at the start of this blog, a little of what you fancy is ok, it helps with your motivation to keep the habit of fitness going, it makes you feel happier as your not stopping the treats and makes your life much more balanced. What I would warn against is carrying on consuming the same amount of alcohol whilst starting a new fitness regime, you will see results but they will be slower and far less of an improvement, so think about what you would like to achieve when you start making that fitness a permanent habit, how far do you want to go, what are your targets/goals? Once you have that clear in your head look at what your drinking and make the decision and try and stick to it for 3 months. See if I am right, watch your energy levels get higher and your sleep better, I think you will see improvements in both of these factors that will ultimately improve your quality of life and help you hit those goals far easier!