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How to Drink Alcohol and Stay in Good Shape

by Dan Cassidy

Ask any serious dietician or nutritionist about the most important things to cut out when getting in shape, and undoubtedly alcohol will be top of the list. But can exercise and alcohol peacefully coexist in a healthy lifestyle?

While there’s millions of resources recommending alcohol abstinence as part of a broader fitness program, a recent book by Lüc Carl does exactly the opposite.

“In his new book, The Drunk Diet, the NYC nightlife promoter, certified personal trainer, and former longtime flame of Lady Gaga lays out what he claims is the secret to balancing a hard-partying life with a gym-worthy physique.

The Drunk Diet is built around Lüc’s personal story. A nightly habit of whiskey shots and Budweisers coupled with 4 a.m. diner runs had saddled him with 40 unwanted pounds, but rather than dry up in defeat, he devised a weight-loss plan with a liberal liquor allowance. His just-released book chronicles his journey to thin and proves that boozing and losing needn’t always be mutually exclusive. You might not party like Lüc, but you can still learn from him about keeping your belly flat when your tumbler’s full.”

Related Article: 8 Natural Hangover Cures

So how does he do it?  There’s 5 basic tips he offers in the book.

  1. Go easy on the beer. Ounce for ounce it’s got more calories than going with straight alcohol.
  2. Eat before you drink. Doing this will reduce the likelihood of overeating, and can maintain reasonable alcohol levels.
  3. Hydrate. Drinking lots of water will not only keep the calories to a minimum, but is a surefire hangover prevention plan.
  4. It’s all about balance. If you’re going to have a big night, cut out some calories during the day.
  5. Exercise is critical. If you’re partying too much, and neglecting to exercise, you’re not going to stay in the game for long.

Related Article: 6 Reasons Beer is Good For You

But can alcohol impact your fitness levels, even if you’re working out frequently? According to, that’s definitely the case.

“To unwind after a hard workout, many people turn to alcohol in the form of beer, wine or mixed drinks. But before reaching for a cold one, consider this: excessive drinking has a negative impact on various aspects of fitness. By learning about the relationship between alcohol and fitness, you can protect your hard-earned physique while enjoying the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption.”

So what does this all mean? Can you drink alcohol and stay fit, or should you skip alcohol all together if you’re working to get in shape? But if you’re looking to kill two birds with one stone, check out your local Hash House Harriers who have found a unique way to mix fitness with alcohol. These self-proclaimed “drinkers with a running problem” may have the most creative solution yet.

Related Article: 5 Tips to Drink Less Alcohol

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1 comment

Eric May 27, 2013 - 5:18 pm

Just a correction – ounce per ounce beer does not have more calories than straight alcohol.

Beer has (typically) 150 calories for 12 ounces. That’s 12.5 calories in each ounce.

Straight alcohol like 80 proof Vodka has 96 calories in 1.5 ounces (a shot). That’s 64 calories per ounce.

I believe the author is thinking of “per serving”. If you only add soda water or other non-calorie mixer to the vodka, you drink will have less calories overall than a beer. But ounce for ounce beer is far lower in calories.

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