How to Go Wine Tasting or Drink Alcohol Without Gaining Fat


When trying to get in shape, there are some things you must do in order to reach your goal. Strength train like a boss at least three times a week, get some cardio in, eat lean protein and vegetables with each meal, and drink plenty of water. Bam.

But do you also have to stop drinking?

During consultations with new clients, the subject of booze always comes up. I usually get asked if they need to eliminate it entirely in order to reach their fitness goals. Most other coaches would tell you yes you have to and go completely cold turkey, but I have a different perspective.

As someone who loves going to wine tasting events and drinking cocktails, I don’t think you don’t need to quit drinking alcohol in order to lose fat and get in shape, but does it help? No diggity, no doubt. Since alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, not drinking any will slash away those extra calories. This will put you in a nice caloric deficit to get lean.

You also don’t have to deal with recovery the next day, especially if you drank a ton the night before because working out when you’re hungover sucks. It screws up your gym performance and routine which you’ve been so consistent with.

However, I’m not going to be one of those coaches who will tell you that you’ll need to live a strict life in order to get to your fat loss goals, because it’s unrealistic for a majority of my coaching clients. Some can be completely booze free because they’re not drinkers and can just continue to make progress.

But other clients of mine have an active social life which involves alcohol and they enjoy drinking. It’s not something they want to cut out of their lives completely because it’ll feel too restrictive and leads to them failing.

After all, we want fitness to enhance our life, not consume it. You can still enjoy a few drinks in moderation while continuing to get in shape. I know I still want to have a nice glass of Malbec or some whiskey with my friends and so do my clients during their fitness journey.

Now this doesn’t mean you can booze it up every weekend, you will need to make some changes in how often you drink and the amount. In order to get results, you’ll need to make some sort of sacrifice. You’ll also want to be in your calorie deficit during the week leading up to the event of you drinking.

On the night of boozing and potential debauchery, you’re going to need a system to prepare yourself. So before you get your Rosé All Day tank top ready to get #turnt with your friends, be sure to have the plan ready. Here’s what I have my clients do with great success:

1. Incorporate Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a great strategy for fat loss because it gives you structure and flexibility on when to eat or consume liquid calories. There are many versions of IF, and the 16:8 variation is the most popular protocol. Look at what time your event is, and have your feeding window end around the time when your event ends.  

For example, this past weekend I went to a wine festival and the tastings ran from 6-9pm. In this case, you would set your feeding window from 1-9pm. This will give you a hard cutoff time on when you start and stop finish eating and drinking.

2. Eat a Big Meal Before the Event

It sounds counter-intuitive but you want to have a big meal within your fasting window before you starting drinking. We tend to make bad dietary decisions and overeat when we’re buzzed. The big meal should contain at least one serving size of lean protein, a serving of vegetables, and some starchy carbs. When you eat a big meal before drinking alcohol, you won’t be as tipsy and you won’t be craving drunk food.

For most people, they do the exact opposite. They go in not eating much at all during the day and start drinking right away. Before you know it, they’re at a taco truck going to town on some carne asada or at the local pizza joint down the street for a couple slices. Figure out what your calorie intake is for the day, and give yourself a bit of a buffer going in.

If you’re wondering what the calorie count of your favorite alcohol drinks are, here’s an infographic that I’ve created:


3. Get a Workout In

This is absolutely required. By getting your workout done you’ll burn calories, ramp up your metabolism for the day, and improve your insulin sensitivity. On the days that you’ll be going to be a wine tasting or any other event where you’re going to be drinking, you want to have a harder workout than usual.

A full body strength training session plus a bit of conditioning work at the end should do the trick. Here is a sample workout which you can do:

A1. Dumbbell Goblet Squat – 4x10-15 reps
A2. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press – 4x10-12 reps
A3. Dumbbell Row – 4x10 reps each arm
A4. Plank – 4x45 seconds

10-15 seconds in between each exercise, 60 seconds rest after entire set is completed

B1. Dumbbell Walking Lunges – 4x12 reps each leg
B2. Lat Pulldowns – 4x10-12 reps
B3. Pushups – 4xAMRAP

10-15 seconds in between each exercise, 60 seconds rest after entire set is completed

C. Rowing Machine – 500m sprint to finish

4. Understand and Set Your Limits

Know what your alcohol tolerance is, set a drink limit, and pace yourself. Sometimes we overestimate just exactly how much we can drink, and before you know it, you end up getting #wgw. After figuring out how many calories you have left for the day after eating your food, allocate that for how many drinks you’re going to have. Take a look at the infographic from above, and pick the lower calorie options that best fit you. And if you’re wine tasting and natural wines are available, give those a try!

For example: 450 calories left = approximately four glasses of wine or three cocktails. If you’re going wine tasting and you’re having multiple flights, ask for a smaller pour or .

5. Stay Hydrated

In between each drink that you have, drink at least one glass of water. It’ll keep you hydrated, and make you feel full in case the sense of hunger kicks in.

Bottoms Up

You now have the blueprint on how to go wine tasting or drink alcohol while still achieving your fitness goals. When you’re on a fat loss plan or training program, don’t think that you have to give up certain foods or drinks for good in order to lose body fat.

Yes you’ll have to make some changes to your lifestyle, but if you implement the strategies I’ve outlined above, you’ll be just fine and continue to make progress.

I’m taking on a few more clients in my online coaching program. My goal is to help you get fit without feeling they have to give everything up.

So if you’ve been trying to reach your fitness goals while still occasionally enjoying the things that you love, apply here.


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