10 Nutrition Coaches Share Their Tips For Staying Healthy Without Giving Up Alcohol
By Nadya Khoja
Posted: May 06, 2022
Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean living a lifestyle of abstinence. But it also doesn’t mean living a life of excess either.
Finding the right balance can be difficult, and building the right habits around how you consume alcohol while also building better nutrition, fitness and mindfulness habits will only improve your journey to a more satisfying life.
That being said, it’s important to know that drinking isn’t healthy. Neither is eating too much sugar, or getting too little sleep or being relatively sedentary.
A healthy lifestyle is a combination of many factors, and I was curious how I could possibly live a healthier life overall, but not have to give up on alcohol entirely.
After all, I don’t really have an interest in quitting altogether, but I’d like to make sure I’m being responsible with my drinking.
How do you maintain a healthy life and healthy drinking habits:
Considering I’m not an expert when it comes to nutrition and wellness specifically, I figured I should ask some certified professionals for their take on the matter.
I reached out to some Precision Nutrition Coaches to learn what their top tips were for staying healthy, without having to give up alcohol entirely.
Here’s what they shared:
1) Denise Allen
Denise has been a coach with Precision Nutrition for almost a decade. She has experience in corporate training and business management, and as a result brings strong organizational skills within her coaching role. She understands that real improvement comes with dedication and patience. You can read more about her story here.
My number one favorite tip is this: Instead of giving up a daily drink, I encourage my clients to consider finding a really fancy smaller glass that becomes their cocktail glass. So many cocktail glasses can hold a LOT of alcohol. If you make the vessel smaller, you can still enjoy the beverage but you might find you sip it slower while savoring and appreciating the experience even more. At Precision Nutrition we have a habit of practicing what we refer to as ‘Eating to 80% full’.
Denise Allen Nutrition Coach
2) Ashlee Hamilton - All 3 For Health
Ashlee educates her clients in how to reconstruct your habits so you can live a better and healthier life overall. For more information on how to get in touch with Ashlee you can visit her website here.
This is what Ashlee had to say:
“Plan better. If part of living a healthier lifestyle means regular exercise, then time your alcohol intake so that it doesn’t interfere with your muscle recovery. Alcohol has been known to impair protein synthesis in your muscles and impair your muscles’ ability to replenish stored energy. On the days you go hard at the gym, don’t drink. In the 1-2 days after that, allow your body to recover properly. Then have your booze.
Planning is also useful if you’re focused on losing fat as well. Since alcohol can’t be stored in our muscles for later use, we tend to store other macronutrients as fat when we drink alcohol and eat at the same time. Plan to have your drink 2 hours before or after eating so your body can use the alcohol for fuel immediately. This way, you can get your drink on without layering on extra fat.”
Ashlee Hamilton Nutrition Coach
3) Alina Astilean - Alina Astilean Training
Alina provides training and nutrition services to her clients and has been voted one of Los Angeles’s best trainers. She helps provide customized meal plans and exercise programs both online and in person so you can achieve overall wellness. You can learn more about her here.
“My advice is to always implement balance. I describe the health journey to be much like peeling off the layers of an onion. Depending on what your goals are, start with just the surface level habits you can fully control, such as: nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress management. As you do this, you can slowly cut back on how much alcohol you consume. So for instance, if you are currently drinking 5 to 6 drinks a week, begin by creating a monthly plan.
Your first week, set your max limit at 6 drinks for that week. Then your second week, cuz that down to 5. And so on and so forth. Using a tool like Sunnyside can help you plan and track your drinking over time. If you are getting the results you want, and your body is responding to the adjusted intake, great. If you feel like you are doing everything possible and you’re still struggling to reach your goal, then consider tapering back on alcohol over a longer period of time, or perhaps more aggressively to see if it helps you get better at mindfulness.”
Alina Astilean Nutrition Coach
4) Kyle Lampi - Lampi Fitness
Kyle is a fitness coach that focuses on working with his clients to create custom plans that are focused on helping individuals achieve the best results based on their specific goals and requirements. You can learn more about him here.
“The first step that I would recommend is to educate yourself on what happens to your body when alcohol is consumed. How is it metabolized, how is your sleep being affected, what does your post-drinking recovery feel like, how are your hormones being impacted, what’s the influence on your muscle growth, and fat loss. Next, I would ask myself whether drinking alcohol aligns with my goals, and if I am willing to take responsibility for how I feel, and the possibility of my goals not being met.
If the answer is yes then, then you are acting more mindfully already! If the answer is no, then that’s also a very mindful decision. Making an educated decision comes down to reflecting on the outcome of your actions and deciding what feels right to you.”
Kyle Lampi Nutrition and Fitness
5) Stephanie Fee - NOCK Wellness
The NOCK Life Program is designed to help clients develop long lasting habits, and create healthier relationships with food, alcohol, their body and generally improve your overall mindset around healthy living. Stephanie even works with you to create a personalized quarterly action plan so that you can stay on track to achieve your health goals. Find out more here.
“I always approach alcohol like an Italian. Alcohol is truly best enjoyed on a satisfied stomach. In Italy, food is always on the table or at the bar to enjoy with wine or cocktails. Making sure you avoid drinking on an empty stomach will help you avoid rapid intoxication which can lead to poor decision making and other negative health related side effects including feelings of depression and drop in blood sugar.
We love snacking on some olives, mixed nuts or prosciutto with ripe melon as we enjoy our pre dinner drink, otherwise known as an aperitivo. Connect with the entire experience and improve your social health. One way to do this is to be present with others. The Italian word for cheers is saluté and as the glasses clink together, the rule is to look each other in the eyes - a great way to show you are in the moment. Connecting with others authentically is a great way to improve the health of your relationships.”
Stephanie Fee Nutrition Coach
6) Emmy Le-Ewig - Outliers Wellness
Emmy is a personal trainer and lifestyle change coach. Whether you’re looking to lose fast, gain muscle, or simply want to have better overall health, she works with you to improve your eating habits, develop better lifestyle habits and train so you can look and feel your best. Learn more about Emmy at her website.
“Drinking is a habit that we form. For some it happens without any clear realization of our own triggers. If you feel compelled to drink, then try to make it a habit to balance out with a glass of water in between each glass in order to reduce your alcohol consumption. I often share the above tip with my clients. For those who find it difficult to slow down between drinks, find ways to balance your bar cart or your fridge with other types of more interesting beverages, such as non-alcoholic sparkling tea or other non-alcoholic drink options. If you still find that you’re struggling to reduce your alcohol consumption, consider trying some lower alcohol options, or low-calorie alcoholic drink options to cut back on the empty calories.
Alternatively, consider delaying gratification by setting your glass down after each sip you take. Keep a conversation going to distract yourself from drinking too quickly. If you are alone and feel the urge to drink, then try to find a task to do in between sips that will keep you productive. You can also attempt to do something more physical in between, like going for a short walk.
I don’t believe in the one tip fits all mentality, since everyone has different motivations when it comes to reducing, replacing, or being more mindful in general. The key here is to be aware of your own habits and ask yourself what influenced you to start drinking, and how important it is to your health to cut back. Using a tracking app like Sunnyside is a great and cost-effective way to stay accountable. Be honest with yourself, since that accountability will help you determine long-term success on your journey to improve your overall wellness.”
Emmy Le-Ewig Nutrition Coach
7) Anne Torres - AnneTorres.com
Anne’s clientele consists of busy moms and professionals that are typically above the age of 40, and prioritizes healthy changes by focusing on taking small daily actions to achieve your goals. She believes in helping her clients develop a growth mindset, and building habits around persistence and effort. You can learn more about her methods here.
“There is no doubt that drinking alcohol – especially regularly and excessively can really pack on the pounds. When alcohol is consumed, it’s burned first as a fuel source before your body uses anything else. So the calories you consume from foods get stored as fat. Reducing how much you drink will be beneficial for your health and weight. If you must drink, try to limit how many days a week you drink.
Incorporating dry days can be really great for your liver health as well. When you do drink, try to really be present and enjoy the process and remain mindful within the experience. Carry yourself like a sommelier – swirl, sniff, sip and savor every drop. It also helps to drink water alongside your alcoholic drink of choice to keep you hydrated and help reduce the amount of alcohol you consume.”
Anne Torres Nutrition Coach
8) Chloe Jones - ChloeJaide.com
Chloe is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and nutrition coach. She focuses on helping her clients feel empowered, and establishing a more positive relationship with what they consume, so they can build more sustainable habits long-term, and really experience the big impact of their efforts. You can read more about her here.
“Living a healthy lifestyle without cutting out alcohol completely is definitely possible. To optimize how you feel during and after drinking, make sure to eat a nutritious meal beforehand. Stay hydrated by having a glass of water for each drink you consume, and keep a clear limit in mind that you can actually stick to.
Sunnyside can help you stay accountable and keep track of how much you drink day to day. If you’re trying to cut down, start with a lower limit that is realistic and try not to make big jumps. Making small changes will help you create sustainable habits.”
Chloe Jones Nutrition Coach
9) Jacqueline Reyes - Gldn Gal
Jacqueline is a holistic health coach who enjoys educating her clients on the importance of a healthy, balanced and minimalist lifestyle. She also founded an ethical and sustainable clothing brand focused on environmental preservation. You can explore her shop here.
“I always recommend my clients to surround themselves with people that practice a healthy lifestyle. Or joining a group online. You can try The Mindful Drinkers group, a community of people working together to cut back on drinking. It’s always easier when you have friends and peers that encourage you and hold you accountable.”
Jacque Reyes Nutrition Coach
10) Nikki Le - Root Nutrition
Nikki is a dietician and certified nutritionist that focuses primarily on helping individuals control and manage IBS symptoms. She uses science and nutrition to help prevent and combat chronic diseases, and develop a healthy gut in order to have a healthier overall lifestyle. She works with clients in person and virtually. You can learn more about Nikki here.
“My tip for enjoying alcohol as part of a healthy lifestyle is cultivating positive intentions around alcohol consumption. While there may be specific recommendations on how much to drink and what to drink, it's also really important to reflect on why we drink. Focusing on positive intentions such as socializing with company, celebrating, or creating enjoyable experiences, can help us form a positive relationship with alcohol.
If you find that drinking is more consistently making you feel less energized, fatigued, and you’re experiencing interrupted sleep, it might be time to consider cutting back how much you’re consuming on a weekly basis. Regardless, it’s always good to set some healthy boundaries with alcohol such as limiting the frequency or quantity of drinking to what makes sense for you.”
Nikki Le Nutrition Coach
Building a better relationship with alcohol
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle starts with establishing better awareness and habits around how you consume alcohol. Tracking your drinks on a daily basis is a great first step in keeping yourself accountable and becoming more mindful of your drinking habits.
You can start doing this by signing up for a free 15-day trial of Sunnyside. The common theme we’ve learned from the above coaches is that one of the most important steps in growth and healthy living, is to build better relationships around your own consumption.
Nadya Khoja is the Head of Content at Sunnyside. She has been featured on Forbes, CBC, Wall Street Journal, and many other notable publications. She has spoken around the world, educating various business leaders about building and executing scalable marketing strategies.