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You’d be forgiven for wanting to toast the end of 2020 with an alcoholic beverage (or three). What impact can those celebratory drinks have on your summer beach bod?

After one heck of a year, ‘tis finally the season to be jolly. And for many Australian adults, jolliness involves some form of alcoholic indulgence. 

As Christmas parties approach, however, many of us also want to retain hard-won fitness gains or get back in shape after lockdowns threw waistlines out of whack. Get fit or (a bit) loose: is it possible to do both?

Beware the beer belly

Personal trainer and regular LSJ fitness columnist Zara Michales says it is possible to indulge in a drink or two without destroying your fitness gains, but to be aware of a few things. First, as most of us know, alcohol is high in sugar and consuming large quantities can be a slippery slope to weight gain.

“Alcohol interferes with other metabolic and digestive processes, including absorbing nutrients in food and burning fat,” Michales explains. 

“If you eat while drinking alcohol, the protein and nutrients in the food may not be utilised and will instead be stored as fat while your body is working so hard to process this toxin out of your body. The more you drink, obviously the higher in calories you go, and the longer it will take your body to get back to its usual processes.”

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