The Alcohol Challenge

The Challenge:

The alcohol challenge
  • No alcohol during the month of July

They call it a "beer belly" for a very good reason.  Obesity is at epidemic proportions and for many people, too much alcohol is a major contributing factor.  Not only is the alcohol dense, empty calories but alcohol causes people to eat far more junk food than they would sober.

A word to those who think alcohol is good for them

Before we go any further with the reasons why you should stop alcohol for a month, lets address all the people who cling to news reports that alcohol is "good for them".  People believe what they want to believe.  Many folks rationalize their alcohol consumption with a vague handwaving about some study that showed that alcohol is "good for you" without knowing any of the details.  For those of you who think alcohol is good for you, let me ask you this - have you ever discussed the subject with your doctor?  I thought not, you dont want to know the truth which is for 99% of you alcohol is NOT good for you.  If you think you need it, discuss it with your doctor to decide what kind of alcohol you should be drinking and how much.

Why do the alcohol challenge?

There are lots of reasons to do the alcohol challenge and give up alcohol for the month, lets enumerate!

  1. Eliminating alcohol is one of the easiest ways to lose fat!  Its empty calories, even worst than eating sugar out of the sugar bowl because alcohol has 7 calories per gram whereas carbs and protein only have 4 calories.  Not only that, alcohol breaks the cardinal rule of weight loss which is: never drink your calories!  Even worse is that under the influence of alcohol, people lose their nutritional willpower.  Sober you might be able to say "No!" to that pizza and big bag of nacho chips but after three drinks, all you can think of is "MORE!"
  2. If affects your ability to gain muscle.  There are a lot of factors at work here.  You may or may not believe the studies that show that alcohol interferes with your ability to gain muscle but lets look at some things that are pretty clear. People who drink alcohol become dehydrated and dehydration can reduce your strength by up to 19%.  People who drink too much often stay up late and dont get enough sleep.  Sleep deprivation interferes with your ability to gain muscle and if you are cutting, it makes you lose muscle instead of fat. People with hangovers cant do anything well, and that includes working out, so you lose a complete fitness-day.
  3. Alcohol is an addictive substance and it can be deadly.  2.5 million people die each year from alcohol, either directly or indirectly. Thats a LOT!  I know many of you think that alcohol is a problem that someone else has but please consider this - 2.5 million people said the same thing ... and were wrong.


  • During the month of July, drink no alcohol.  No beer, no wine, no mixed drinks, no nothing.
  • post to your fitness progress diary every morning, either:
    • I had no alcohol yesterday!
    • I can do the alcohol challenge!  Although I had [describe] yesterday, I will not have any today.
  • For bonus points, start NOW and do the challenge till the end of July!



Read more about alcohol and health at WebMD