Will A Night Out Ruin Your Training Progress?


By Myprotein Writer

Andy Kavanagh

The answer obviously depends on your night out but also your fitness goals.

If you are just training for the social aspect or not training too seriously then the answer might be no – but, if you are training to achieve notable results – for example reduced body fat or increased athletic performance – the answer is probably yes.

Here’s how…

Example | Trying To Reduce Body Fat

Liaising with his trainer, the aim for him is to achieve a 500kcal deficit per day. This done every day will lead to a 3500kcal deficit per week which is the equivalent of 1lb.

reducing body fat

This deficit will be achieved by combining a well-designed exercise program along with a balanced nutritional plan (weight loss of one pound per week is a typical target which trainers attempt to accomplish with clients whose goal is to lose weight).

So after some calculations, we discover that the daily required caloric intake is 3000kcal. On his new program he will consume 500kcal less than this.

Required Caloric Intake: 3000kcal

New Caloric Intake (-500kcal): 2500kcal

Day Deficit
Monday 500kcal
Tuesday 500kcal
Wednesday 500kcal
Thursday 500kcal
Friday 500kcal
Saturday 500kcal
Sunday 500kcal
Total 3500kcal

The Details

Our ‘guy’ has had a great week in the gym, staying disciplined, following his exercise program and sticking rigorously to his nutritional guidelines. But Saturday night has finally arrived.

The night out involves 4 pints of beer in the bar – then the group moves onto the nightclub and they begin to drink vodka and mixers, then followed with 2 rounds of shots for everyone. This night may end with a takeaway – then sleep.

Funnily enough, it’s the day after than can cause more damage. When you’re dehydrated and craving pizza, there’s only one thing to do! (He did so well all week, what harm can it do – is usual thought process).

So here’s an estimation of the caloric breakdown:

Food/Drink Consumed Calories (avg)
4 Pints of Beer: 640
4 Vodka & lemonade 608
2 Bombs (shot with energy drink) 316
Double Cheeseburger 437
Large Fries 510
Large Fizzy Drink 310
Half Large Pizza 1040
Fizzy Drink Can 140

Total Caloric intake resulting from your night out: 4000kcal

Weekly Caloric Deficit as a result of strict diet and exercise plan: 3500kcal

Result: 500kcal Surplus

So in one night out (and what results from one night out) this guy has undone the 3500kcal deficit which took him all week to accumulate, and that pound of body fat which that equates to.

Not only will this slow the progress which he is making but he has also accumulated a surplus which could actually lead to weight being gained.

Weight Loss & Weight Gain Formula

Weight loss and weight gain comes down to simple concept which relates to energy balance.

calories in calories out formula

Weight is gained when more calories are consumed than are expended while weight loss can be achieved by expending more calories than those which are consumed.

If the number of calories consumed are equal to the number expended, then body weight will be maintained.

Take Home Message

Of course there are ways around this, you can still enjoy nights out with friends but you need to be careful with your calories, especially when cutting body fat is the objective!

You should look for drinks less dense in calories or even opt not to drink. Substituting a takeaway and the pizza the next day for healthier options or homemade alternatives will also result in less calories being consumed.

Obviously this is all easier said than done, however, bear in mind that if you can stick to this program for 12 weeks and achieve your desired results surely it would all be worth it.

Finally getting the physique you’ve always wanted in exchange for a few beers and cheeseburgers over 12 weeks; is that too much to ask?

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.



Writer and expert

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