How Do Alcoholic Beverages Fit Into Fitness?

I recently received a phone call from one of my weight loss clients.  She was once again irate about local talk show host Steve Corbett promoting a trip to wine country. I can’t fathom why anyone would spend money to be on a trip anywhere with Steve Corbett, but hey, to each his own.  Anyway, she was very upset because Mr. Corbett attempts to regale his listeners with his dietary expertise.

Personally, I have been to wine country several times.  I enjoy the scenery and touring the facilities, but I don’t really imbibe in the vino.  My client’s ire comes from the fact that Mr. Corbett holds himself as some type of authority on what is healthy and what is not.  I no longer listen, but when I did he would often spout the virtues of vegetarian lifestyle and the consumption of soy based foods.  Among other statements he has made in the past I can most definitely conclude that Steve Corbett is a fountain of fitness related misinformation.  Further more,  his continued promotion of alcohol consumption only reenforces his lack of any relevant knowledge on the subjects of health or fitness.

This particular client has encouraged me to write about alcohol consumption in the past.  She has been upset by various programing that glorifies drinking while ignoring the deleterious effects of spirits on the human body.  It is a topic that I always intend to write about, but other topics jump ahead to my attention.  I apologize for the delay.

When it comes to weight loss and/or a fit and healthy life, alcohol really has no place.  There I said it!   Yet, no matter how factual my statement; I live in the real world and realize that, for whatever reason, people like to consume wine, beer or the harder stuff.  When I make the above statement I get the following questions:

–  Do you drink? Yes, I do, on very rare occasion.  I never have more than one drink at a sitting and I since I have renewed by fit life I have never consumed to excess.  I think in the last year I may have had two mixed drinks, perhaps six or so beers and a few glasses of wine.

-What do you drink when you’re out?  I usually have either unsweetened iced tea or water.  I used to drink diet soda, but I have gotten away from artificial sweeteners.  (More on that topic another posting.)

What about the studies that claim alcohol has preventative properties? There is some research that infers that a glass of wine or a beer may be healthful, but in general, the well documented and commons sense negative effects far outweigh any possible benefit.

When people come to me for help, I vigorously discourage any alcohol consumption for the first month or so.  Alcohol is a system wide depressant.  When you are trying to drop weight and get fit, one of your desires is to increase your metabolic rate.  Well, isn’t it counterproductive to do all the work and put in all the effort just to counteract the effect by slowing your system with a drug?

Don’t you want to shed sluggish feelings?  If so, then simply stay away from booze.

Additionally, wine and beer are broken down into simple sugars.  On a low carbohydrate eating regime, what is the point of avoiding starchy foods if you are simply going to drink them and cause a more direct conversion to fat?   Again, simply push the glass away.

The other issue, especially when it comes to wine, is that few people ever has a single serving.  I have heard the outrage. What do you mean?  I only have a glass of wine each night?  To that I answer; an average serving of wine is about four to five ounces, not a balloon goblet filled to the rim. I think enough said on that one.

To achieve fitness and weight loss goals your best bet is to avoid alcohol as part of your daily dietary intake.  All forms of adult beverages are nutrient deficient, cloud the mind, makes one sluggish and will do nothing but hold you back from achieving your full fitness potential.

Do not listen to talk show hosts who may be financially compensated to promote the consumption of alcohol.  Instead, listen to common sense and ditch the beer and wine.  For a healthy mind and body keep you brain clear of the Steve Corbetts of the world and your physique free of liquor.


Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book; Fat Then Fit Now;  A life beyond wight loss.

Dr. Joe Leonardi is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcasting or television outlet. He has appeared on Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast.

Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at 


5 thoughts on “How Do Alcoholic Beverages Fit Into Fitness?

  1. I drink wine almost every night. I am able to lose fat and stay quite healthy all the while drinking wine. The deleterious effects usually are seen in alcoholics who also eat poorly.

    Wine is not the same as a simple sugar. In fact, alcohol lowers blood glucose levels that’s why you have to be careful not to drink too much.

    What alcohol does do is stop fat loss in its tracks until the alcohol is metabolized. But there is no need to vilify a glass of wine with dinner or something akin to this.

  2. I didn’t think I vilified a single glass of wine, I admitted to occasionally imbibing myself. If most people would stop at a single serving of wine, I wouldn’t take issue, but it has been my experience over the years in NEPA that very few people stop at one. This is an area where most small towns have a bar on every corner, sometimes two. Additionally we have one of the highest tobacco usage rates in the country. So why bother having the one, when it may lead to two and then three and so on. And if you could hear the obsession with alcohol that goes on around here you would be amazed.


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  4. Pingback: Steve Corbett: NEPA’s Enemy of the State of Health and Fitness « Fat Then Fit Now

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