Are You a “Boozing Businessman?”

If your job necessitates that you meet clients for drinks or dinner on a regular basis, you know too well how alcohol can affect your body… “man handles” growing, decreased energy levels, blood pressure on the rise, junk food cravings, etc.  While alcohol in moderation has health benefits, many businessmen (and women) consume more than a moderate amount. You’ll need to learn how to make some changes in your lifestyle now before alcohol takes a toll on your weight and  physical and mental health.

As a nutritionist in private practice in NYC, I frequently hear about the “escapades” of my clients who need to entertain for business. Here is a typical week of a NYC businessman: Drinks with clients Tuesday night at BLT Prime. Wednesday the guys from the London office are in town, so out again. This time to Del Frisco’s Steakhouse. Martini at the bar followed by steak dinner with numerous glasses of wine. Then port and cigars at Club Macanudo. All in the name of business. Thursday and Friday you are off to Chicago for a meeting … more nights out. How can you possibly feel good,  look good and be healthy with this kind of lifestyle? And you wonder why you can no longer fit into your size 34 pants and why your blood pressure has jumped up? 

Potential problems for the “boozing businessman”
1. Business dinners and drinks after work mean you’ll skip your evening workout.

2. Booze calories add up quickly (not to mention the calories from the 16 oz steak and caeser salad!))
– A martini has ~ 3 oz of alcohol (80 calories per oz) = 240 calories. 
– A mixed drink can contain 1 1/2 – 2 oz of alcohol (80 calories per oz) = 160 calories – not counting the calories from the mixer.
– A 5 oz glass of wine has ~ 110 calories.
– 4 oz of port = 190 calories  

Keep in mind that “Man-bars” such as steakhouses tend to serve larger pours. I once ordered a glass of wine at Smith and Wollensky’s that had to be 10 oz!

3. Booze can decrease your willpower to watch what you eat. After several drinks, the grilled chicken and salad you were planning on having for dinner is no longer appealing. Pizza (and not one slice!) is calling your name.    (pic is of ironman Dustin Baker, on the left,  who would rather be running 15 miles than drinking with another businessman)

4. Alcohol can raise blood pressure.

5. Alcohol can raise triglycerides (fat in your blood that is a risk factor for heart disease).

6. Boozing can cause a broken sleep as well as a hangover. This greatly increases the urge for junk food the next day.

7. Too much booze can cause you to spill inappropriate info/TMI to your co-workers and clients as well as cause you to look sloppy. Your boss may be thinking … “If he can’t handle his booze, can he really handle that new account”?

Tips to minimize damage
1. When it is in your control, plan breakfast or lunch meetings with clients versus dinner meetings. I doubt you will be consuming martinis at breakfast.

2. If you know you have to meet clients for drinks after work, get up early and go for a run before work. Or sneak away for a quick spin class at lunch.

3. Make sure you drink plenty of water during the day. Being hydrated can help to minimize the effects of a hangover as well as help you to handle the alcohol better.

4. Select a drink that you will drink the slowest … perhaps a drink that you really don’t like that much. For me, that would be something like scotch (yuk!) as opposed to white wine that goes down too smooth.

5. Continue to drink water throughout the evening – for the same reason as in tip #3. In addition, it will help you to slow down your rate of alcohol consumption.  If anyone comments on your excessive intake of water, you can always say you are dehydrated from your 7 mile run that am (a little white lie maybe). This is more impressive than to say you are drinking water to slow your intake of alcohol.

6. Let the other guys get sloppy and drunk. You will stand out as the intelligent one to your boss and clients.  

7. Set alcohol limits. My suggestion might be a maximum of 8 drinks a week. (This is only a suggestion as I would have to tailor my recommendation to your particular situation).

8. Plan ahead of time and be really focused (just like you were  in getting that proposal out!). Make it a personal challenge to have only one drink.

9. Lastly, keep in mind that you don’t NEED to drink. Plenty of  businessman don’t drink a drop of alcohol and are highly successful. Sure, at times your evening might be a little on the boring side, but at least you’ll fit into your pants!

Citygirls – if you think this article pertains to a guy you know,  print it out and leave it on his desk. Maybe he will follow some of my tips!


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I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.

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