If you know me, then you know I love wine. And vodka, I don’t discriminate. Also rum…. um, anyway….I probably could get through my work week without it, but why would I do that?!
Alcohol is part of my routine and my lifestyle. It’s part of my “down time”. I love the taste and it’s fun to try new ones. Plus, I live in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, and there is wine everywhere. Literally….everywhere.
You won’t catch me giving it up anytime soon. You can drink alcohol and still lose weight. If you love wine, beer, or hard alcohol, you shouldn’t have to give it up. You’re welcome.
It’s totally possible drink alcohol and still lose weight. Before you go out, all “bottoms up” and get sloppy, there are some things to think about first:
- Alcohol is absorbed differently than carbs and fat. Although your drink of choice can contain carbohydrates, pure alcohol is different. It has 7 calories/gram. A little less than fat, and almost double that of carbohydrates and proteins.
- Pure alcohol doesn’t necessarily get stored as fat. It’s mostly used for energy. This is a common myth, and to be honest, most weight gain comes from all the carbs in the drink and those post-party late night tacos.
- It wrecks your hormones. It affects your metabolism-revving abilities. And if you wanna lose weight, you gotta keep your metabolism on fire! The key is to keep yourself from having sugar highs and then crashing (we all know the feeling). This leads to downing those tacos we talked about a second ago.
- Hangovers…more tacos. Don’t deny it.
In general, any alcohol in excessive amounts will cause issues and most likely wreck you and your health goals.
Try meal planning while hung over….um, forget it. But, there are some alcohols that are less sugar, less calories, and that won’t affect your hormones as much as others.
Here’s the (general) breakdown:
Wine: 5 oz serving = 100-130 calories (reds are usually higher than whites)
Beer: 12 oz serving = 100-150 calories (lighter beers are less than darker beers, lots of carbs, too)
Hard Cider: 12 oz serving 150-220 calories (lots of sugar, too)
Hard Liquor: 1 oz serving = 70-90 calories (No sugars unless you get that Pucker stuff or something like it)
Now you know the general guidelines, you can see that hard cider and beer are probably the worst in terms of calories and carbohydrates. If you’re binging on those ones frequently, you may need to tone it back. Those ones will cause you to gain weight if you drink them regularly. They don’t call it the “beer belly” for nothing.
Here are some tips to help you drink without sacrificing your health:
- Choose skinny cocktails with a clear liquor. Have them flavored with seltzer water or flavored water. No sodas or juices (too much sugar). Plus, we all know those sugary cocktails are dangerous. A few too many of those and we really do get sloppy….you know who you are.
- If drinking at home after a hard day at work, don’t drink within an hour of going to bed. It sounds kind of weird, but alcohol has actually been shown to negatively affect our sleep patterns, leading to extreme fatigue, weight gain, and a poor night’s sleep. I personally drink a 5 oz glass of wine a couple hours before bed, and never have issues with restlessness. Believe me, I love my sleep!
- Drink with food. Eat something with protein while you’re drinking. It’ll help you feel better in the morning, and keep the alcohol from hitting you all at once.
- This is probably the most important one….drink water! Guys, drink water. Seriously though, drink water. I cannot emphasize this enough. Alcohol severely dehydrates you, which causes your metabolism to tank and your hang over to ruin your day. See my post about staying hydrated (and infused water!) here.
- If you only drink once a week or less, go for the drink you really want. If you want that beer, get the beer. Life is short! Just limit yourself to 1-2 drinks, and drink a glass of water in between each drink.
If you stick to these principles, you won’t have to worry too much about tanking your metabolism and gaining weight. I’ve always enjoyed wine, and have maintained a healthy weight for years. You just have to know how to do it right, cause it’s not that complicated! Now, go ahead, drink alcohol and still lose weight!
Save this blog post for later and Pin It now!
Pictured: Skinny cocktail with coconut water, lemon flavored seltzer water, and vodka.
What are your favorite drinks to get you through the week? Comment below!
Thanh Aerts says
Howdy! I just would like to give you a huge thumbs up for your great information you’ve got here on this post. I am coming back to your web site for more soon.
Megan Byrd, RD says
Thank you! I appreciate it 🙂
Skinny margaritas of course!
Vodka and 7-up
Would diet 7-up be better?
Megan Byrd, RD says
Diet sodas have been shown to “trick” your body into thinking it’s getting something sweet. You end up releasing insulin and since you didn’t actually consume any carbohydrates, you end up hungry because your blood sugar gets low. I would try using seltzer water and maybe a splash of lemon or lime juice instead.