06 Nov Can You Drink Alcohol on a Diet and Lose Weight?
Let’s face it, the majority of us enjoy drinking alcohol socially or on occasion. It’s fun!
But when you’re actively dieting, cutting your calories, and trying to lose fat – will consuming alcohol work against your goals? Let’s discuss the effects of consuming alcohol when dieting.
Dieting and Drinking Alcohol
There are some important things that you need to know, should you decide to consume alcohol while dieting.
One important thing to understand with dieting in general – it’s about calories in vs calories out. If you choose to consume alcohol on your diet, you still need to calculate and track the calories/macros of the drinks you’re consuming.
It will take some extra time and effort, but it’s well worth it if you want to, “have your cake & eat it too”. The best-case scenario would be to actually plan ahead for the drinks you plan to have. This way, you can accurately enter your drinks into Myfitnesspal and drink comfortably; knowing you’ve already accounted for the drinks, and are on track with your goals.
However, if you’re unable to do that, make sure you write down the drinks you’re consuming in your notes on your phone. You can then enter them into Myfitnesspal later.
Make Smart Choices with Alcoholic Drinks
If you’re a beer drinker, stick to the light beers. Yes, they may not be as strong, taste as good, or have the same consistency as the full flavor beers. That’s the compromise you make, if you want to drink and still lose fat. Many people are in the market for a great tasting calorie friendly beer options. The beer manufacturers have caught on to this new trend. Most of the popular beer manufacturers have produced light versions of their best sellers.
If you’re a wine drinker, you want to steer clear of wines high in alcohol and sugar content. Instead, choose dry wines, as they are lower in calories in comparison to wines with residual sugar and higher alcohol content.
The most diet friendly is sparkling wine, which is the lowest calorie option. Next safest choice is white wines, ahead of red wines. White wines tend to have lower alcohol content than red wines. However, you still need to be careful with the high residual sugar that can be found in white wines. Again, stick to the dry options.
If you’re a red wine drinker, then you’ll want to choose wines that are 13 percent ABV and under. Red wines typically have higher alcohol content than the aforementioned options. However, the sugar count is much less in comparison and nearly all red wines are dry.
Clear liquor is one of the best drinks to consume while on a diet since it contains about 100 calories and little carbohydrates. This can be a shot of gin, rum or vodka enjoyed over ice or straight. Another option is to mix your drinks with water/mineral water, tonic water, or diet beverages. Club soda is also a good choice, as the calories are minimal.
What you don’t want to do is consume sugary mixed drinks. They have a lot of calories, comprised primarily from carbohydrates. Some popular beverages that you’d want to avoid on a diet – Pina Coladas, Margaritas, and Daiquiris.
So…can you consume alcohol on a diet? YES!
Dieting is difficult as it takes a lot of discipline and time to see your body change. However, a diet should not take over your life. It’s good to give yourself the flexibility to enjoy alcohol on occasion should you choose. But don’t push it, by consuming alcohol daily or even weekly. Alcohol should be consumed minimally and on occasion, if you’re serious about your goals.
Always track the alcohol you’re consuming and ensure that you do not go over your daily allotted calories/macros. Remember, you have a goal. Don’t let empty calories from alcohol get you off track and negate all of your hard work.
Something to also remember, the food you consume after drinking. Typically, after drinking, you develop quite the appetite. An appetite, that’s not interested in healthy food options. Be careful with this, as alcohol + unaccounted/junk food is the recipe to undo a full week’s worth of hard work.
So, drink alcohol on a diet if you want. However, remember these guidelines:
1. Plan your drinks ahead (when possible) and enter into Myfitnesspal
2. Choose lower calorie options
3. Limit your consumption
4. Account for all drinks in your notes on your phone or directly in Myfitnesspal
5. Be careful with post-drinking food choices
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