This is the final part of a 3 part series. If you missed Part 1 and Part 2 go back and read those first. In Part 1 we discussed how alcohol metabolizes in your body and in Part 2 we talked about healthier options for alcoholic drinks.
If you research alcohol and weight loss, the first articles you may see are centered around how drinking alcohol completely ruins your efforts to lose weight. Diet culture media has begun to demonize alcohol as of late. The truth is that alcohol CAN sabotage your weight loss IF you overdo it. However, by no means do you have to stop drinking altogether. Weight gain is a result of eating more calories than you burn. If your alcohol consumption drives your caloric intake through the roof, it will probably lead to gaining a few pounds. However, there are many ways to enjoy drinks without compromising your weight loss goals.
1. When you’re drinking alcohol, drink water.
It can be easy to forget to hydrate with water when enjoying an excellent wine or cocktail, but adding water between drinks can make a huge difference. Staying hydrated allows your digestive system to work more smoothly and efficiently. You’re helping prevent a hangover by drinking plenty of water the night off instead of trying to catch up the following day. You’ll also prevent your body from misreading dehydration as hunger cues, potentially leading to overeating while or after drinking.
2. Choose lower sugar options!
Mio drops, LaCroix or soda water are excellent options for low-calorie, low sugar mixers. Take the sugar in your drinks seriously! Read the nutrition facts on juice mixers or bottles and watch the added sugar. When ordering out, try to steer clear of simple syrups and creams.
3. Don’t skip meals to make room for your alcohol intake, but think about it.
If you know you’re going to be having a glass of wine after dinner, consider not eating the mashed potatoes or just eating a little less than your usual serving size. Alcohol adds calories, so I typically teach to swap out some carbs or fats to balance the calories. Be warned. Skimping on your nutrition during the day will only lead to overindulgence later.
4. If you’re a heavy drinker, consider only drinking on the weekends.
Alternatively, stick to one drink on weeknights. This can help save your calories during the busy weekdays, and you’ll have more time to plan out your meals and drinks on the weekends. It also promotes moderation and balance in your lifestyle choices.
Can alcohol sabotage your weight loss? It CAN, but it does NOT have to. I always make room for my glass of Scout & Cellar Clean Crafted wine if you know me. No food or drink is ever totally off-limits in a balanced diet— cheers to that.
Need help with balancing your food and beverage intake? Let’s connect and see if you are a good fit for group nutrition! Complete my Nutrition Coaching Interest Form here.