Can you lose weight while drinking alcohol

BEGINNING A DIET IN ORDER TO LOSE WEIGHT AND IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH  is a great goal! You’ll start to follow a healthy eating plan. But…. does it mean that you should stop enjoying your social life and different habits that you are not so happy to quit? One of these habits is drinking your favorite beer, wine or other drink occasionally or more often.

There are various questions regarding this topic:  Can you lose weight while drinking alcohol? Should you quit parties and bars in order to have good results in losing weight? Does alcohol make you gain weight?

Five Glasses with Irish Coffee

I have good news for you… Yes, you can drink alcohol and lose weight, but, being very smart about it.

There are some myths regarding alcohol. One of those is – that it will make you fat. Will vodka make you fat? Or your favorite red wine/ or beer? The truth is, it’s the combination of alcohol and sugars found in mixers or the bar food consumed with alcohol that causes weight gain problems. Or late “drunk eating”.

If consumed in moderation, like 1 drink per day for women (two for men), alcohol increases good cholesterol. Studies show that people who have a couple drinks each week live longer. French people who regularly drink red wine have the lowest percentage of heart attacks in Europe. There are various studies, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that middle-aged and older women who drank moderately (one drink a day) gained less weight over time than those who never imbibed at all.

When you drink, you should know your alcohol serving size too. A glass of wine is not a glass filled to the brim, but 5-8oz (red wine glasses can hold 12-14oz when filled). Acceptable serving size is based on different parameters. One of them is a percentage of alcohol present in your drinks.

 Young Woman drinking Red Wine

Alcohol calories:

Alcohol calories work differently than other calories in that they aren’t directly stored as fat. However, alcohol calories are metabolized before food calories, making it easier to store fat from the food you eat.

The calories from alcohol still count towards your daily intake. If you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain fat, whether those calories come from protein, fat, carbs or alcohol.

What should you know about alcohol and weight loss?

  1. If you consume a greater number of calories than your body needs, you’ll gain weight, regardless of where the calories come from.
  2. Although alcohol does not fit to three primary macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fat) it still contains calories.
  3. Another unique characteristic of alcohol is that it’s not easily or directly stored as fat. However, drinking alcohol makes your body more likely store fat from the food you eat that day.
  1. Your body essentially treats alcohol as a poison and prioritizes getting rid of it before moving on to food calories. So alcohol isn’t stored as fat, but rather suppresses fat burning temporarily, making it easier to store body fat from excess food calories.

Easy Summer Red Coctail at Sunset

Various studies prove the following:

-A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men consume an extra 168 calories from food on the days they drink. They also eat more fat and fewer fruits and veggies on drinking days.

-Your body treats alcohol as a poison. It goes on alert to break down the toxin immediately, ignoring calories from sugar, fat and whipped cream until after all of the alcohol is cleared from your system. So, instead of being burned for energy, those calories are stored around your middle, as fat.

-While red wine’s heart-health benefits are acknowledged, all alcohol consumption – in moderation, might promote weight loss. For instance, one 12-year Harvard School of Public Health study of 46,892 men found that having one to two drinks of beer, white wine or liquor per day reduced men’s risk of developing Diabetes by 36 percent, by improving insulin sensitivity and regulating blood sugar levels. 

Bar Relax: Enjoying Night Life

Here are some tips that will help you lose weight while still drinking alcohol:

#1: Before you go out, have dinner or a snack with protein, fiber, and healthy fat It will stabilize your blood-sugar levels without slowing down your metabolism.

#2: Some drinks make you hungrier than others. The simpler the drink – the better. Mixed drinks have more sugar than simple ones. Even some simple mixed drinks like rum-and-Cokes pack extra calories because of the sugary soda and juice. So if you’re going to drink, have something straight up and simple like wine or beer. Avoid juices, liqueurs (which are sweet and syrupy), colas, tonics, and super-sugary bottled mixes like the ones for a lot of bar-made margaritas and daiquiris.

#3: Stick to a drink /or two

One drink a day is the widely accepted definition of moderate drinking for women and two drinks for men. There’s a misconception among some bar-hoppers that you can go without alcohol all week and thus, save seven drinks for the weekend. That’s the worst thing you can possibly do for your weight and health, too.

#4: Starving feeling the next day

After a hangover, you’ll fight cravings for a large amount of greasy fast food. Part of the problem is that you’re dehydrated and it makes you feel even hungrier. How to avoid that? When you’re out, drink a big glass of water for every drink you have. Then, before going to bed, have some more, along with a snack that is high in fiber and protein (like cereal or oatmeal) – doctors suggest.

So… If you are only having 2-3 drinks a month, it’s probably nothing to worry about.  But, if you are one of party followers trying to lose fat while maintaining a social life that involves semi-regular drinking, then you’ll benefit from following these basic rules. Planning is vital for lasting success with most things, especially when you want to drink alcohol while on a diet plan.

Coctail hour: Colorful Night Bar Coctail


– Alcohol calories also count.

– If you know you’ll be drinking later in the evening, be sure to plan your meals before, with lean protein and veggies to help you with hunger later on.

– Avoid eating during or after you’ve started drinking

– Stick to low-calorie drinks

– Don’t overdo it….

Drinking in moderation is a solution. But, if you enjoy going out and drinking semi-heavy on a weekly basis, then you’ll have to be okay with the possibility of having slower fat loss progress.

I’m a great fan of Med Diet, but, I’m also a fan of red wine. My family in Greece traditionally produces wine.  I know that a small glass of red wine won’t influence my diet /or keeping fit.  Wine health benefits are amazing. Here’s my advice: Choose wisely your drink, take care of mentioned rules and you won’t have any problem!






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2 thoughts on “Can you lose weight while drinking alcohol”

  1. Hi Vesna,

    that’s a great article right there.
    I am originally from Greece as well and I always had those cravings for a junk food after a drinking night out. Over the years I changed the way I drink whenever I go out. I stick to 1-2 units of either Jin&Soda or White Wine. Since then I have noticed I gained a better control over my body weight and fat. So kudos to you for the very accurate article and keep up the good work 🙂

    • Hi Maria,

      Glad to have you here!
      It’s a common mistake to combine drink and junk food/or to eat bad quality food after a drink. I’m glad you changed the way you drink, and now you can better control your body weight.
      Thank you. All the best!

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