Can You Drink Alcohol and Still Lose Weight?

Tracking Alcohol?

It’s Labor Day and that means you might be out and about with either friends or fam­i­ly in sit­u­a­tions that involve alco­hol. One of the most fre­quent ques­tions that I receive involves alco­hol, how to track it and which alco­holic drinks are the best to choose to keep calo­ries at a min­i­mum. I’ll dis­cuss them all in this post.

Can You Lose Fat While Drinking?

Of course! Drink­ing does not auto­mat­i­cal­ly cause fat gain and a calo­rie deficit still mat­ters when it comes to los­ing fat. In order to ensure that you are remain­ing in a calo­rie deficit, it’s going to be required to adjust your food intake based on how many calo­ries you are drink­ing. If you have 2000 calo­ries to work with for the day, that means you have 2000 calo­ries to use through food and drink.

How to Track Alcohol?

An easy way to deter­mine how many calo­ries you will be drink­ing would be to Google your drink of choice and see how many calo­ries it con­tains. If you see that your drink con­tains 100 calo­ries and you except to drink 4 of these over the course of the day, you will need to cut back on your food intake by 400 calo­ries. So, if your reg­u­lar diet­ing calo­ries are set at 2000, this means that you’ll only be eat­ing 1600 calo­ries of them and leav­ing 400 for the alco­hol.

Zig-Zag Your Calories

This depends on pref­er­ence. How­ev­er, its rec­om­mend­ed that you leave your pro­tein intake con­stant and make the adjust­ments from either carbs, fats or both. With our exam­ple above, we could elim­i­nate 400 calo­ries from our diet by sub­tract­ing 50 grams of carbs (200 calo­ries) and 22 grams of fat (198 calo­ries).

Here are a few oth­er pieces of advice:

Be smart with your drink selec­tion.

You’re going to get the most bang for the buck if you are choos­ing drinks that are low in calo­ries. Again, you can do quick research via Google to deter­mine this but some exam­ples would be light beers (most are around 90–100 calo­ries), liquors (most 1 oz por­tions are around 60–90 calo­ries) and wine (120–150 per 5 ounce pour). When you are opt­ing for mixed drinks, always go for a zero calo­rie mix­er as well to dras­ti­cal­ly cut calo­ries back. Craft beers and sug­ary drinks are the ones that con­tain the most calo­ries so you may want to avoid these or be selec­tive with them.

Know How Alco­hol Affects You

  • Drink­ing could make you say “screw it” in regards to fol­low­ing your diet. No good.
  • Drink­ing can decrease per­for­mance in your train­ing and impact recov­ery.
  • Alco­hol is con­sid­ered a tox­in by the body and in an effort to remove it as quick­ly as pos­si­ble nutri­ent uptake and fat burn­ing is slowed / halt­ed.

Mod­er­a­tion is impor­tant

There’s a big dif­fer­ence between hav­ing 1–2 drinks and 10–20 drinks. I don’t think I need to go any fur­ther into this.

All in all, you can lose weight while drink­ing and it most­ly comes down to aware­ness of the calo­ries that you are con­sum­ing and mak­ing the right adjust­ments. I know alco­hol is a big part of most people’s lives and there is noth­ing wrong with hav­ing a drink or two. As with most oth­er things in life, mod­er­a­tion is key here.

Have a safe and fun hol­i­day!

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