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ALCOHOL vs DIETING: What effect does it have on weight loss?

Going out for dinner or drinks and not indulging in a glass of wine or a cold beer can be difficult. When faced with temptation, you undoubtedly ask  yourself: Can I drink alcoholic beverages while maintaining a healthy and balanced diet?

Alcohol is one of the main reasons why many people are unable to fully control their weight and that is due to its high calorie content. Some long drinks hold the same number of calories as a full meal, but without the necessary nutritional value.

If you find it too difficult to cut out all alcohol entirely, we advise minimizing the amount and keeping an eye on how much you consume. The recommendation is no more than one drink per day, and, of course, don’t forget how many calories are in each drink.

To make it easier for you to choose ;), here’s a list showing how many calories are in each of these most popular alcoholic beverages:

  • Beer: approximately 150 calories per half-pint
  • Light beers: approximately 100 calories per half-pint
  • Wine: approximately 100 calories per glass
  • Distilled spirits (gin, rum, vodka, whiskey): approximately 100
  • Martini (extra dry): approximately 140 calories per drink
  • Piña colada cocktail: approximately 500 calories

Incidentally, drinking on an empty stomach can result in you eating more than you should afterward. That’s why we recommend that you plan ahead for this type of situation and have healthy food at hand when you get home, so you don’t binge-eat. A few good options to satisfy hunger include fruit, popcorn, or hummus with carrots or other vegetables. And, of course, if you’re on a weight-loss diet, you shouldn’t nibble on the dried fruits and nuts they offer you at the bars :).

The way your body responds to alcohol is very similar to the way it responds to excess carbohydrates. Even though carbohydrates can be directly converted into fat, one of the main effects of too many carbohydrates is that it merely replaces fats as a source of energy. Therefore, any type of diet, whether high in fats, proteins, or carbohydrates, can lead to weight gain

Just remember that it’ s very common to break diets, and it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. If you do what you set out to do the rest of the time, that’ s what really counts. If you stick to your chosen dietary habits 80-90% of the time, the occasional meal out or while on holiday will not have any dramatic or long-term effect.


If you are considering starting a diet and don’t know if you are ready or not, we recommend you have a look at our ebook:

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