Can You Consume Alcohol While Dieting?

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When most people embark on a weight loss journey, they immediately think that they need to cut out alcohol. While consuming alcohol can definitely affect weight loss, it is mostly due to the fact that people fail to understand that weight loss is dependant on a simple factor:

Calories in vs. calories out.

If you intend to lose fat, you must be in a calorie deficit, meaning that you must be burn more calories than you are consume. When it comes to alcohol, many people do not realise that alcohol contains 7 calories per 1 gram. Therefore, alcohol should be tracked accordingly as a part of your calorie intake. Like food, if alcohol is not accounted for in your calorie intake, these extra calories consumed from the alcohol will reduce or blow out your calorie deficit, and this will most certainly affect your progress.

If you are planning to consume alcohol, then follow these tips to ensure it won’t affect your progress:

Plan ahead

If you know you are going out with friends and you are likely to drink alcohol, plan for what you think will drink, and how many calories you should keep aside from your daily calorie intake so it does not affect your progress. Set yourself an alcohol budget at or below 200 calories and make sure you stick to it!

Track your alcohol intake

Educate yourself on the amount of calories contained in alcohol. When accounting for alcohol, it is best to “take these calories” from your carbohydrate calories, rather than protein or fat, as carbohydrates are a non essential macronutrient. You will be able to find almost all alcoholic beverages in a food tracking app like MyFitnessPal.

Alternate between an alcoholic beverage and water

Alcohol has a diuretic effect – it acts on the kidneys to make you pass more fluid than you take in – which is why you need to go to the toilet so often when you drink. As a results, we can become dehydrated quite quickly. By making sure you drink a large glass of water between each alcoholic beverage, you will help your body to stay hydrated.

Avoid higher calorie mixed drinks

Cocktails are often the worse culprits here. You may be surprised to know just how many calories are in ONE particular alcoholic beverage – more calories than 1-2 meals worth of food!

  • 300ml Margarita – 550 Calories
  • 350ml Piña Colada – 586 Calories
  • 175ml Mud Slide – 556 Calories
  • 300ml Long Island Ice Tea – 543 Calories

Avoid these high calorie cocktails and mixed drinks and choose soda water or a diet soft drink as a mixer to reduce calories.

Sip slowly

Don’t just slam down drink after drink! Take the time to enjoy your alcoholic beverage. As a result, the drink will last longer and you will consume less over time!

Choose lower calorie alcohol alternatives

Be smart with your choice of alcohol. The following are better choices to make:

  • Red or white wine: 150ml – 125 calories, 4g carbohydrate
  • Light beer: 350ml – 100 calories, 5g carbohydrate
  • Champagne: 150ml – 100 calories, 1g carbohydrate
  • Vodka, whiskey, rum or gin: 45ml – 96 calories, 0g carbohydrate

Always remember to drink alcohol in moderation and be responsible. Never lose sight of your goals! If you want to learn more about how to diet without restricting certain foods or alcohol then contact me today!