Can You Drink Alcohol and Lose Weight?

Christian Coulson
Updated: June 14, 2020
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What would you call Buzz Lightyear if he was an alcoholic?

A: Buzzed Allyear!

Okay, okay, enough with the jokes.

The common advice for people trying to lose weight is to stop drinking alcohol, cut carbs, and just eat chicken and broccoli.

While this advice can surely help you lose weight, it is too restrictive, which makes it nearly impossible to sustain in the long-term.

It seems that people can only choose one of two options:

  1. Be happy and overweight
  2. Be sad but fit

In this article, we’ll go over how alcohol can affect weight loss, how much you should drink without slowing your progress, and some tips on keeping our calories low when going out for a few drinks. 

Can You Drink Alcohol and Lose Weight?

In moderation, you can definitely add alcohol and still lose weight.

The Problem With Drinking Too Much Alcohol

While you can certainly drink alcohol and lose weight, there are some important things you need to be aware of:

  • Drinking Alcohol Increases Your Chances of Binge Eating

Since drinking alcohol can lower your inhibitions, it may lead to you eating and eating without realizing how much food you’re actually taking in.

This act of overeating can surely make you put on some extra pounds.

Here are a few tips to help you prevent overeating.

  • Increases Your Chances of Making “Unhealthy” Food Choices

After a night of heavy drinking, chances are you won’t wait to get home and make yourself a nice and healthy dinner.

You’d most likely rush to the first fast-food chain you see and get yourself some delicious, but greasy and high-calorie meal.

  • Too Much Alcohol Can Impair Your Ability to Build and Retain Muscle

Studies (1, 2) suggest that moderate consumption of alcohol doesn’t affect muscle performance; however, chronic alcohol consumption can lead to muscle weakness.

Preventing muscle loss during weight loss is important to help you keep a fast metabolism.

  • Affects Your Ability to Process Sugar

Drinking alcohol affects your liver’s ability to process sugar and effectively absorb nutrients.

How Much Alcohol Should You Drink?

Image of a girl drinking alcohol at a party - Can You Drink Alcohol and Lose Weight?

As I mentioned, the key here is to drink alcohol in moderation. So what’s moderation?

A good rule of thumb is to not go over 15% of your total daily calories for alcohol.

For example, if your total daily calories were 1500 calories, that’d be 225 calories worth of alcohol (15% of 1500 = 225).

How to Drink Alcohol and Lose Weight

Here are a few tips you can use to keep your calories low when going out for some drinks:

  • Eat Light During the Day

Focus on eating more vegetables and protein earlier in the day (instead of fats and carbs) so you can have more calories available at night.

  • Plan Ahead

Nowadays you can find the nutritional information of almost anything online.

So try googling the drinks you want to have that night so you can get an idea of how many calories you will be consuming.

This information, obviously, is not exact, but it will give you a pretty good estimate to use.

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  • Choose Low-Calorie Drinks

Again, this goes with the planning ahead part. Choose drinks that have low calories and try using low/zero calorie mixers.

  • Stay Hydrated

This is one thing that is very easy to overlook.

Alcohol has diuretic effects, which can lead to dehydration. So don’t forget to drink plenty of water too.

Besides, there are several ways just drinking more water can also help you lose weight.

  • Avoid Getting Fast Food

If you know you’ll be going out and having some drinks, try cooking something healthy and leaving it ready for you to eat when you get back home.

If you don’t have anything prepped, chances are you’ll end up eating out.

The least you can do is go for low-carb snacks instead of high-sugar ones.

  • Have Fun

Being healthy consists of more than just eating the right foods and keeping your body in check.

Your mental well-being is equally important, so don’t stress too much about one night you decide to go have fun.

One night won’t ruin your progress at all (the problem is if you go party every night). In fact, it may help you be happier and enjoy your weight loss journey more.

If you’re ready to start your weight loss journey, Avocadu’s 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge is the place to start!

This plan helps men and women lose 10-21 pounds in just 21 days and can be repeated as many times as you want.

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