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Alcohol and Weight Loss

Can You Have Both?


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  • I have realized lately that I have been consuming too many red wine calories. I have been super stressed so eating more and drinking more! I am ready to really be careful now though, I am hoping to find a job soon and would like to fit in my clothes!
    This article was great, good info and not judgemental at all.
    - 11/12/2011 6:50:46 PM
  • JAY75REY
    This article is factual and not judgmental. We all can figure out if having a drink is within our calorie and eating plan, and if we are sabotaging our weight loss efforts by drinking too frequently. The article doesn't go into moralistic issues nor does it deal with the addiction/alcoholism which are separate topics altogether.

    I grew up in an alcoholic family, and grew to have a huge aversion to alcohol, though not a total abstinence. That said, I know that I am not a potential alcoholic because when I have a drink, I never experience an urge to continue on; one is always enough. Of course, I transferred all my issues into FOOD to cope, so now I'm untangling it all. It's a lifetime of work.

    I am married now to a recovering alcoholic (of COURSE) who struggles with every opportunity to drink. Each time a beer is offered to him by some well-meaning person, it's a moment to go completely off the wagon again, and I hate seeing him drunk. So I have chosen not to drink, only so that I don't present yet another opportunity for him to justify drinking again, and so I can stand with him fully in sobriety.

    I wish my issues with alcohol weren't so complicated, otherwise I'd probably love to have a glass of wine or a beer once or twice a week. Doesn't work for me right now. - 8/8/2011 5:10:51 PM
  • I have actually done the trading drinking for dinner thing. I figure it is a wash calorie wise. Lucky for me, I have a very low tolerance for alcohol so I can't have a whole lot. I saved this in my favorites, excellent writing & info. - 7/15/2011 11:27:16 PM
    First comment -- If a serving of wine is 5 oz, why does the SP Nutrition Tracker list a glass of wine as 3.5 oz. Maybe that should be updated to reflect what an actual serving is instead of 3/4 of serving.

    Second comment -- This article was great at telling people why they shouldn't drink. There have been multiple studies showing the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption, which the article pointed out at the beginning before it went on to demonize alcohol. However, your article then stresses abstaining from alcohol, even though studies have shown that people who abstain from alcohol live shorter lives than those that drink in moderation. Recommending abstinence is impractical, and it's bad advice based on the scientific evidence.

    Third comment -- I would have appreciated more tips on how to incorporate an occasional drink into my diet. Yes, I know it's best to mix hard liquor with diet or club soda instead of mixers; mixers are full of empty calories. When would be the best time to have a drink? I can't drink before I eat, because your article says I'll overindulge. I can't drink while I'm eating or digesting food, because your article says that the carbs and fat will get transformed into fat. So when can I have a drink? - 6/23/2011 4:21:11 PM
  • This article confirms my personal experience. If I do not limit drinking to one night a week or less, I will not lose any weight no matter how well I eat or how much I exercise. However during those few times I have given up alcohol for a month while eating well and exercising regularly, I have lost as much as 50 lbs.from this 450 lb. body in that first month. - 6/23/2011 10:06:24 AM
  • articles shouldnt focus on weight loss. such focus leads to all the eating disorders americans have. articles should focus more on nutrition and exercise for the sake of being healthy. more fitness sites need to take a more "health at every size" stance. i'm here because i want to be healthy, NOT to loose weight. i'm fat, but i've always had spot-on numbers in blood tests. weight loss is a red herring presented to cause people to buy things they dont need. i only hope that me posting this here will inspire more people to love themselves for what their body naturally is and seek health and fitness for their own sake, and not weight loss. - 6/23/2011 9:59:43 AM
  • This is very timely - my weight loss has stalled and if anything I have put back a few pounds over the last couple of months. When I analyze my calories - a large proportion come from alcohol (even though I am under or within my daily allowance), especially since we have entered BBQ season and we are socialising more and more. For me, I have to find healthier ways to socialise and cut out the wine if I want to keep on track for my health and weight goals - 6/23/2011 3:45:53 AM
  • This article seems to be saying that there is only a limited amount of processing space in your I did not know that. Always knew about the 'empty calories' in alcohol, but not that my body would process it first before anything else. Seeing as I've drunk a lot (I mean a lot) of alcohol since I was a teenager, it's only a surprise that I'm not bigger! - 6/7/2011 10:21:58 PM
  • Just like anything else, drinking too much will cause you to gain weight. Just like I am not going to say "I will never eat chocolate (or cake, candy, ice cream, etc.) again", I am not going to say "I will never drink again". Cutting out things you enjoy takes all of the fun out of life, and I refuse to live that way.

    That said, portion control is EXTREMELY important when it comes to alcohol. Most of my wine glasses hold WAY more than the serving size SparkPeople indicates as a "glass" (I believe it is 3 or 4 ounces). So if you're in the habit of filling the wine glass, next time you do so, pour the glass into a measuring cup, it may surprise you. I found out my typical 2 glasses is more like 10-12 ounces, depending on the glass. - 5/4/2011 12:18:37 PM
  • After drinking pretty much every day for the past 35 years (from the legal age of 18 WAY BACK WHEN until my current age of 53) I was afraid I was an alcoholic. Since the beginning of the year I have cut way back on my alcohol consumption, going a week or so at a time without a drop. That was very encouraging - and motivating! It proves that I CAN DO IT!
    Additionally, tracking my weight against my alcohol consumption shows implicitly that not drinking is a huge factor in losing weight. This article confirms that. Thanks Sparksters! - 1/31/2011 12:36:02 PM
  • A wonderful reminder... I am printing this and putting it in my kitchen.... - 11/15/2010 1:18:32 PM
  • Even more important topic with the recent hospitalization (near alcohol poisoning deaths) of many underage kids who were drinking the alcohol and caffeine combos packaged to resemble sports/energy drinks. "Four Loko" or something similar is a big culprit - the drinks contain as much alcohol as 4 beers (!) and the caffeine does NOT make one more alert or aware of the diminished capacity induced by intoxication. VERY DANGEROUS!!! - 10/29/2010 11:50:14 AM
  • This was SO well written! Thanks!
    I love the education aspect of it. A fact, followed by an explanation. It will help those making decisions about their alcohol use aware, and be able to remember the reasons for making choices in the future.
    And the chart at the bottom simply re-enforces the fact that we can select whether the calorie count is worth it.
    Well done, keep up the good work! - 10/29/2010 11:45:50 AM
  • Never have had a drink and never will. My aunt always says that a glass of redwine is okay once in a while, but I don't buy into that. To each his or her own. I always say if I drank i would be a drunk (mostly due to my kids and extended family driving me crazy). I don't even like to be around family members who have a little too much at Christmas. - 8/22/2010 6:41:39 PM
  • Thanks for this article, it has reconfirmed my need to limit my alcohol consumption. I have def. noticed at different periods in my life, when I have drank more than other periods, I have gained the most weight. When I limit my alcohol to only on the weekends, or just a couple drinks sporadically, instead of my nightly glass or two of wine, I lose weight.
    Since beginning SparkPeople, I have also tracked my alcohol consumption (at times) and noticed when I limited myself to one glass of wine at night, I actually lost weight. I have slacked off and began having a couple glasses again lately and my weight loss has STOPPED!!! :(
    I am going to get back to only one glass of wine (alcohol) per evening and actually have a few per week without any. I bet my weight loss will begin to pick up.
    Like many people have commented, a little red wine is good for you, but even the doctors say for women one glass per day (4-5 oz wine) is the limit. Amounts greater than that and it loses it benefits. I def. want to maximize my benefits from everything that i consume and not continue to abuse/neglect my body, by having the nonchalant habits of my past. - 8/22/2010 10:45:55 AM

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