Should you drink when you are trying to shed pounds?
That’s a million dollar question and we all know the correct answer; however, we still want to find somebody who will tell us what we would like to hear. Sorry hun, no, you shouldn’t drink when you try to lose weight. Alcohol is a non-nutrient which means that it provides calories/energy while possessing little to 0 nutritional value. So let’s paraphrase the original question: if I am trying to lose weight by reducing my calorie intake, should I consume extra calories that provide nothing nutritious to my body? Yea, that’s what I thought. What a bummer, eh? So now that we have that burning issue out of the way, let’s be honest here – in the end, you will either become a non-drinker or you will try to make better choices when it comes to drinking (so called lesser of 2 evils). If you do choose to have an alcoholic drink here and there, stay away from:
• Beer (especially stouts and porters)
• Gin and tonic (unless it’s a diet tonic)
• Wine coolers
• Any liquor mixed with sugary soda or juice
So what are your options? Dry wine, light beer (Beck’s light has only 64 calories), vodka + diet coke/coke zero, sugar-free margarita will do too. And please remember that women are advised not to consume more than 1 alcoholic drink a day (a single shot).
I know what some would say – sugar free stuff is full of aspartame and other unhealthy junk but come on, you’re going to indulge in an alcoholic drink, should we really get into an argument about health here 😉
When I began changing my eating habits, I cut out alcohol completely. I noticed that I run faster when I don’t drink, I sleep better and have more energy in general when my poor liver is not working overtime to break down the toxins. I think it is beneficial to stay away from empty calories from food/beverages, especially if weight loss is your goal.
Another tricky aspect of alcohol – late night munchies. You know, when you get that buzz and pizza or Jimmy Johns sound sooooo good. Unless you plan on dancing all night and sweating your bottom off, you should probably pass on after-drinking snacks. Your body will not get to digesting the food until it is totally done with alcohol.
Whether you choose to drink or not, it is a personal choice. Some prefer a glass of wine over a slice of cheesecake. Moderation is the key, so indulge responsibly 😉