Alcohol and Weight Loss – Is it One or the Other?

Alcohol and Weight Loss – Is it One or the Other?


Although there are some cardiac-related benefits to regular, moderate alcohol consumption, your waistline is much less likely to reap any benefits from your cocktail hour.  Knowing which drinks will work against your weight loss efforts more than others can help you make some smarter selections without having to give up something you enjoy or your hopes of losing weight.

Alcohol contains calories.  Empty calories.  Empty calories contain no beneficial vitamins or minerals but still contribute toward your overall intake of calories throughout a day.  Eating and drinking too many calories can lead to weight gain, hinder weight loss efforts, or lead to a plateau in weight loss.  As a result, it is important to be aware that some alcoholic beverages contain a lot more calories than others.

Mixed drinks, especially sweet ones like margaritas, daiquiris and pina coladas can contain as many calories as what some people should be having in a meal!  Other cocktails like old fashioneds, long islands and white Russians can also easily exceed 300 calories per drink.  Just one night out a week has the potential to derail your weight loss efforts!  The good news?  Some drinks have a much more reasonable calorie content, but should still be consumed in moderation.

Follow the tips below to enjoy a cocktail or two but still be able to meet your weight loss goals.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, alcohol consumption should be limited to one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men.  For more information on how to include your favorite foods and drinks into your diet but still meet your weight loss goals, please see our other blog post on alcohol intake and consider seeing our dietitian for a customized plan to meet your goals.  For more information, please visit our Nutrition Consultations blog post, our list of services, or contact our office.

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Written by Cassandra Towns, RDN, LDN, CD, CLC

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