Dieting with alcohol

I have decided to start counting my calorie intake (right before the holidays like a crazy person). However, I don't think it will be possible to cut out alchohol until after the holidays.

Has anyone here successfully lost weight while still consuming alcohol? If so, what are your suggestions for intake + type. I have heard that lighter colored spirits tend to be lighter in calories. I could probably limit myself to just a few nights of drinking per week.

Im also wondering, if I drink one night for a party, should I count those calories against my food intake?
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Replies

  • rachelr1116
    rachelr1116 Posts: 334 Member
    I tried giving up alcohol completely but that just wasn't realistic for me. I enjoy a good craft beer too much to cut them out completely. I just try to be mindful and only have one beer instead of 3 or 4 when I go out with my friends now. And I plan ahead. I tend to go by my weekly calories instead of just looking at just daily calories. If I know I'll be going out on the weekend I'll eat less calories the rest of the week to save some up for the weekend. If I save an extra 100 calories a few days during the week I can have a few beers without going over my calories for the week.
  • mjhooperii
    mjhooperii Posts: 11 Member
    Like rachel (and I'm sure many others are in the same boat) said, if you drink on occasion trying to cut all alcohol out of your diet isn't a realistic long term solution. Definitely track every drink along with your other calories and if you go over your goal just compensate as the week goes on. Even better, if you plan on going out drinking more than a beer or 2, exercise your *kitten* off earlier that day to help mitigate. Bonus here is that the booze will hit you quicker and you'll need less (jk... well, not really but I feel this isn't good advice but to each their own)

    Personal experience from me: I started doing a half marathon training program so I've been sticking to 5 days of cardio a week. I'm about 3 weeks in and there has been a day or two where I was over my 1500 calories goal by 500 calories or more. I try to make up for it over the rest of the week and I'm still on the decline overall. Knowing myself, I have only been weighing myself every other week so I don't get discouraged when the scale isn't moving after a weekend binge.

    Point here is that if you want to drink understand that alcohol carries many calories along with it even if you have light beer or use a diet mixer. I know if I want to have 6 or so light beers in a night, I better be running for an hour that day to make up the deficit!
  • teagirlmedium
    teagirlmedium Posts: 679 Member
    If you consume it you should count it. If you have the app I would say take your phone with you and log what you are drinking before you take the drink. A lot of drinks are already in the database. If you have drinks you usually get when you go out and you know how many of them you typically drink, I would suggest logging those drinks before you start eating for the day. Make adjustments to drink numbers if the alcohol takes up to many calories. This way you will already know how much you can have before you go out and it would be an amount you decided was a good amount for yourself way before that temptation of one or two more drink hits.
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,383 Member
    Like others upthread I drank while losing weight.
    What I found was-
    As I got lighter my alcohol tolerance dropped.
    I didn't get the best out of a workout if I had had a few drinks the night before, a glass of wine with dinner was ok.
    Too many drinks interfered with getting enough nutrition.
    I luckily don't get the drinking munchies.

    What I did was log all my drinks, cut back during the week so my workouts didn't suffer, and enjoy a few drinks over the weekend with friends.

    It worked during weight loss and continues to work in maintenance. Find a way that works for you but do log your drinks.

    Cheers, h.
  • ladyhusker39
    ladyhusker39 Posts: 1,408 Member
    Like others upthread I drank while losing weight.
    What I found was-
    As I got lighter my alcohol tolerance dropped.
    I didn't get the best out of a workout if I had had a few drinks the night before, a glass of wine with dinner was ok.
    Too many drinks interfered with getting enough nutrition.
    I luckily don't get the drinking munchies.

    What I did was log all my drinks, cut back during the week so my workouts didn't suffer, and enjoy a few drinks over the weekend with friends.

    It worked during weight loss and continues to work in maintenance. Find a way that works for you but do log your drinks.

    Cheers, h.

    Another bonus to losing weight: fewer calories to get a buzz (not to mention cheaper).
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,123 Member
    This keeps coming up for a reason. Many of us like alcohol! It seems all to easy to fall into the habit of "a couple of drinks a few nights a week." It's harder to lose weight under those conditions. One way or another you have to fit it into your plan and you have to keep the buzz from making you munch down on those chips. It's hard.
  • kq1981
    kq1981 Posts: 1,098 Member
    If i no i have something coming up on a weekend ill "bank" calories during the week. The day of i go for a big walk (extra calories) drink lots of water, fill up beforehand on lots of veggies and a protein and usually drink pure blonde (90 calories per beer). I always count any food calories which include beverage calories. Merry xmas :)
  • Lean59man
    Lean59man Posts: 714 Member
    I have an occasional drink of alcohol and just include the calories in my daily caloric total.

    A one ounce shot of alcohol is usually, depending on the brand, from 65calories for whiskey to160 for beer calories.

    Mixed drinks can be much higher.
  • mccormf1
    mccormf1 Posts: 153 Member
    If it's only for the holidays I wouldn't worry about it. Just log and and do your best. Maybe look for a low/no cal option for mixers if you prefer liquor. I like vodka with diet cran(1g sugar/8oz) and Sprite Zero. Boom! Low cal Cape Codder.
  • mph323
    mph323 Posts: 3,566 Member
    duskyjewel wrote: »
    I regularly drink a glass of wine in the evening. Sometimes 2. I log it and accept that I'm using up calories by drinking them.

    +1
  • Archaeologicals
    Archaeologicals Posts: 21 Member
    My drink of choice are the higher calorie rich craft beers. I haven’t stopped drinking them—I just drink less of them and fit them into my weekly calorie allotment where I can. On those days I just accept I have to eat less to stay within a deficit. Worth it.
  • numbersplusword
    numbersplusword Posts: 18 Member
    You just want to make sure you're keeping things moderate and logging the calories as best you can so there are no surprises. I also made a deal with myself that if I plan on having a drink or two (I like really calorie filled craft beers) I try to at least do some light exercise that day.
  • DebLaBounty
    DebLaBounty Posts: 1,172 Member
    Drink what you like best, and log in your calories. I've lost weight doing this.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,988 Member
    When I'm cutting weight, I just don't drink beer (or only have one or two on occasion) and stick to my vodka and diet black cherry Fresca. For whatever reason I don't have issues with that...but I can't seem to drop weight when I'm drinking beer regularly.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    I would say that it's virtually always *possible* to cut out alcohol, but it's okay to prefer not to. I drank just about every night when I was losing weight. I drank all types of alcohol -- mostly wine, but also cocktails, beer, and bourbon.

    I consistently logged what I was drinking and stayed within my calorie goal and I was fine. You should count the calories for sure. Depending on what you are drinking and how much you drink, it's incredibly easy to drink enough to cancel out a calorie deficit and keep yourself from losing weight.

    You can use the database to find just about any type of alcohol. Stuff to consider -- if you're the type of person who finds it harder to control your food intake when you've been drinking, you may have to limit in order to lose weight. Having one or two drinks within your calorie goal isn't going to stop your weight loss, but having a couple drinks and then eating a bunch of bar food that puts you over goal or being hungover and deciding to eat whatever the next day, those things can stop your progress. Make sure you're accurately measuring your drinks. If you're pouring freehandedly, it can be really difficult to log. I made most of my own drinks at home and made sure to measure them all. Once I got a feel for it, it became easier to estimate when I was out. Adding higher calorie mixers will use up your calories faster. Things like juice, regular soda, tonic, sweet and sour mix, etc . . . all tend to add a lot to a drink. I usually mix with diet soda or diet tonic if I want something sweeter. If I have a special cocktail that uses high calorie mixers, I virtually always limit myself to one because I just don't want to allocate the calories to more.

    Something else to think about: regular drinking while on a deficit can make it harder to meet your nutritional needs, especially if your calorie goal is lower. If you do decide to drink regularly, I recommend paying attention to this.