Ask TheFittChick: Can You Drink Alcohol & Still Lose Weight?

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Yes! Yes! Yes! You can drink alcohol and lose weight – as long as you’re smart about it. Alcohol contains empty calories and has no nutritional value. Your body can’t store alcohol, so it must metabolize it right away. Unfortunately, metabolizing alcohol can have a detrimental effect on the metabolism so you need to consider the weight-loss impact of having a cocktail.

There are two things you need to think about; calories and mixers.  For most people the calories in the mixers of their favorite cocktails pose a far bigger impact on their weight loss. It’s the combination of alcohol and sugars found in mixers or soda that cause the biggest problems. Cocktail mixes can contain more sugar then a bag of skittles. Even worse, most drinkers consider their drinks to be about 6 ounces where the average drink is anywhere from 8 to 12.

Alcohol does contain calories, but drinking alcohol doesn’t lead to weight gain. According to extensive medical research, studies report a small reduction in weight for women who drink. Moderate alcohol consumption actually increases your ‘good’ cholesterol, and studies show that people who have a couple drinks each week live longer and weigh less. So how can you include alcohol into a healthy lifestyle? Be smart! As soon as you have a drink, your body eats up all the stored glucose in your liver, makes you hungry, and reduces your inhibitions, so you’re more likely to grab that last slice of pizza. Plus, alcoholic drinks contain many more calories than most people think – for example, a 20 ounce serving of beer can pack 250 calories, an 8 oz glass of wine contains 200 calories, and a shot of liquor contains about 100. And that’s without any sugary mixers. Make sure to minimize your mixers. Use real lime juice, diet tonic water, or naturally calorie-free club soda. Also avoid consuming alcohol with foods that are high in fat to reduce the impact on your overall fat burning.

The bottom line is that you DO NOT have to completely avoid alcohol when you’re trying to lose weight, but limiting consumption and making smart choices is the key to success. Don’t skip dinner in an effort to conserve calories. Instead, eat a healthy, satisfying meal before you indulge. That way, you’ll be less likely to drink too much or start in with unhealthy foods. Remember that weight loss is not about giving up all your favorite foods and treats, it’s about being smart about the choices you make.

Eat Yourself Skinny!

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