Cutting Out Alcohol to Lose Weight


Alcohol is laden in empty calories, and the amount of consumption has been shown to have a direct correlation to an individual's weight. If you find you cannot cut out alcohol completely, but still want to lose weight, there are healthier options with fewer calories. To get the best results, talk to a doctor or diet professional about alcohol's relationship to your specific weight goals.

Calories in Alcohol

  • According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there are an average of 149 calories in a 12-ounce beer, 80 calories in four ounces of red wine, 140 calories in a standard martini, and 60 calories in an ounce of gin or vodka. If you consume six glasses of wine and two beers a week, you are ingesting an extra 37,344 calories a year.

Empty Calories

  • According to the National Institute of Health, the calories in alcohol are "empty" calories because alcohol provides no nutrition, vitamins or minerals. These empty calories can cause the drinker to exceed their daily calorie limit and contribute to weight gain.

Alcohol's Effect on BMI

  • Body Mass Index is a measure of a person's weight compared to their height accounting for their age. A higher BMI can indicate that an individual is overweight. A study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that those who drink a small quantity of alcohol have the lowest BMIs and those who drank the most had the highest BMIs. The authors of the study contend that the calories that come from alcohol consumption can cause weight gain over time. Also, since alcohol is often consumed in social settings, it could also encourage eating and further increase the calorie count.

Diet Tips

  • According to Live Lean Today, a dieting website, there are certain types of alcohol that are better than others from a dieting perspective. It may be unrealistic to cut out all alcohol consumption, so the dieter should shift to these types of drinks to avoid the consumption of excess empty calories. Consider using diet soda or soda water in your mixed drinks to minimize the caloric impact. If you're going to drink beer, make sure it is a light beer. These can contain up to 100 calories less than the standard brew. A white wine spritzer with two ounces of wine and six ounces of seltzer has only 40 calories.

Talk to a Professional

  • If you are trying to lose weight, talk to your doctor or a dietician about the amount of alcohol that you should consume in line with your diet. Alcohol affects individuals differently, and your weekly intake can be adjusted to support your specific weight loss goals

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