How Alcohol Impacts Weight Loss Efforts


Responsible drinking can enrich our culinary, social, and religious experiences. People who take a light-to-moderate approach to alcohol consumption can even benefit from some unique health benefits.

Although the reason why a cause-and-effect relationship with alcohol and weight loss is not known, numerous studies over the past 40 years show that drinking anything beyond a moderate amount can cause the numbers on the scale to rise.

If you maintain a strict caloric intake habit, more-than-moderate drinking can cause your weight loss efforts to plateau.

Why does this outcome happen, and is there anything that one can do to prevent this issue from adversely impacting their weight loss goals?

Why Does Alcohol Make It Challenging to Lose Weight?

Most people don’t know that alcoholic beverage can contain a significant number of calories.

If you take a single 1.5-ounce shot of Everclear, then you’ll be adding 285 calories to your diet. Most schnapps have enough sugar in the mixture to add 195 calories in each serving, while a single dose of Triple Sec gives you 225 calories.

Most alcoholic beverages contain at least 60 calories. Once you start adding flavors or juice to make a cocktail, you can triple that amount.

If you have a Rhode Island Iced Tea, then you get a half-ounce of silver tequila, Absolut vodka, and gin. Then one shot of Everclear, a half-ounce of rum, and your favorite mixer. This one beverage can be over 1,000 calories.

These are all empty calories that you consume, which means it doesn’t help the body meet its nutritional needs. Most people have alcohol as an extra item that falls outside of their regular eating habits.

Then there is the fact that most people relax their inhibitions when drinking, making it more likely to choose unhealthy foods or overeat.

Although light drinking is not necessarily linked to gaining weight, having a couple of glasses of wine daily could be a risk factor for obesity. On the heaviest drinking day of the week, it is not unusual for someone to increase their caloric intake by 30% because of the alcoholic beverages consumed.

How to Avoid the Expanding Waistline Because of Alcohol

If you love to party with friends or have a drink with your dinner, then moderation is going to unlock a successful result. Although you may still have increased risk factors for weight gain compared to a non-drinker, these techniques can help you to stay in control while maintaining your overall health and wellness goals.

  1. Set limits on the drinks you have daily

Federal guidelines in the United States define moderate drinking behaviors as having two drinks per day for men or one daily for women. That means you can have one beer, one glass of wine, or one shot per serving. Guys who have a double are having their limit for those 24 hours.

According to, taking vitamins and supplements such as Leptitox that help you lose weight is not a great mix with alcohol. This can really damage your health, and the supplement will lose its effect.

  1. Go without alcohol whenever possible

Since you always drink alcoholic beverages with empty calories, the best practice is to avoid having anything if you want to lose weight. Don’t be fooled into thinking that adding juice, fruit, olives, or anything else makes it a healthier experience. If you must indulge, then try to limit the calories you consume during other parts of the day.

  1. Use smaller glasses when you drink

Portion control is critical if you want to have a successful weight loss experience without giving up alcohol. Using a smaller glass for your favorite drinks can make it easier to achieve a positive outcome in this area.

  1. Drink more water when you consume alcohol

A simple way to control how much alcohol you consume is to alternate one drink with a glass of water. Taking this action helps you to consume fewer beverages within a set period while countering potential issues with dehydration.

  1. Change what you tend to order

Wine tends to be the best option for people who want to drink lightly while losing weight. The health benefits of red wine can work with your other habits to create forward progress toward your goals. Low-alcohol beers are another choice – these are the 3.2% products you can find in the marketplace. Choosing cocktails, craft beer, or mixed drinks can give you a calorie bomb that you don’t expect.

  1. Be patient with the process

It takes time to change your habits. If you are trying to lose weight, then let your persistence be an asset. Some people find it helpful to volunteer as the designated driver for a night on the town as a way to force them away from drinking.

Most people find that drinking alcoholic beverages on an empty stomach intensifies the experience. If you have a meal while enjoying your 1-2 drinks per day, then your digestive system doesn’t absorb the beverage as quickly. That means you can maintain your impulse control without being overwhelmed.

Other Reasons Why Alcohol Can Promote Weight Gain

When you have an alcoholic beverage, then the physical response your body has to the drink involves a craving for sugar and fat. Consuming those items at high levels can interfere with your weight loss efforts immediately.

Consuming alcohol can also impair the body’s ability to recover after a strenuous workout. If you drink more than the recommended amount each day, then it becomes more challenging to burn excessive calories through exercise.

Having too much alcohol can also impact depression, anxiety, and several additional mental health conditions. It may adversely affect individual body image perceptions and long-term motivation.

If you like to have a drink or two at dinner a couple of nights per week, then it shouldn’t interfere with your efforts to lose weight. The issues with alcohol and weight loss involve a lack of moderation and unhealthy food choices that lead to a massive surge of calories.

Outside of a glass of wine, you can opt for some unmixed spirits, low-alcohol beer, or zero-calories mixers so that you can have a good time while meeting your health and wellness goals.