Have you made a commitment to changing your diet and eating healthier, but are still struggling to lose weight?
If you are a frequent drinker, it may actually be damaging your weight management efforts.
Now, you should know that eating better is a reward in itself, independent of changes in weight, but that does not change the fact that alcohol racks up the calories.
Low Risk Drinking Guidelines in Canada allot women up to 10 standard drinks a week and men up to 15 standard drinks a week.
Here are examples of the caloric values in a single standard drink:
12 Oz Regular Beer – 150 calories
1.5 oz Shot of gin, rum, tequila, whiskey, vodka – 100 calories
5 oz wine – 125 calories
Let’s say, theoretically, that you stay within the low risk drinking guidelines and have 15 drinks ( men) and 10 drinks (women) a week.
On average, based on the figures above, a single drink serving is about 125 calories, so;
For Men: 15 x 125 = 1875 calories a week
For Women: 10 x 125 = 1250 calories a week
This is assuming that you regularly drink right at the recommended maximum guidelines, which is not the case for everyone ( some drink more, some drink less).
Now, consider that you need to consume about 3500 fewer calories a week to lose about 1 pound a week.
Even if you adjust your diet, frequent drinkers may still find it difficult to get themselves into the caloric deficit required to lose weight.
Drinking alcohol will not keep you satiated and may also place you in settings where it is more challenging to eat well.
This is not to mention the fact that regular drinking brings a whole host of other negative health consequences.
Long Story Short: If you are a regular drinker and have found that your dietary modifications alone have not been enough to contribute to weight loss, alcohol may be sabotaging your goals.
As always, I truly hope this helped!
Andy De Santis RD MPH