Can you drink alcohol and still lose weight?

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There’s so much talk about whether you can or can’t drink alcohol while trying to lose weight, but what are the true facts?  As you know, we believe at Skinny Healthy Girl that everything in moderation and learning to indulge mindfully is the only way to live a full life.  But if you’re looking to drop a certain amount of weight in a specific timeframe, calories in and out must to be considered.

Drinking a little alcohol, such as a glass of wine per day, can have a place within a healthy lifestyle.  In fact, experts agree that alcohol can reduce the risk for high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.  And if you are aware of the calories that you’re taking in from that glass of wine, there’s nothing wrong with indulging.

On the other hand, when on a mission to lose weight, keep in mind that alcohol is metabolized differently from other foods.  When you drink alcohol the body immediately recognizes it is a toxin and quickly processes it to the liver, giving it all of the attention over the food you’ve eaten.

As this happens, the body isn’t able to break down carbohydrates or fat from food properly and converts the calories into body fat.  In addition, alcohol contains empty calories that have no health benefit and don’t keep you full, so choosing healthier food options while trying to lose weight would be in your best interest.

The moral of the story with alcohol and weight loss is everything in moderation, mindful eating and drinking is the healthiest way to live a full life while looking and feeling your best.  If you are trying to lose the pounds, you might want to skip the alcohol until you reach your goal and then be mindful with everything that you consume thereafter.

Here are some calorie counts on your favorite alcohol drinks and how much exercise you’d have to do to burn them.

  • 1 glass of red wine (merlot)=122 calories.  Burn off in a 30-minute brisk walk.
  • 1 bottle of light beer=102 calories.  Burn off with 37 minutes of crunches.
  • 1 frozen margarita=520 calories.  Burn off with hour & 6 minutes on elliptical.
  • 1 rum & coke=361 calories.  Burn off with 30-minute of jump rope.
  • 1 glass of champagne=106 calories.  Burn off with 30-minutes of push-ups. 

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