Home Diet Losing weight in spite of alcohol: What you have to consider

Losing weight in spite of alcohol: What you have to consider


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If you want to reduce your weight, you must – depending on the type of diet – avoid various foods. Some avoid carbohydrates, others avoid high-calorie foods such as chips, chips or chocolate. However, there is one thing that many diets agree on: alcohol is taboo during a diet!

But what to do if you are invited to a party and/or simply belong to those people who like to spoil themselves with a glass of wine or a beer in the evening? Do these people have to do without consistently? The fact is: If you permanently do without all the things you like, you put the success of a diet at risk. Those who only do without, quickly become victims of insidious ravenous hunger attacks and are generally unhappier – which often leads to premature abortion of the “weight loss” mission. This is true not only when giving up sweets, but also when generally abstaining from beer and wine. We will tell you what happens to the body when you drink alcohol and whether lose weight despite alcohol can.

Losing weight despite alcohol? What happens in the body when drinking

It is no secret that the desire to lose weight and the consumption of alcohol do not go together very well. With 7 calories per gram, alcohol is the second most calorie-rich nutrient after fat. Just one glass a day can provide a considerable amount of calories.

But that’s not all: studies have shown that too much alcohol blocks the burning of fat and can thus additionally prevent weight loss. As soon as alcohol enters the bloodstream, it serves as the body’s primary source of energy. This is because alcohol is converted by the liver into acetate – a toxic substance that the body wants to get rid of as quickly as possible.

Thus alcohol is the first to be metabolized, while other nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fat are stored and quickly deposited as body fat. Those who drink a lot and frequently can also reduce the breakdown of fat and at the same time increase the synthesis of fatty acids. This leads to the accumulation of blood fats in the liver, which over time can lead to so-called fatty liver disease.

The fact that too much alcohol is not advisable for various reasons should not be too much news – diet or no diet. This article does not explicitly address the harmful effects of alcoholic beverages on health. Of interest here is the extent to which the consumption of alcohol is possible while losing weight – and this depends to some extent on the particular diet.

Losing weight by counting calories – is alcohol allowed?

One of the most common ways to reduce weight is to pay attention to calorie intake. Plus/minus 2000 calories is the average calorie requirement of a person per day. However, the exact number of calories depends on various factors such as age, sex, height, weight and physical activity. Here you can find out, how to calculate your calorie requirement. Those who eat less than their individual daily requirement theoretically lose weight.

As already mentioned, alcohol has quite a lot of calories – and this becomes apparent quite quickly when you lose weight by counting calories. A small beer has about 130 calories, a Caipirinha even 320 calories. The problem is that alcohol is a so-called “empty calorie”, which means that it does not contain any other nutrients – unlike a bowl of soup, for example. So instead of a cocktail, you could have a full refill at dinner. This not only fills you up, it also supplies the body with important nutrients, which a cocktail is known not to provide.

Nevertheless, alcohol is not strictly forbidden even when counting calories. If you limit yourself to one glass and choose a low-calorie variety, you can also drink alcohol during your diet. If you want to know, how much alcohol the various alcoholic beverages haveyou will find an interesting overview here.

Alcohol and low carb: Is that possible?

low carb is now one of the most popular forms of nutrition and ways to lose weight. But how does alcohol consumption fit into the concept? The fact that alcohol inhibits the breakdown of fat has already been explained earlier. Too much and too often is therefore not advisable even with low carb – if you want to lose weight. Nevertheless, even with a low-carbohydrate diet, a glass of alcohol can be allowed. The most important thing here is which drink you choose.

Some alcoholic beverages are rich in carbohydrates and therefore rather unsuitable for low carb. These include beer, for example, which can contain between 3 and 12 g of carbohydrates per 350 ml, depending on the type. Mixed drinks with alcohol, cocktails and long drinks are also usually full of sugar and are therefore real carbohydrate bombs.

If you want to drink alcohol during a low-carb diet, the best way to do so is to drink the following beverages:

  • Vodka, rum, whiskey and gin. These spirits contain 0 g carbohydrates. It is only important that you do not mix these drinks with sugary drinks. Either enjoy them straight or mix them with low-carbohydrate alternatives.
  • Wine. If you want to treat yourself to an alcoholic drink, it is best to choose red or white wine. A glass with a capacity of about 140 ml contains about 3 to 4 g of carbohydrates. The following applies: the drier the wine, the less carbohydrates it contains. Another alternative: Hessian cider. Unlike cider, no additional sugar is added here. Thus, a glass of 250 ml each contains 1 g to 2 g of carbohydrates – depending on the variety.
  • Light beer. If you don’t want to give up your beloved beer, even if it is low carb, you should look for light beer in beverage markets. For every glass of 350 ml there are about 3 g of carbohydrates.

Is it allowed to drink alcohol during interval fasting?

Also the Interval fasting is currently one of the most popular forms of nutrition. Those who eat in this way fast at certain intervals – for example, two days a week, while the other five days are for normal eating. Also popular is the so-called 16:8 variant, in which eight hours of a day is eaten and 16 hours are fasted. Those who eat healthily during meal times are supposed to lose weight permanently and without the yo-yo effect.

You can see the most important facts about interval fasting in the video:

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But is it possible to lose weight during intermittent fasting by drinking alcohol? The medical doctor Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen, known from TV, has intensively dealt with interval fasting and also answered the question of alcohol during this period. According to this, beer is not particularly suitable because of the malt sugar it contains. If you do, then you should rather go for a dry wine. “Alcohol has calories and inhibits the breakdown of fat. But I like wine,” says the popular doctor.

Losing weight despite alcohol: tips & tricks

A little alcohol is therefore also okay during the diet. But so that you don’t get tempted to drink too much at parties and the like, we have put together some tips and tricks for you:

  • Drink plenty of water in between! It is best to drink 250 ml of still water with each alcoholic beverage. In this way you help the body to quickly flush the toxins out of the body and prevent a possible hangover. It also prevents you from drinking too much high-calorie alcohol simply out of thirst.
  • Drop the drink! If you want more of your drink, it’s best to stretch it out. This is of course especially recommended with wine. While 100 ml of white wine has about 60 calories, the same amount of wine spritzer has only 30 calories – in a 50/50 mix. So you can drink two glasses with the same amount of calories and have more of it.
  • Be careful in your choice! If you want to have a glass, you should always tend to a drink that is low in calories and/or carbohydrates. As already mentioned, you are best advised to drink dry wine.

Conclusion: Losing weight despite alcohol is possible – with many restrictions

How to turn it around: Since alcohol always brings many calories with it, it should only be used very sparingly during a diet. Those who avoid it completely are the least likely to lose weight. But who wants to do without everything permanently? In the end, the most effective diets and nutritional concepts are those that can be permanently integrated into everyday life. And permanent renunciation in everyday life quickly makes you unhappy and endangers stamina and discipline.

So if you are invited to a party or want to treat yourself to an alcoholic drink every now and then when you visit a restaurant, then do so – as long as it doesn’t become a daily routine. Stick to the motto “Alcohol in moderation, not in bulk” and choose a drink that suits your diet. Then it is quite possible to lose weight despite alcohol.


Speaking of losing weight: Do you know the story of Meghan See? When she decides to change her life, she weighs 240 kilograms. The 30-year-old doesn’t want her little daughter to grow up without a mother – and is losing weight radically: 120 kg in 17 months! Today she is hardly recognizable.

Further interesting guides and recipes around Diets and various Beverages can be found on our extensive topic pages.

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