Should you drink alcohol when you're on a diet | Copare

Can I Drink Alcohol and still Lose Weight?

At Cōpare, we get a lot of questions regarding alcohol and whether or not it’s possible to lose weight and still imbibe. The real answer is –  it depends.

We know that for some people, alcohol provides a way to de-stress and is often consumed in a social setting or during celebrations.  Cōpare coaches will always recommend that you refrain from drinking especially while losing weight, but they also know, especially this time of year, that giving up alcohol completely may seem unrealistic and extreme. There are many factors involved in weight loss and achieving optimal health – understanding and consuming alcohol more mindfully in combination with implementing other lifestyle changes will still allow you to make progress on your weight loss and wellness journey.

Some things to consider –  the regular use of alcohol will cause you to age faster, likely gain weight, not sleep as well, is not good for brain function or memory, will cause inflammation and disrupt the gut microbiome.  Also, you should ignore the myths about your body processing certain alcoholic beverages in different ways. Your liver doesn’t recognize wine from beer from a Long Island Iced Tea – it only processes alcohol. And once you consume alcohol, your body will choose to metabolize it first. Everything else gets put on hold, contributing to body fat storage.

If you do choose to consume alcohol, here are our top tips for how to imbibe more thoughtfully and responsibly.

Drink on your own terms. Make a plan and stick to it. Mindful drinking is a proactive practice. Have a limit in mind when entering a social situation and stay the course. When cutting back, chances are you’ll be offered a drink that you don’t want. Be prepared to respond to phrases and questions like:  What else can I get you? Why aren’t you drinking right now? Come on, it’s the weekend, live a little! Oh, one more drink won’t hurt you. You just have to try this. It’s okay to say that you’re taking a break. Sincerely thank the person, say no, and redirect the conversation. You can be polite, respectful, and still decline. Prioritize you and your goals.  “Every time you’re given a choice between disappointing someone else and disappointing yourself, your duty is to disappoint that someone else.” – Glennon Doyle

 Aim for small victories. If cutting out alcohol altogether is too much, focus on cutting back. Although you may have an overarching goal in mind, focus on small wins and the progress you make at each social event. If you’re used to having several drinks every time you go out, even cutting back by one drink can add up to big wins over time.

 Alternate with water. This win-win solution helps with hydration and pacing. Turn it into a consistent, positive habit for yourself by always drinking a big glass of water between your drinks. And don’t forget to start and end your day with a couple extra glasses just to top things off. Adding some electrolytes prior to going to bed can also help with dehydration and help to mitigate a hangover too!

EAT! Never drink on an empty stomach. Drinking can cause you to lose some of your inhibitions which may result in  overeating. Eat a healthy dinner or nibble on a healthy snack and try to fill up on protein. If you’re at a bar and you’ve reached your drink limit, hold a plate in your hand instead of a glass. Eating (in moderation) can also help break up drinking and prevent you from drinking too much.

Be mindful of blood sugar.  Tequila—as well as vodka, rum, and gin—all have zero grams of carbs, so they won’t raise your blood sugar if you drink them straight up. If you have diabetes, this is especially important. Clear liquors also tend to be lower in calories. Stay away from sugary mixers like soda or fruit juice and consider mixing them with lots of lime and club soda.

Be “sober curious”. Sober isn’t just for January or October anymore. Maybe it’s time to experiment with going alcohol free for a while – try it and see how you feel. There’s plenty of alcohol-free versions of your favorite beer and wine.

For more tips on how to cut back or mindfully incorporate alcohol into a healthy lifestyle partner with with a Cōpare health coach.

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