Alcohol can have devastating effects on your diet. The reasons are probably obvious to everyone. For me, my weight loss progress soared when I kicked the habit. That’s for two reasons: (1) first, the alcohol alone can add lots of extra empty calories; (2) second, I tend to snack on stupid things when I’m drinking. Alcohol can certainly be harmful to a diet for many reasons. Here are a few of them.
First, the most obvious effect alcohol that offers I alluded to above is the number of calories a drink can have. A 12 ounce serving of lite beer, a typical glass of wine, or a shot of liquor will cost you about 110 calories. If you have a mixed drink, such as a Margarita or a Mai-Tai, a single drink can bring as many 400 calories per glass. If you have creamy drinks, you may end up with even more calories. If you drink regularly, like several times per week, it could really do some damage. 1
Second, alcohol has been known to increase appetite in some people. It is no accident that many restaurants try to push you to have a drink while you’re perusing the menu and that’s why some bartenders offer you a menu after you’ve had a couple of drinks. That’s also why some restaurants offer you a seat at the bar until your table is ready. People are more likely to eat more when they have been drinking. 2
Third, alcohol can also affect your inhibitions. It’s hard enough to stick with your diet when you’re sober. A lot of people will say, “I blew it today. I’ll watch what I eat tomorrow.” They say that so they can have all they want today. Even just a slight feeling of inebriation can affect your judgment. I did that many times. Like I said earlier, I find myself snacking more often as well as snacking on more of the wrong things when I consume alcohol. 3
Lastly, the thing that people don’t always like talking about is, alcohol can negatively affect your blood sugar level, your heart, your brain functioning, your sex drive, your liver, and is a known carcinogen. So, alcohol is something you definitely don’t want to play around with.4
If you’re trying to lose weight, be aware of your alcohol intake if you drink. I don’t want to say you should avoid it completely, because some reports suggest in small amounts, alcohol can have positive health results (though I question how objective those reports are, but that’s a blog entry I’ll research for another day). Like most things, moderation is key.
(unrelated to this post, I was feeling this song, so I wanted to share it here.