Many people like to drink alcohol when hanging out with friends or at dinner. However, alcoholic beverages can increase the consumption of calories that can trigger weight gain or make it difficult for you to maintain weight. There are several things you can do to limit the number of additional calories from alcoholic beverages, while maintaining a healthy weight.
Method 1 of 2: Managing Drinking Habits
Step 1. Don't drink too much
Drinking too many alcoholic beverages will increase the consumption of calories. This additional consumption of calories can lead to weight gain, in addition to causing other health problems associated with drinking alcohol. Always drink in moderation.
- Don't drink more than two alcoholic drinks each night.
- Avoid drinking excessive alcoholic beverages. Excessive drinking can have an impact on health and increase calorie consumption.
- High alcohol consumption will cause weight gain, regardless of the type of alcohol you consume.
Step 2. Don't drink alcohol when you're hungry
Make sure you have eaten before drinking any kind of alcoholic beverage. Drinking alcohol can decrease impulse control which can make you make poor decisions when choosing food, especially if you are hungry.
- Eat first before drinking alcoholic beverages so as not to make the wrong decision when choosing food.
- Eating while drinking alcohol can help you feel full and avoid drinking too much.
Step 3. Learn how many alcoholic drinks count as one glass
Some types of alcoholic beverages have different serving portions. To really know how much alcohol you're drinking, as well as the calories you're consuming, use the following standards:
- One glass of beer equals 355 milliliters.
- One glass of wine equals about 148 milliliters.
- Spirit has the smallest serving size. A glass equals 44 milliliters.
- Increasing the size of the dose will also increase the number of calories you consume.
- Many restaurants and bars serve alcoholic beverages containing several servings in one glass.
Step 4. Drink plenty of water
Alcoholic beverages dehydrate your body and you must cover the water loss from drinking alcoholic beverages. Drinking water can also help you reduce your consumption of alcoholic beverages, which in turn reduces your calorie consumption.
- After finishing drinking alcoholic beverages, immediately drink water. Drinking water after drinking alcoholic beverages can help you to quickly start the rehydration process.
- Drink a glass of water in between drinking alcoholic beverages. That can help you drink less alcohol while maintaining water levels in your body.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water the next day after drinking alcohol.
Method 2 of 2: Drinking Alcohol and Maintaining a Diet
Step 1. Find alcoholic beverages that contain fewer calories
Not all alcoholic beverages contain the same calories. If your favorite drink is high in calories, consider replacing it with a low-calorie drink. Drink light beer or liquor without any mix. The mixture in alcoholic beverages will increase the consumption of calories and sugar. Pay attention to how many calories your drink contains so you can keep track of your daily calorie intake.
- One glass of beer contains an average of 215 calories.
- One glass of wine generally contains 126 calories.
- Men who are quite active should limit their calorie consumption to 2,800 calories per day.
- Women who are quite active should limit their calorie consumption to 2,220 calories per day.
Step 2. Watch out for hidden calories
Mixed drinks and cocktails can contain added ingredients that also contain calories. Any drink that contains added soda, sugar, juice, or alcohol also contains added calories. These extra calories can trigger weight gain.
- Use calorie-free or low-calorie ingredients when making mixed drinks. Try club soda or seltzer. Ask for a calorie-free mix such as diet tonic water or diet ginger ale or "Coke".
- Combining two or more types of alcohol can also combine the calorie count of each type of alcohol.
- Many drink mixes contain large amounts of sugar. Excess sugar consumption should be avoided if you want to lose or maintain weight.
Step 3. Keep your diet balanced
Combining moderate alcohol consumption with a healthy diet is a great way to enjoy food and alcohol while maintaining your weight. Make sure your diet is nutritious and the alcoholic beverages you drink don't contribute to excessive calorie consumption.
- Limit sugar consumption. Consumption of excess sugar in the diet can lead to weight gain and medical problems. Limit your sugar consumption per day to 100 calories, which is about six to nine teaspoons.
- Protein should be an important part of your diet. You can get plant protein from nuts or lentils. Protein in the form of red and white meat should contain as little fat as possible.
- Consumption of carbohydrates is best for supplying energy. Try to eat fruits and vegetables or nuts and legumes to get carbohydrates from good sources.
- Fiber is another important part of any diet. Again, make sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, in addition to nuts and legumes.
- Fat is still needed in the diet. However, there are certain types of fat that are considered healthier than others. Try to eat fats from olive or canola oil, or from lean poultry and fish.
- Know yourself and your level of tolerance. If you are healthy and drink alcoholic beverages, understand your limits and keep your fluid levels in check. If you know you need to lose weight and your tolerance level is high, don't drink beer and tighten your alcohol limit.
- Don't go against your own words and drink alcohol to excess. If you tell yourself and others that you're only going to have two drinks, stick to that!
- Remember, however, that drinking alcohol in excess is bad and will not reduce your calorie intake, and possibly lead to you being taken to the hospital.
- Remember or write down the time it took you to drink and how many glasses you had.
- Take responsibility and ask someone you trust, such as a coach, to keep you accountable by monitoring you when you're out with friends.