Good new to all of us martini lovers: You CAN lose weight and still throw back shots! But not so fast…you must practice what I’ve called it for years: “healthy drinking” . My friends (and every bartender I’ve come in contact with!) have always made fun of me when I order my “healthy” skinny vodka/diet or aged Cabernet – they were convinced there was no such thing as “smart drinking.” Oh, but they were so wrong!
Read this interesting article from the fab FitSugar experts that explains what exactly you need to consider before sipping that sugary cocktail. And next weekend when you hit the sports bar to cheer on your favorite college team, you’ll be able to make “smart alcohol choices!”
…you can thank me later
Q: Can you drink alcohol and still lose weight? What if you work out on a regular basis?
A: Yes, you can drink alcohol and lose weight — as long as you’re smart about it. When looking at the weight-loss impact of having a drink, there are two things you need to consider: calories and alcohol content.
1. Calories: For most people the calories in the mixers of their favorite cocktails pose a far greater barrier to weight loss than the actual alcohol. Just four ounces of some daiquiri or margarita mixes can contain upwards of 35 grams of sugar (that’s seven teaspoons of sugar)! Plus, they’re more than double the amount of calories in the shot of rum or tequila included in the drink (that is, if you’re only served ½ cup of mixer). What’s worse, the calories from mixers are the worst kinds of calories, simple and refined sugars. When they’re combined with the metabolic effects of alcohol, it gets even worse.
2. Alcohol content: One myth about alcohol is that it will make you fat. But the truth is, it’s the combination of alcohol and sugars found in mixers (or the bar food often consumed with alcohol) that causes problems. Alcohol does contain calories, but it’s safe to assume that no one gains a lot of weight by throwing back shots of straight vodka. Instead, it is the metabolic priority that your body places on alcohol (over carbohydrates and fats) that causes the problem. Your body wants to process alcohol before anything else, which has been shown to create a metabolic environment that is almost the opposite of the environment your body creates following exercise — one of high circulating levels of fat and inhibited fat burning.
While this may sound all doom and gloom, there are upsides to drinking alcohol. Moderate alcohol consumption (one drink per day for women) increases your HDL (‘good’) cholesterol, and studies show that people who have a couple drinks each week live longer. How can you get the best of both worlds?
For more on the benefits of drinking alcohol (in moderation!), click here.