Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Alcohol and Weight Loss

Something I don’t see discussed much on weight-loss blogs is alcohol. I’m not talking about the crazy weekends or vacations in which copious amounts of umbrella drinks and garbage can free-for-alls are consumed. I’m talking about the everyday kind of drinking. A glass or two of wine with dinner, a beer after a long day, maybe a Manhattan with a maraschino cherry. What about those things?

Alcohol is a part of my life. It always has been to varying degrees. I used to do the hard stuff – vodka, Southern Comfort, Wild Turkey, schnapps of every flavor – but my last shot of tequila was in 1994 and I haven’t had the hard stuff since. These days I stick to wine.

When I joined Weight Watchers in 2005, I was prepared to give up wine in exchange for weight loss. Then when I “got it”, as in realized this was a lifestyle change and not just a diet, I learned to incorporate my wine into my daily diet. I used what some people use as food points for liquid points and it was not a sacrifice. I drank wine all the way down the scale, and I still do today. Not garbage-can copious amounts, but I like a glass or two most evenings.

What about you? Do you incorporate alcohol in your weight loss/weigh maintenance? How do you account (or not account) for it? I’m curious about this since so little is written about it. This can’t be taboo, can it!? Leave a comment or send me an email.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi!
I really do not drink alcohol very often. One reason is for the choice of points...chocolate cake or a drink??!? Chocolate will always win if it is a choice. I know that red wine is very healthy, but I do not like the taste of it. I am going to try to find one that I like because I am thinking more lifestyle change. Not sure about the point issue here.

Anonymous said...

Reading what you wrote made me think, huh, I haven't incorporated it. I do enjoy wine, beer and a new favorite drink that we call a skinny "b*tch". Stoli vanilla vodka and a diet coke. It's quite tasty. :)

Before I go to a restaurant now, I look at the choices before hand and make a smart decision. But I have not done that with my alcohol. You've made me think about INCLUDING this choice - not shoving it off to the side like those calories don't count. Good stuff to think about. Thank you Lynn!

Laura said...

Lynn -

So funny you mentioned this b/c my favorite WW Board is 40 & Drinkers.
We discuss drink recipes, etc. but most are wine drinkers. Stop by sometime for a whole group who are incorporating it into their program.

Zentient said...

There are times when having a great glass of wine with dinner actually helps me with portion control, the eating experience is enhanced by sipping wine between bites. I like the packs with 4 individual servings, I don't feel like I need to drink more to finish off a regular sized bottle and it's economical. Hail Vino!

Cari said...

I am so glad you wrote this post. If there are two things that I cannot give up they are wine and coffee. Two liquids! I am just starting my weight loss journey (for the millionth time) and it is comforting to hear that you achieved such great success and didn't eliminate wine!

Colleen said...

I am not a big drinker, but I drink even less now that I'm trying to lose weight. Part of it is that not drinking regularly has reduced my tolerance, and the most I can handle is 2-3 drinks (which wouldn't have even gotten me buzzed in my college days). But the calories are another thing. I do want to incorporate wine back into the routine though, it's something my boyfriend and I used to enjoy regularly but don't do much any more. I'm just afraid that because I'm on a pretty low calorie diet that the lack of inhibition will lead to binging.

Karen said...

I very rarely drink alcohol. When I do, I'm not that big a fan of wine. When I do have a drink, I rather like a shandy. You fill a tall glass up with half lite beer and half diet 7UP. I can usually get two shandies out of a can of beer and a can of 7UP. Really refreshing, especially when it's hot.

Another favourite, is Stone's Original Green Ginger Wine http://www.stonesgingerwine.com

I used to drink it all the time in NZ. Great poured over icecream. I also used to pour it over ice in a tall glass and top it with either 7UP or gingerale. Sadly, I haven't been able to find it here, locally, in the US.

I'm fond of cider as well.

gaga said...

I enjoy wine every so often, it has to be a good wine, chilled white that has a wonderful flavor! I have only one glass as more seems to make me feel bad the next day! I am in my 60's so think it has something to do with my metabolism changing. I also have to be careful as some wines increase my taste for salty, crunchy carbos by the handful. Thanks for checking this out. Its good to see that weight loss isn't about deprivation!!!

Lesley said...

Let's put it this way - when I tap into my 35 extra points for the week, it's mostly because of alcohol. I'm a hard liquor fan - Jack, Jim, Jose are just a few of my favorite men!

If you drink, it is certainly important to incorporate alcohol into your routine; never say something is off limits, or you end up setting yourself up for failure in the form of over indulging in it somewhere down the line.

Cheri said...

I went out for "cocktails" the other night with the girls. My neighbor and I shared an appetizer and called it dinner (I at least called it dinner). I believe that enjoying a drink shouldn't be taboo just because you're "dieting" (because really a "diet" isn't deprivation, it refers to what we eat on a normal basis)

Anonymous said...

Wine is the one thing on my "lifestyle change" list that I won't sacrifice. Although I don't have a glass every night, I do incorporate it into my diet on days that I do.

I am currently on the second round of losing the 44 I regained last year, but had been successful previously...and wine was included.

I eat clean / healthily, exercise daily, quit a 30 year smoking habit 6 years ago...not giving up my wine! lol

Anonymous said...

Yes, I too love my wine and just like Leslie said it's usually where my extra 35 points go. I love Chardonnay and at 15 points a bottle, well that adds up pretty fast. I usually use half on the weekend and the other half during the week. But have also been known to blow all 35 points in one night! Good times!! Love my Chardonnay.

Anonymous said...

I love my alcohol - and have had to cut back because after I am feeling good, I start binging. I try to not drink on the weekdays cause of work and all, and only allow myself to drink beer one night a week - and of course use all of my 35 points on that alone! What I do like to drink occasionally is rum or vodka and diet cherry pepsi, it is sooo good. Or regular diet pepsi w/ vodka and lemon - it is the best, and I am not using all my points!

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Mr Ozlat said...

After a long day at work I love nothing more than a few beers to wind down, it's part of my lifestyle and my choice, I just don't let it impact my weight :) The weight loss journey is simply like you said, a lifestyle choice and making adjustments along the way until you find the right balance for you and your weight loss goals.