Monday, November 26, 2007

Can I Drink And Diet? Of Course You Can

Can I Drink And Diet? Of Course You Can By: Rosie Peters

But. You knew there'd be a "but" didn't you? Let's get the hopeful, positive stuff over with before turning to the grim bits. Of course you can drink (alcohol) and diet. There is nothing to stop you having one or even two drinks a day if you want to. Red wine is actually promoted as a healthy drink in moderation, so you might want to have a glass with a meal.

If you are going to drink alcohol and successfully diet at the same time, you need to be very aware of how many calories as well as standard drinks you are consuming. Like everything related to sensible diet, the amount of alcohol you can safely consume in a day according to the health police is very very little.

The size the authorities measure a standard drink in can look a bit of a lame joke to a seasoned and thirsty drinker. However, that's the sad reality. If you intend to drink and diet, your alcohol consumption will be the square root of not very much at all.

If you keep off the booze through the week and let your guard down a bit for only one day on the weekend, it could work for you. You still can't make like an unrestrained Doberman in the butcher shop, but you can have a few drinks to unwind. Remember, it's like one cheat meal per week, have 2 or 3 drinks on one day on the weekend as a regular treat - if you can stick to it. If you don't have this discipline, your weight loss efforts will fail.

If you factor your (minimal) alcohol intake into your daily calorie count it is worth remembering that alcohol = empty calories. So the only benefits to gain from an alcoholic drink are those related to alcohol as a relaxant. But as a relaxant, alcohol takes away the desire to exercise, to eat well and to give a damn about your fatty bits.

If you really want a drink or two a day, carefully study a calorie counter guide. I've known girls to drink rum and diet coke in the misguided belief that the diet coke is saving them enough calories to justify the sugar saturated, calorie laden rum component. Similarly, gin and tonic has a sneaky number of calories but a lot of these are in the tonic water.

Wine is not the worst choice for a weight control diet and if you can bear a spritzer of half wine and half flat or fizzy water; you can double your drink, but limit your alcohol.

One 7 ounce beer is around 100 calories. That means for every "standard" beer you drink, you could walk briskly for 10-15 minutes to negate the calories consumed or go without 100 calories of some other, more nutritious food or drink.

It sounds quite feasible till the 3rd or 4th beer. After that, you will probably be making sly glances at the vending machine in the corner of the pub and checking through your loose change. Alcohol has an affinity for salty, fatty snack foods.

There is no fat in alcohol, but the sugar can be a killer for your diet. If you consume more sugar than your body needs, your clever body will plan to park it somewhere in case you need it later. While it is parked, it will convert to fat.
So if you drink even a moderate amount of alcohol while trying to lose weight, your body is likely to thank you by slapping lard deposits in all your bumpiest storage facilities.

It's up to you. You can lose weight and not give up alcohol in the process. You may not be able to. I've successfully lost a lot of weight using both strategies; moderation and total abstinence.

I have never kept weight off when I did not give up drinking. Drinking lowered my resistance to food cravings and I gave into them over time. Abstinence has meant that I always have my wits about me regarding my daily food choices and I am always motivated enough to exercise and enjoy my healthy lifestyle.

I do miss a good red or a cold beer, but for me the trade off is worth the sacrifice.

By: Rosie Peters

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