Alcohol and Weight Loss: Do You Need to Stop Drinking to Lose Weight?


I’m about 20 pounds heavier than I would like to be. It’s one of the things that I’ve battled with since I started working in food and beverage. However, I’m determined to lose the weight.

One of the things that has been important to me is losing weight while still being able to work. I’ve recently started focusing on weight loss and I’ve learned that it is possible to drink alcohol and still lose weight. It took me a month to lose 5 pounds (it could have been more but I overindulged at homecoming and gained weight).

Here’s what’s worked for me:

  1. Drink tons of water. When I came back from DC, I was a little discouraged because I’d gained back a few pounds. I knew that it was because I was drinking more than I should have and I didn’t have enough water on top of it. I started drinking tons of water and I immediately saw that I was less bloated and I dropped a few pounds.

  2. Eat more vegetables and less carbs. I eat pretty much the same thing every morning. Mexican style eggs (scrambled with egg, cilantro and onion) and something green. Usually it’s a salad, spinach or green beans. This keeps me full for a few hours. I won’t say that I don’t eat any carbs, I just eat a lot less than I used to and for at least two meals. I’ve really gotten into cauliflower rice as a great substitute. I also do a lot of veggie heavy stir fries to go with it.

  3. Drink less alcohol. I work in the spirits industry, so it’s almost impossible for me to eliminate alcohol from my life and I wouldn’t want to. But I drink a lot less than people would assume. Normally at Martell events I can be seen with water instead of a cocktail. Every now and then I have a drink there, but it’s rare. It’s a good time, but I treat it as work. In general, I stick to 2-3 drinks a week.

  4. Have lunch/coffee meetings instead of dinner. I meet with people a lot and I used to meet for dinner and/or drinks. Now I try and meet people in the afternoon for coffee or lunch. I eat less during those times and I’m also less inclined to want a drink. It also allows me to balance things with my evening meal.

  5. Use a calorie counting app. I don’t do it as much anymore, but when I started focusing on losing weight, I used a calorie counting app. It allowed me to see exactly what I was eating and how it all added up. I can now calculate most things on my own. I think this makes a huge difference though.

  6. Workout to Motivational Speeches. I started adding this into my morning routine and it’s really helped. I don’t like to work out. Listening to the speeches keeps me going when I really really want to quit. They remind me that I’m responsible for the change that I want to see and to keep pushing even when I don’t feel like it.

My goal is to lose 20 pounds in the next 6 months and I know that I can do it (see, that thinking is courtesy of the motivational tapes)…and continue to drink while I’m accomplishing this goal.