Weight Loss Support - Alcohol Intake vs Weight Loss




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BetterLikeMel
07-06-2011, 10:01 AM
Just want to share an experience, interested to hear others' opinions on how alcohol intake has changed with weight loss.

I could/can hold my drink and one bottle of wine would move to two. I also had no way of saying no once I got started. I'd go out binge drinking (it's a bad culture in the UK) once a week and maybe go to the pub for a few drinks one other time during the week. A lot of you will hopefully know what I mean when I say my drinking was 'Friday night' drinking... you go out for a few drinks, have some shots...

I had a frightening experience last summer where I blacked out - thankfully waking up in my own bed (ALONE!) - but it didn't really stop me. It happened again a few months ago after a work function (!) and after the 2 day hangover and the shame of not turning up to work subsided, something flipped in my head and I have cut right back on my drinking.

Since April, I've been drunk twice (for me this is really not a lot) and been tipsy maybe half a dozen times. I had 4 pints on Monday night and Tuesday morning's hangover was like **** on earth.
As well as the psychological barriers I've created, I think that a lot of the fact that I can't handle my drink like I used to is because I've shrunk by 1/4 of my own size... I surely can't handle as much alcohol as I used to take in.

The last 2 or 3 months have easily been the most enjoyable in my life for a long while; I'm sleeping well, my diet is [currently] on track, I'm finding a good balance of socialising and having alone time. I've really been put off drinking, and I never thought this would happen. It seems to upend me and disrupts my progress in whatever I'm doing.
I don't think I'm in a position to give it up; I'm 23 and a lot of social events I get invited to are pub/party based and I KNOW this doesn't have to mean alcohol, but I don't think I want to cut it out completely.

Have any others found their alcohol intake has changed/their attitude towards alcohol has altered since starting to lose weight?


Lovely
07-06-2011, 10:07 AM
It has not changed for me, but alcohol has never been my drug of choice.

I have a drink with alcohol in it...maybe twice a year? That hasn't changed, and likely won't as time goes on. But, it's easy to moderate things that you honestly do not actually want very often. Moderating, say, a carrot cake would be a different situation for me involving a lot more thought and planning.

ETA: Actually it has changed slightly, thinking on it. Before it was just something I didn't want. Now, I think it's still something I just don't want, but it's also empty calories. So even more reason to not have it.

SCraver
07-06-2011, 10:19 AM
Alcohol... how I love thee. Beer. Wine. Rum. Vodka. It's all good. I am ok with my drinking... as far as drinking goes. But as far as weight loss goes... I need to dial it back. I drink too many calories and it makes me hungry, so I eat more calories. It just isn't doing me any good right now. I have to cut back... but I won't totally give it up. A cold beer on my deck on a sunny day after a long day of work... totally worth it. But 2 or 3... everyday... not so much.


JayEll
07-06-2011, 10:56 AM
Some people have a "sensitivity" to alcohol known as addiction, and one sign of this is if you black out when you drink. This has nothing to do with the amount you can drink, by the way. Just FWIW.

I stopped drinking back when you were born, and although I can't say I haven't missed it at times, I have learned that there is just as much fun in the world when not drinking. In fact, more! Because you don't have to wake up and not know what you did. Or sometimes worse, you do know what you did.

From a dieting perspective, alcohol not only has empty calories--and a lot of them!--but it also lowers inhibitions, so that you not only drink more, you eat more, and you can find yourself in situations you would not dream of putting yourself in had you not been drinking. Some of these situations are dangerous. So, for all these reasons, I'd encourage you to consider just simply not drinking! Or at least, set limits on your drinking.

Jay

effie12
07-06-2011, 11:19 AM
My relationship with alcohol is an iffy one (I'm in college, after all). When I drink, I really drink; but I can go months without it no problem. As of now I haven't had an alcohol since the middle of April, and I don't have any immediate plans to change that. I am fully aware of the fact that when I do drink I often go overboard, like you were saying one turns to two turns to however many more. I've had more awkward and embarrassing and unpleasant experiences with it than I care to remember, and still when I am in the mood to go and party with my friends, I drink. Although I am more responsible about it now than I was in high school, I still do stupid things sometimes.

In terms of weight loss, I've found that when I drink my desire to eat random and crappy foods goes up. I'm often craving cheetos and because my will power and inhibition is down (like JayEll said), I usually do indulge to the point of going over my budget. So if I have a weigh in the morning after drinking, I'm usually up. However, I get really bad hangovers quite easily and will sometimes be unable to eat anything for a day or two. So there is often a nice, but fleeting, dip in the weight too. In the long run it really does nothing for my weight loss, but it hasn't ever made be completely lose control/sight of my goals for an extended period of time.

Beach Patrol
07-06-2011, 11:20 AM
I've always been a light drinker, but during the summer I do very much enjoy a good cold beer or two while pooling, or a nice frozen margarita at the beach, etc. And there's plenty of grilling out from May-Sept, which usually includes a drink here or there.

However, there's SO MANY empty calories in alcohol, I find that I'd rather spend those calories with yummy food options instead of (any) beverage. Since I count calories, I can work in most anything, but a 16oz frozen margarita is right around 600-750 calories!!! :yikes: And I also like a Mud Slide or a White Russian, ringing in at around 400 calories for an 6oz size.

At least a nice cold Corona Light is only 109 calories, so I can safely have a couple of those!! :D :cheers: And while I do enjoy the occasional glass of wine, I usually stick to white wine, but that's more of a "winter" drink for me (& usually had with dinner.) :goodvibes

Lori Bell
07-06-2011, 11:29 AM
I used to drink almost daily and often heavily. I contribute my massive weight gain and ballooning up to 333 pounds in large part to drinking...and the pure laziness that comes with it. I'd start drinking around 4-5pm, drink until 9pm...eat a massive supper and go to bed....wake up ill, eat away the hangover and do it all over again the next afternoon/evening. After a while, there was nothing social about it. It was not what everyone was doing...it was what I thought everyone was doing because I was too hammered to know the difference.

Now that I've changed the people and the places I hang out with, I have found that you can have a BLAST without a single drop of booze. I have saved so much money from not drinking (or smoking), that I can afford to take my family and I on the vacation of a lifetime here in a few weeks. I personally will never go back to drinking, unless someone pours it down my throat, it is NOT worth it to me. Sugar, on the other hand...ugh.

I quit drinking on March 4, 2008...by the grace of God!

IsabellaOlivia
07-06-2011, 11:30 AM
I'm a uni student in the UK and I know what you mean! It's frustrating to want the student experience, but at the same time have to very mindful of calorie intake.

What I've done is to drink Carlsberg on weekdays when I go out, which has 140 calories in a can. I work 3 of those into my daily calorie budget.

On the weekends I stay clear of late night drunk food, which saves on calories. I also try to dance as much as possible to burn calories. And I also track everything alcoholic I drink. After the first time I tracked everything I drank I was shocked on how much calories is in alcohol. 1400 calories +++ in one night.

Typically girly drinks are loaded with calories. Manly beverages have less calories. A bottle of wine has 600 calories, which is okay.

Jelma
07-06-2011, 11:32 AM
There is no proof that blackouts are a predictor of alcoholism. That being said, they are dangerous and scary. I have had my fair share of them over my drinking years and I can tell you that there is no way of predicting them - you can drink the exact same amount and be perfectly fine and then the next time you will blackout.

I am the same way - if I go out and start drinking with friends at the pub there is usually no turning back, and I drink the same amount I did when I was 30lbs heavier, that definitely can't be good. I get such bad hangovers, and eat like such crap the following day it's not really worth it to me anymore. Now I stick to drinking a glass or two at a time and staying away from the pub, probably not the answer you wanted to hear.

BetterLikeMel
07-06-2011, 12:05 PM
There is no proof that blackouts are a predictor of alcoholism. That being said, they are dangerous and scary. I have had my fair share of them over my drinking years and I can tell you that there is no way of predicting them - you can drink the exact same amount and be perfectly fine and then the next time you will blackout.

I am the same way - if I go out and start drinking with friends at the pub there is usually no turning back, and I drink the same amount I did when I was 30lbs heavier, that definitely can't be good. I get such bad hangovers, and eat like such crap the following day it's not really worth it to me anymore. Now I stick to drinking a glass or two at a time and staying away from the pub, probably not the answer you wanted to hear.


No, quite the answer I wanted actually. Just wanted to see how everyone else is, not really looking for any particular advice as I've kind of adjusted my way of thinking and my self-motivations anyway.

I can happily go out and say no. I'm meeting my housemate (a 23yr old boy) for a few drinks tonight and I have every intention of not drinking. We're going home to watch the Apprentice at 9, so to me there's no point in having those empty calories, especially as I know the minute I order a pint of cider, I'll need a plate of nachos to soak it up! Plus I've booked a spin class at 7:30 tomorrow morning and there's no way I'm getting up to do that with any alcohol in my system!

Larry H
07-06-2011, 01:15 PM
I always drank to excess and every time I drank I would also get hungry. That would result in me over eating. Alcohol contains a huge amount of sugar and empty sugar calories. That plus my over eating was a double whammy.

I quit drinking on July 12, 1976 and by the grace of God! and a certain 12 step program that I belong to it has not been necessary for me to take a drink since. :D:D

I tried drunk and I tried sober ---- Sober is better!!

Larry,

pointspluspioneer
07-06-2011, 03:35 PM
This is a big down fall for me. I drink too much on WW. It's empty calories but i find that i drink a couple of times a week and every single weekend. Sometimes too much, usually socially. I have a wedding Saturday and said i wasn't going to drink until my Aug vacation after that. But probably won't happen. I also lost my dad at Christmas (day after) so not to use as an excuse but i find it is easier this way.

lucky8
07-06-2011, 03:41 PM
i deff see a difference when i cut back alcohol, generally the scale starts moving down :D

I used to be a regular social drinker now ive cut right back to special occasions or once every other month.

Im doing weightwatchers and i personally think alcohol is a waste of points so that helps me cut back as id rather use my usage on food :D

AriesNV
07-06-2011, 04:05 PM
I was a big partier/drinker from 14-21 years old...then I started to slow down. I would walk out of a bar when the sun was coming up, go to breakfast, then go home take a shower and get ready for the night...of more partying/drinking. I noticed I was a lot skinnier back then, mainly because I was dancing my butt off, drinking, and not being around food as much.

I don't drink at all now. I used to be a "social drinker" and now I don't even want a beer when I'm at a bar. I just don't like the taste of it and don't see the point in throwing down $5 for it...

I wouldn't blame NOT drinking on the weight gain, but I sure wish I could tear up the dance floor without it! =]

celrae
07-06-2011, 04:31 PM
BetterLikeMel- I am older but, I completely understand what you are saying. It does change and you will consume less if you keep making healthy choices. Last week I was upset at myself because I missed 2 great concerts. There was no way I could keep my exercise plans and stay out late. This is a good change and will reward you in the long run.

CherryPie99
07-06-2011, 05:51 PM
As a substance abuse counselor, you know that I'm not going to say anything good about drinking. Forget for a second the addiction part and just focus on how terrible it is for you. It's empty calories of sugar, it's horrible for your skin and attacks almost every organ.

Speaking of the addiction part, blackouts ARE a real sign of moving into alcoholism, if we're talking true blackouts and not passing out. And, food for thought (no pun intended) - in the substance abuse field the fastest growing group in need of treatment for both alcoholism and addiction are those that have had gastric bypass. Doesn't take a genius to figure out why - if you've had food addiction issues and you take away the food, another addiction pops up.

Seems like we have some friends of Bill on here - congrats on your sobriety!

theox
07-06-2011, 05:54 PM
Intentionally working to lose weight has meant that I've been drinking less. I've never been really into alcohol or bars (they usually bore me) and rarely got drunk, but I did keep tend to keep more alcohol around and went out more often (about twice a month) than I do now. I often still keep some in my apartment, but I don't go through it as quickly. I also don't go out as often (about once a month), and I usually drink less than I did before (down to 1 or 2 drinks, from probably about 3 or 4). I think I've only drunk a lot (for me) twice since I started this weight loss effort, but I planned for those occasions.

Like you, I have found that drinking too heavily or too often tends to disrupt my normal life by making me feel dull and unmotivated, which is another reason I don't usually indulge.

I studied abroad in England, and was a bit surprised not only at the binge drinking problem (although we've got that here as well - I just never participated in it), but also at how pervasive alcohol is in British society. I'm not passing judgement on that aspect of the culture; it was just very strange to me. Most people can handle it of course, or stay dry and still have decent social lives, so I'm sure you'll figure it out.

ETA: I find it motivational (in a minor way) to imagine myself sitting in my favorite bar at my goal weight. I like to imagine myself being more attractive, better dressed, able to sit on a barstool without my *** hanging over the sides, and enjoying a drink or two and some fried mushrooms without feeling self-conscious or guilty/worried that I'm keeping myself fat. So, to get to that point, I've been trying to stay out of bars and limit my intake of the stuff they sell.

BetterLikeMel
07-07-2011, 04:44 AM
Thanks for all your comments - it's really interesting to get the perspectives - and from the guys who've stopped drinking too.

I won't go into the whole food/alcohol addiction things - completely unrelated to alcohol, I was once referred for counselling (if I got started, I am a complete text book case) but I'm quite self-aware, I know where I'm going wrong in every aspect of my life and instead of going to counselling, I worked hard on every area that my GP picked on and am a stronger person for it.

As an update to my post yesterday, I met my friend at the pub, he had a beer and I had a lime & soda water (almost a quarter of the price of what he paid too). On the way home he stopped for fish and chips, passed me a little wooden fork, which I proceeded to throw in the next bin. I got home and made a stir fry and went to bed feeling proud of myself. Small steps... be proud of me!!

JayEll
07-07-2011, 06:07 AM
I am proud of you! :cheer2: :cheer3: :cheer2:

Jay

SCraver
07-07-2011, 03:41 PM
Thanks for all your comments - it's really interesting to get the perspectives - and from the guys who've stopped drinking too.

I won't go into the whole food/alcohol addiction things - completely unrelated to alcohol, I was once referred for counselling (if I got started, I am a complete text book case) but I'm quite self-aware, I know where I'm going wrong in every aspect of my life and instead of going to counselling, I worked hard on every area that my GP picked on and am a stronger person for it.

As an update to my post yesterday, I met my friend at the pub, he had a beer and I had a lime & soda water (almost a quarter of the price of what he paid too). On the way home he stopped for fish and chips, passed me a little wooden fork, which I proceeded to throw in the next bin. I got home and made a stir fry and went to bed feeling proud of myself. Small steps... be proud of me!!

:carrot: :carrot: :carrot:
That is awesome!! I find the less I drink the less I miss it.
I haven't had a drink since Monday! I am now trying to limit to just a couple on the weekends...

theox
07-07-2011, 09:19 PM
WTG, BetterLikeMel! :cb: :cb: :cb:

Purrfect
07-07-2011, 09:26 PM
I used to drink almost daily and often heavily. I contribute my massive weight gain and ballooning up to 333 pounds in large part to drinking...and the pure laziness that comes with it. I'd start drinking around 4-5pm, drink until 9pm...eat a massive supper and go to bed....wake up ill, eat away the hangover and do it all over again the next afternoon/evening. After a while, there was nothing social about it. It was not what everyone was doing...it was what I thought everyone was doing because I was too hammered to know the difference.

Now that I've changed the people and the places I hang out with, I have found that you can have a BLAST without a single drop of booze. I have saved so much money from not drinking (or smoking), that I can afford to take my family and I on the vacation of a lifetime here in a few weeks. I personally will never go back to drinking, unless someone pours it down my throat, it is NOT worth it to me. Sugar, on the other hand...ugh.

I quit drinking on March 4, 2008...by the grace of God!

you are amazing..such a great loss of weight and keeping it off!!

shishkeberry
07-07-2011, 10:47 PM
Luckily I've always hated the taste of alcohol except for the occasional sangria or glass of wine. And by occasional, I mean 2-3 times a year. Now if I could only stop smoking...

April Snow
07-07-2011, 11:09 PM
I like alcohol, but aside from a handful of youthful over indulgences, I've always been able to enjoy in moderation. However, at this point, it's calories and not allowed on my current plan, so it's currently off my agenda. Once I reach goal, I will go ahead and enjoy an occasional drink.

Skittlez
07-07-2011, 11:21 PM
I've never been much of a drinker, I did a little drinking when I was 17-20 but not very often and as soon as I turned 21 the appeal went away lol. That said, there seem to be two types of heavy drinkers as far as food goes, those that drink instead of eating, and those that drink and eat a ton. Neither is good for you :-P Social drinking is fine, but blacking out (precursor to alcoholism or not) is never a good thing. Not even thinking about how hard it is on your body, but what could happen while you're blacked out... Not being able to say no after drinking one or two is kind of worrying too... But congrats on saying no yesterday! Stay safe.

Rana
07-08-2011, 04:58 PM
I used to drink a lot more wine (I stopped drinking hard liquor many many years ago) but once I started on this journey, I realized how many calories were in wine and decided I wanted to eat those calories instead.

Since then, I find that I don't miss it, my social events go perfectly fine without alcohol and I save on calories and money!

I will drink at work events, when it's expected -- I have a boss who is a big lover of wine and he knows that I love wine, so I'll take a glass. But I haven't gotten drunk on wine in a very long time and I think my weight loss has gone faster without the wine in my diet (period).

berryblondeboys
07-08-2011, 05:38 PM
I never understood the drinking appeal. It's expensive as h-e-double toothpicks (have never been one to throw money away) and it makes you look stupid and do stupid things. I used to run university residence halls - living in hall and out of hall and man have I seen drinking ruin many a students lives.

With that said, I enjoy wine and mixed drinks, but it's so not worth it for most occasions. So proud of you for getting a lime and soda water! That sounds good too!

FrecklesTX
10-31-2012, 12:21 PM
I went through a Martini phase. I craved them just like I crave chocolate. Didn't care about any other alcohol. Didn't want any other drinks, Just wanted my Plymouth gin, Dolin vermouth, dirty, three blue cheese olives.

I would give up my dinner so I could have 2. This did not go well. I would be drunk and end up eating anyway. Usually pizza. Usually half of it.

I thought I could get back on track and just have an odd drink here or there..tried it with jameson on the rocks. Fail! Ended up drunk and eating cheetohs.

Oh and the resulting dehydration makes me retain water so I do see a increase on the scale. Even if temporary, I feel like I'm losing time. I also felt like I wasn't in control of my cravings - just like with food. I can easily see why gastric band folks might deal with that. Overeating brings a bliss of it's own. You lose that and 4 measley ounces of alcohol gets you smashed.

I must abstain. I can't integrate alcohol into my diet if I wanna see weight loss.

freelancemomma
10-31-2012, 07:18 PM
I think drinking is a very individual thing, just like eating. Some people hear alcohol calling their name all day, others don't. I fall into the latter group. I can have alcohol in the house without ever thinking about it. That said, I drink a glass of wine (occasionally two) with dinner almost every day. I enjoy a mild buzz but don't feel any compulsion to get drunk, though I've certainly gotten hammered quite a few times in my youth.

I've always KNOWN that I don't have it in me to become an alcoholic, so I don't worry about it. I also know that I DO have it in me to balloon to 400 pounds, so food is an area where I have to put in more conscious thought and vigilance.

F.

Arctic Mama
10-31-2012, 07:53 PM
We've had home brewed beer and wine from friends sitting in our garage for six months and I'm still not tempted by it, nor the beer in the fridge and rum in the cupboard. I'm another who drinks on rare occasion but isn't tempted by it AT ALL. Not at a party, restaurant, or here at home.

Oh how I WISH I could say the same about food!

JollyGreenSteen19
10-31-2012, 08:01 PM
Alcohol has never done anything for me. It makes me hot and sweaty and before too long sick to my stomach, and then sleepy. None of that sounds like a fun night out to me. Plus all those empty calories - a waste in my opinion. The main reason I ever drink is social convention - "everyone else is ordering a margarita, I should too". I am 22 BTW :)

novangel
10-31-2012, 09:03 PM
Alcohol never contributed to my weight gain but I dislike what it does to people including myself. I walked away from it in 2008. I also walked away from an 18 year friendship because she drinks excessively. I want nothing to do with alcoholism...empty calories is the least of my reasons.