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Old 01-17-2012, 09:24 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Alcohol and Weight Loss

I'm very frusterated with myself right now. I think my problem is self control, and I think that applies to everything in my life, eating, drinking, smoking, etc... I have none.

On Saturday morning I was so excited because I had been on my new diet and exercising and lost 8 pounds! BUT - I knew that evening I was going out to meet friends at a bar to watch the Patriots/Broncos game... I was nervous to even drink because i was on my diet - well I ended up drinking, and then drinking more, then Sunday I was hungover, I didn't exercise, I ate a cheeseburger, a quesadilla and an egg and ham burritto... (no self control) and slept all day - then Monday I still felt like crap and didn't go to bootcamp.

Now I just stepped on the scale and I've gained 4 pounds back. I've sworn to myself that I'm done drinking - even posted it on facebook, so of course, now it's official haha... But I am really hoping that I can stick with that and just kick alcohol to the curb...

Has anyone else struggled with this? I think that alcohol and the scenario above with binge drinking, eating, lack of exercise is the #1 cause of my weight gain over the years anyways. Don't know if I'm mad at myself for falling off my good progress so easily, or sad that I have no self control.

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Old 01-17-2012, 10:53 PM   #2
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The problem with alcohol is it serves no dietary purpose. Empty calories. Secondly, it loosens you up and then it can all go downhill. Afterwards, you're ill, you're mad at yourself, you swear never again, and so it goes.

The gain can also be contributed somewhat to bloat, sodium, lots of carbs and a lack of veg & fruit.

Life is, however, going to happen, so if you're going to go out with friends, why not try an experiment next time with a low calorie drink - white wine spritzer perhaps, or cut whatever it is you drink with some water, or at the very least, alternate...have 1 drink, then 2 waters, then 1 drink....then 2 waters. Most likely, you'll be floating and not apt to have a 3rd drink.

I don't drink. That isn't to say I haven't had drinks in my life, and about a year ago not only did I have a few drinks, but I stopped on the way home from work, picked up vodka and tomato juice and made a bloody mary for me, my daughter, my husband, and I joke, the dog too. It was that or jump off a bridge. I had 2 drinks that night, haven't had another since, and probably won't for a long time. I'm not a recovering alcoholic...its that I am diabetic and have liver issues. I can't eat sushi or take tylenol either. That written, I definitely can go to a bar and drink water--not a problem. The last time I drank was a conscious decision to drink and that was that. When it comes to food, however, I haven't had a potato chip in more than 6 months. Nor pie, nor cake, nor ice cream, nor candy. Good cheese and crackers is another thing I avoid but allowed it during New Year's weekend. It wasn't easy round halloween, and my husband brings crap into the house...but I've learned for the most part to not allow it to tempt me.

Point being if you think you can't be around something for lack of control, its best to avoid it.

The good news is, you've recognized your transgressions and want to do better and not undo the good you've been doing. We're human; we screw up. Aim for better, and if sticking your toe into the waters is impossible, its best to avoid the pool all together.

Good luck to you.

Is that your final answer?

Last edited by 124chicksinger; 01-17-2012 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:18 AM   #3
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Honestly when I have a few too many on a night, I normally wind up showing a loss the next morning. The weight quickly goes back to normal when I have my standard recovery food of a cheeseburger, fries & a Coke, but that could just be me.

It could just be the amount of bad food you had on your day after that got you and the type, which sounds like it was higher in salt and carbs & may have caused you to retain water.

That being said, I agree with chicksinger in that it might be worth looking at what you're drinking when you're out and alternating drinks with water/soda/juice. Or at least trying not to keep up with how quickly everyone else is drinking that way you can still get that nice feeling without waking up with a hangover, or less of one at least.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:29 AM   #4
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Yep, I've been there. Was there a few weeks ago. I think I've been in that same exact situation. Drinking and eating is a vicious cycle with me. My problem too is drinking out of boredom at home while I watch tv which causes the same problem. You don't want to eat carrot sticks while you're going through a bottle of wine. I'm kicking that to the curb and only trying to drink when I go out with friends. But then you come back to what can you drink on a diet. Should you even ever drink on a diet?

My theory is cutting out everything forever isn't realistic. Some people can do it. But I'm not able to. So what I want to learn is moderation. But on top that I have diabetes and have to be on a low carb diet.

So I agree with all of this....

Originally Posted by 124chicksinger View Post
The problem with alcohol is it serves no dietary purpose. Empty calories. Secondly, it loosens you up and then it can all go downhill. Afterwards, you're ill, you're mad at yourself, you swear never again, and so it goes.

Life is, however, going to happen, so if you're going to go out with friends, why not try an experiment next time with a low calorie drink - white wine spritzer perhaps, or cut whatever it is you drink with some water, or at the very least, alternate...have 1 drink, then 2 waters, then 1 drink....then 2 waters. Most likely, you'll be floating and not apt to have a 3rd drink.
What I've also done is tried to drink low carb drinks. No carbs in liquor. I love wine but only drink it sparingly on occasion. If I'm out with friends I'll sip on like a jack and diet coke. Key word being sip. As mentioned above, its also empty calories. You do have to slow it down and not order a drink every time your friends do which is SO hard. Additionally, I've read that your body processes alcohol before anything else to get it out of your body. So it really is impossible to be a drinker and achieve a significant amount of weight loss.

The sucky thing is that sometimes this makes it harder to hang out with my friends. 98% of my friends are drinkers. And they drink a lot. I used to keep up with them. But I just can't do it anymore or I'll get into the cycle you've described. So when I've hung out with them recently I have felt a bit left out. And I'm worried that I'm just not going to be able to hang out with my friends anymore. It's like being a drug addict. They say that you lose friends because you're not sharing the common interest that kept you all together. I don't want to lose my friends. But things will probably change. It's just a fact of me getting healthier and my friends staying where they are.

Anyway, in the end, I've been there, done that, and there really is no way to keep doing it during weight loss which you know. Unfortunately you just have to change the behavior.

Good Luck!

Sweat Pea from Sucker Punch - "‎Who honors those we love with the very life we live? Who sends monsters to kill us, and at the same time sings that we'll never die? Who teaches us what's real, and how to laugh at lies? Who decides why we live, and what we'll die to defend? Who chains us, and who holds the key to set us free? It's you. You have all the weapons you need. Now fight!"
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:02 AM   #5
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Yeah, I love bourbon and beer. The two things that are totally incompatible with weight loss. My friends are social drinkers as well. We don't get together all that much but when we do, we drink. But we drink at someone's house so I have the luxury of being able to make my own drinks. I use half as much liquor, and twice as much diet sprite and a ton of ice. I still get the taste of it, I still feel like I'm drinking with them, they still think I'm drinking with them. And I only drink 2 max. Which means only one "normal" drink. I haven't had beer at all and won't for a while.

But what it comes down to is, how badly do you want to succeed in your weight loss? You don't have to deprive yourself, you have to control yourself. Can you learn to stop with only one drink? Can you have fun with your friends without getting drunk? Is the drinking together all that makes you friends?

You're sabotaging your own success. Your friends will either come around, or they won't and you'll have to get new friends or continue to be frustrated. Even if you have a bad day or week and you go off the rails a bit, you don't have to compound it by throwing your plans completely out the window. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back to it.

Last edited by andrew80k; 01-18-2012 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:35 AM   #6
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I do shots because I love sugary and milky mixed drinks. I know 4 shots of whiskey will have me feelin' really good without making me sick. Then I do two when I realize I'm sobering up and then I'm good for the night.

Just this weekend, there was a bachelorette party I went to. I have a cheat day on my diet and I use it on Saturdays.. and use it I did. There was a giant feast of chicken, pulled pork, mac 'n cheese, potatoes, corn bread, etc. before going out. I had some super sugary shots and a white russian before we even left. Then we get to the wine bar where I have a chocolate martini and some champagne. Then we get to the club where I have a raspberry long island (Don't worry, we had two drivers hehe). My head HURT the next morning and the host made a Paula Deen recipe for baked french toast. It was not my cheat day anymore but I ate the french toast anyway. Then you know what I did after I got home from that on Sunday? Ate a pizza. Because either pizza or McDonald's are my hangover recovery food. This was on Sunday. It's Wednesday and I'm back exactly where I was Saturday morning. So I wouldn't worry too much the weight should come off quickly. And don't beat yourself up! Things happen, just get back on track and everything will be fine =)
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:17 PM   #7
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Alcohol is a crutch for me no doubt. I don't drink to excess often, but when I do it takes me more than the average girl to feel it...aka more EMPTY calories....bah I know I would be so much better off cutting it out for a month or two...but my BF comes home on weekends and has a drink...making it irresistable

Next week I will ask him if he will try to cut back for a month or two with me so he don't tempt me..ha! we will see.....
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:54 PM   #8
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sooo many drinks have an absurd amount of calories!

i don't drink nearly as much as i used to, simply because i just don't have the urge and i don't have the time. that doesn't mean i don't drink at all, though.

i actually really like red wine. drinking a glass of wine means you will most likely go slowly. (try chugging a cabernet, ughhhh). my old go-to was a flavored vodka and club soda. i'm pretty sure it's not too high up on the calorie scale. my best friend swears by those "skinny girl" products and loves the sangria. of course, if you drink beer, there are plenty of companies with special brews geared toward lower calories.

stay away from sour mix, fancy frozen concoctions and the like! its like an entire meal!
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:03 PM   #9
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I keep my drinks non-sugary (vodka/club soda) and don't drink too many. A multivitamin with water does a lot for me when I wake up early the next morning.
If I'm feeling the effects of my drinking, I usually don't want to cook, so I just pull out leftovers or a freezer meal that I've already made that I keep in my freezer. The other option is to make a breakfast sandwich (the ingredients I keep at home are low calorie) or pull out a veggie burger or spinach ravioli from my freezer.

Unless I ordered out, I don't really have a reason to eat calorie-laden food.

If I were to make a burger, quesadilla, and egg and ham burrito from the food I have laying around in my house, it would set me back about 831 calories (bread round - 100, veggie burger - 100, 2% cheese -60, pickles, spinach, tomato, ketchup, mustard - 50; 2 low carb tortillas - 100, veggies - 30, 1/4 cup 2% cheese - 80, salsa - 30; low carb wrap - 71, 2 eggs -150, 2oz ham - 60).

831 calories is still under, IMO. It's all about eating what you want, but finding the best way to get that flavor profile that you're looking for.
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:03 PM   #10
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So funny I was totally wasted Satureday night and I'm down 3 lbs today and totally back on plan. Didn't eat late though, just saved some calories for the night, went over, left the club came home and crashed. Not too bad in the morning thought I would be up but nope.....

HOWEVER I spoke to my trainer today and I have now decided to give up the booze and put a damper on my party life....which is hard for me cause I have always been and probably will always be party girl. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to dance, so at the club I'm not just drinking I'm getting a great cardio workout too LOL My trainer told me that how hard I'm working at my workouts the booze can set me back 2 weeks! That shocked me! I work SO hard 5 times a week that I'm thinking maybe I could be losing more or faster if I wasn't partying....so I'm quitting now I am now the designated driver until I hit goal! Or until Pride! Whichever comes first!

To the OP: Your just starting out so changing this part of your lifestyle might be hard. It was for me, and I'm doing it now. What I did before was pre drink only skinny girl margaritas and skinny girl sangrias. It never hurt me. Look it up, maybe try it out and see how you feel. Ultimately its a choice you need to make.....maybe giving it up won't be forever until you hit a certain weight or goal....I know I'm not giving it up forever just until I get the most of the last 50lbs off....so set some guidlines up for yourself.

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Last edited by InsideMe; 01-18-2012 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by d130 View Post
Honestly when I have a few too many on a night, I normally wind up showing a loss the next morning. The weight quickly goes back to normal when I have my standard recovery food of a cheeseburger, fries & a Coke, but that could just be me.
I show a loss on the scale the morning after I drink as well. I think it has more to do with dehydration than anything else.
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:04 PM   #12
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Yep, alcohol is dehydrating, which accounts for the next morning loss some of you are seeing. But, because you are now dehydrated your body will hold on to water, which is the gain the OP saw.

gimmeMYbodyBACK - Don't worry about it too much. I highly doubt you ate/drank enough calories in two days to gain 4 pounds of fat. You'd have to have consumed 14,000 calories OVER your maintenance!!! Most likely you were just dehydrated from the alcohol, then you consumed a lot of sodium which will dry you out more. It's just water retention. Drink a lot(!) of water the next couple of days and you will see most, if not all, of it come off again.

That said, giving up the alcohol is a good plan when you are trying to lose weight. It's just empty calories and reduces your determination to eat healthy. Once in a blue moon is perfectly fine, but if it's a regular thing it's going to slow the process. Plus, it's just not healthy and this is all about making healthy choices.

- Started at 219.8, ticker reflects the weight I was at when I got back to it after stopping for a while.
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:12 PM   #13
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Oh boy... I love microbrews but they are NOT diet friendly. But don't worry... it's pretty hard to pack on 4 pounds of actual fat in that time frame, it's most likely the weight of your food and the bloat. I find that in order to lose weight, I have to keep my drinking days down to a minimum so I allow myself to drink on the weekend. Usually though, after a night of letting loose I really want to get back to eating healthy. Even my hangover breakfast, while calorie dense, is healthy, avocado and eggs... Good fats and protein. By the middle of the following week I'm back down in weight and sometimes even weigh less after I jump on track Monday. It's really about enjoying your night but getting back on your healthy habits ASAP.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:28 PM   #14
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Default You must go back to the right track

The only thing that I can suggest is you need to go back to the right track. You must focus yourself and do not allow your weaknesses eat you. self discipline is what you need.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:35 PM   #15
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I hate the pushing friends or the situations that encourage excessive drinking. My grandfather always told me one thing about drinking. And while it was meant to stop me from dealing with unwanted male attention, it also works for dieting.

Order one drink with a common mixer: diet coke, water, tonic, club soda. I always go with diet coke cause I like it and it has no calories. After your drink, trip your bar tender WELL. Then, take a few sips, wait a bit and ask if the bar tender would hit your drink with a little more mixer. Repeat process--sip, sip, fill. By the end of the night, you're drinking nothing but mixer, your friends have no idea you haven't kept up with them and you're not longer consuming alcohol calories.
“There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”

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