Simple answer is no! That’s the good news, but let’s look at some of the facts about alcohol and weight loss.


The first thing to say is the odd glass or two of wine is fine, but when that odd glass or two becomes a regular occurrence, and by that I mean 2/3 times a week, will you be sabotaging your weight loss efforts?


So let’s look at some of the facts




To me this is perhaps the most important thing to consider.  You get no nutritional value from alcohol as you do from other food stuffs such as protein, fats and carbohydrates.  Alcohol is 8kcals per gram which is nearly twice as much as protein and carbs together – simply put, alcohol is very high in calories.  Why does this matter? It’s doing nothing for your body and can of course (as we all know) be affecting your liver, pancreas and other organs.  Essentially, it’s just additional no value calories.




If you are carrying extra fat (or not) your body will turn to the alcohol first in its efforts to get rid of the toxins from the body.  One notion that everyone should know up front is that when you drink—even just one serving of your favourite drink your body makes metabolising that alcohol its priority above everything else. Through the process of getting rid of alcohol from your blood, the liver needs to detoxify it. With just a single drink, you are already putting some stress on your body and giving it work to do burning off the alcohol above any excess fat.




Here’s the science bit, with weight, there are 3 key hormones you need to be aware of, grehlin, leptin and insulin.  Alcohol is in essence carbohydrate which increases insulin in your body, which can hasten fat storage, directly in to the fat cells, bigger fat cells = overall added body fat (science bit over!)




When you think about what takes place over the course of a night of drinking, your brain goes through some changes where it disrupts communication pathways and your behaviours and cognition may be impaired.  Your defences are lowered and you can reach for the extra snacks, or kebab or pizza on the way home.  You know what I mean….


And let’s face it, who wants to eat healthily or go to the gym the following day with a stonking hangover.  It’s inevitable your performance will suffer




The first two elements of weight loss are obvious, diet and exercise, but one very often overlooked is the need for good quality sleep, 7-9 hours per night.  Now this is all tied up with hormone regulation (getting good quality sleep, see hormones above), but let’s face it, if we’ve drunk too much we may be out for the count comatosed, but then our sleep becomes disrupted and agitated.  There’s a reason we wake up after a night out feeling exhausted……


These are the facts, but if you want my opinion, here it is!


When people ask me personally “Lisa did you give up alcohol to lose weight?”, the answer is a yes.  I did because I was drinking 3 or 4 times a week and sometimes that was several glasses of wine, sometimes 1 or 2.  I don’t happen to be a very moderate person and I came to the conclusion that my drinking was anything but moderate.  I also knew that alcohol was additional calories that I couldn’t afford whilst trying to lose weight.


I did however learn that it was OK to have a couple of drinks on a special night out, rather than every and any night out, or every weekend.  That was my choice and now, mainly I chose not to drink because that’s what I prefer to do.


So, I made a choice.  And that’s the important thing.  You can choose what is most important to you.  Whether you want to lose weight or not and the impact alcohol is likely to be having.  Would it be the worst thing in the world to give it a go and not drink for a couple of weeks?  It certainly wasn’t for me and it surprised me how easy it was, if I don’t drink I seriously don’t miss it. But my choice is mine, and yours must be yours based on the goals you want to achieve.


I do hope you enjoyed this blog and as ever if you need any help with weight loss or have any questions do get in touch: