Drinking and Dieting: How Much is Too Much?

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When you're committed to losing weight and getting healthy, refraining from drinking alcohol may be one of your long-term goals. Drinking alcohol can sabotage your diet because most forms of alcohol contain high amounts of sugar and calories; drinking can also make you vulnerable for overeating when you aren't making conscious decisions on what to eat.

Still, some diet plans do allow the occasional glass of wine with dinner or a bottle of low-calorie beer, as long as it stays within your calorie quota for the day. Is drinking while dieting a smart strategy? Here's what you need to know:

Alcohol and Your Diet

When you're trying to decide whether alcohol is a healthy addition to your diet, there are several things to consider. First, the type or form of alcohol you drink plays an important role in absorption and metabolism; alcohol is a form of simple sugar, and cocktail drinks made with vodka, rum and gin are typically absorbed and processed very quickly. These drinks are also full of calories and can easily put you over your daily caloric limit. The only way to slow down absorption is to eat a significant amount of carbohydrate and fat before you drink; for most people on a diet, this is not a sensible addition to the daily menu.