Alcohol and Weight Loss

Liquid Weight Gainer

My name is Mike MacKinnon, and I’m a strength and nutrition coach working out of Mississauga, Ontario.  I do personal training, and write strength training programs and nutrition programs for people.  My services are available in person, over the phone, or via Skype.

Something that often gets in the way of a successful weight loss program is alcohol.  When working with someone, if they don’t present as a food addict, I will allow a couple of cheat meals each week.  Alcohol can be a part of those “cheats” no problem.  But daily drinking?  Folks, you’re not going to lose weight that way.

Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, which is more than a gram of carbohydrate or protein (4/g).  Alcoholic drinks are also sugar/carb-laden when we drink them in mixed form (beer has a lot of carbs, so do fruity and/or mixed drinks with lots of mixer added).

Too many calories – especially too many calories from sugar – is a weight loss killer.  Alcohol literally is a liquid weight gainer.


Moderate Alcohol Consumption

To be honest – and I say this as a recovered alcoholic – if a person drinks daily, I think that needs to be examined closely.  Why do you have to drink daily?  Do you need to relax at the end of a long day?  If so, why not choose reading, watching television, or – better yet – going out for a walk, run, or even to the gym?  These are all relaxing activities that make us feel better.

If you’re relying on alcohol to change your state, i.e. to relax more, there may be a deeper problem.  I’m in no way suggesting that you’re an alcoholic if you do this, however “using” alcohol to change how you feel can signify potential problems down the road.

The fact of the matter is that most social drinkers are not daily drinkers.  Most social drinkers are actually rare drinkers…they don’t partake that often.  Moderate alcohol consumption is about having it once in a while, and not missing it when you don’t have it.  It’s really that simple.

If your doctor told you that you had to stop drinking immediately or it would kill you, could you do it without much trouble?  If so, then the chances are you don’t have a problem.  But – if when you honestly ask yourself “Could I?” and the answer is “No,” or “It’d be hard” – then that needs to be looked at.

Alcohol Can Be a Gamechanger (and Not in a Good Way)

can expect your results to suffer.  Secondly, drinking alcohol reduces our inhibitions.  When drinking, that late-night pizza may seem to be a better idea than it would have been had you not been imbibing, which also adds more calories to your total.

Best to limit your drinking to twice per week, and have the alcohol with a “cheat” meal.  Make sure you space your cheats out as well, with at least 2 days between them.  An ideal split would be Wednesday and Saturday, for example.

So What’s the Bottom Line?

If you must include alcohol in your diet, then do it on a schedule as prescribed above.  Yes, this includes when you’re on vacation.  Don’t let the vacation mentality set in and sabotage you.  Bring your food plan with you on vacation and follow it.  Don’t get out of the habit.  I’m serious about that: I’ve seen it time and time again, a good run on weight loss ruined by a vacation.

Vacation should NEVER be a time where it’s acceptable to “gain a few pounds.”  “Normal” eaters don’t gain much, if anything at all, on vacation.  They don’t vacation to eat, they vacation to get away from it all.  Take a page out of their book and try doing the same.  Don’t make your next vacation about eating and drinking, make it about relaxing and recharging.

Also please be aware of the reasons why you drink.  If you’re having trouble quitting, ask yourself why that is?  There may be a deeper problem that extends beyond just a weight issue.

I can help you navigate any and all of these things.  I have experience in helping people lose weight and get in shape.  I’ve been a fitness coach and personal trainer in Mississauga for over 10 years now.  I also have a lot of experience in helping people successfully quit problematic drinking through my life coaching programs.

If you’d like to know more, please don’t hesitate to give me a call/text at 647-677-6025, or e-mail me at  I’d love to hear from you!

Oh, and if you’d like to get my free publication “The Blueprint for Summertime Weight Loss Success,” I’d be happy to send it to you for free.  Just send me an e-mail and I’ll return one to you with it attached.  It has a food plan, recipe book and meal prep guide that’s designed for quick but healthy weight loss.  Ask for it: it’s free!