Drinking and weight loss, can a balance be achieved?

The most recently posed question to me on a leisurely, holiday Monday anchored off beautiful Rum Point was “Can I drink and still lose weight?”. 

The gentleman posing the question proceeded to pat his rather rotund tummy. 

There’s no question that the extra calories in alcohol have an effect on weight, especially if a person consumes flavourful tropical concoctions or drinks daily or just occasionally.  

People with insulin and sugar-related challenges may also gain weight due to flooding of sugar into the bloodstream and their inability to metabolise it easily. 

Thinking seriously about drinking and weight-gain, however, we must question why many physically fit people remain at a normal weight and also drink. Why may drinking cause weight gain in some and not in others?  

Answers may lie in the following questions: What snacks are indulged in while drinking? How much does drinking lead to uncontrollable eating for you? How many drinks are consumed? What is the calorie content of the drinks? How active are you on a regular basis – this offsets extra calories, boosts metabolism and keeps the internal organs (especially the liver) functioning healthily. How often do you abstain from alcohol for a time? 

A healthy viewpoint in maintaining a balanced lifestyle is moderation in all things.  

If drinking is part of your lifestyle and weight gain is a concern, making adjustments in the quality and quantity of snacks and drinks consumed will help, as will incorporating regular physical activity into your lifestyle.  

The answer to “Can I drink and lose weight?” depends upon each individual’s lifestyle. It also depends on a person’s belief system. 

A belief system is what we believe to be true, and is based on our personal past experiences, as well as what we have been taught. For example, if you eat a cookie and think that eating a cookie will lead to weight gain, that is a belief system about cookies.  

Wisdom tells us that eating one cookie will not make us gain weight. It could be that eating one cookie leads to a feeling of failure, thinking “I’m fat” and leads one to eating more cookies.  

Alternatively, if you are able to eat a cookie guilt free, without worrying about weight gain, the cookie has little effect on weight or your feelings about yourself. The same principle can apply to intelligent drinking.  

E-mail [email protected] for snack ideas that do less damage while drinking, as well as how you may reduce alcohol consumption. 


Donna Mitchell is a lifestyle consultant specialising in weight management and self-help. 


It’s tasty and creamy and delicious, but will this mudslide affect my diet? – PHOTO: FILE