Alcohol is one of the worst things you can consume when dieting to lose fat. It can prevent you from burning fat while your body rids itself from toxins.

Aside from this, we will go over several reasons why you should avoid alcohol when dieting to lose fat.


1. Alcohol is Calorie Dense

The only way to lose fat is to burn more calories than you consume — it is a basic accounting equation of calories in calories out (CICO).

But clocking in at a whopping 7 calories per gram, alcohol contains almost double the calories of carbohydrates and protein — but none of the nutritional value of these macronutrients.

A great way to pile on the calories is by drinking as alcohol is very moreish.

In a lengthy drinking session, the calories can rack up fast. Add junk food or fast food into the mix and you can easily accumulate several thousands of calories in only a few hours.

Not only that, but as we will mention below, as alcohol lowers your inhibitions and increases your cravings for calorie-dense food, you are potentially lighting a powder keg of calories when your body is in a suboptimal condition for muscle growth.

Lastly, alcohol is an anti-nutrient that can suppress digestive enzymes and damage cells in the digestive tract rendering nutritious foods less beneficial. It may also leave you less efficient at absorbing protein.

Protein is the most thermogenic macronutrient. Roughly 30% of the calories in protein are consumed through its digestion alone.

Now, let’s observe the amount of calories in your favorite tipple:

Beer (light)12 oz (355 ml)103
Beer (regular)12 oz (355 ml)153
Beer (higher alcohol, craft beers)12 oz (355 ml)170 to 350
Distilled Alcohol
Gin (80 proof)1.5 oz (45 ml)97
Gin (94 proof)1.5 oz (45 ml)116
Rum (80 proof)1.5 oz (45 ml)97
Rum (94 proof)1.5 oz (45 ml)116
Vodka (80 proof)1.5 oz (45 ml)97
Vodka (94 proof)1.5 oz (45 ml)116
Whiskey (80 proof)1.5 oz (45 ml)97
Whiskey (94 proof)1.5 oz (45 ml)116
Coffee liqueur1.5 oz (45 ml)160
Coffee liqueur with cream1.5 oz (45 ml)154
Crème de menthe1.5 oz (45 ml)186
Mixed Drinks
Bloody Mary4.6 oz (136 ml)120
Chocolate martini2.5 oz (74 ml)418
Cosmopolitan2.75 oz (81 ml)146
Daiquiri2.7 oz (80 ml)137
Highball8 oz (235 ml)110
Hot buttered rum8 oz (235 ml)292
Mai Tai4.9 oz (145 ml)306
Margarita4 oz (120 ml)168
Mimosa4 oz (120 ml)75
Mint Julep4.5 oz (135 ml)165
Mojito6 oz (177 ml)143
Pina colada6.8 oz (200 ml)526
Rum and Coke8 oz (235 ml)185
Rum and Diet Coke8 oz (235 ml)100
Tequila sunrise6.8 oz (200 ml)232
Vodka and tonic7 oz (207 ml)189
Whiskey sour3 oz (89 ml)125
White Russian8 oz (235 ml)568
White table wine5 oz (145 ml)128
Gewurztraminer5 oz (145 ml)128
Muscat5 oz (145 ml)129
Riesling5 oz (145 ml)129
Chenin Blanc5 oz (145 ml)129
Chardonnay5 oz (145 ml)128
Sauvignon Blanc5 oz (145 ml)128
Fume Blanc5 oz (145 ml)128
Pinot Grigio5 oz (145 ml)128
Dry dessert wine3.5 oz (90 ml)157
Red table wine5 oz (145 ml)125
Petite Sirah5 oz (145 ml)125
Merlot5 oz (145 ml)122
Cabernet Sauvignon5 oz (145 ml)122
Red Zinfandel5 oz (145 ml)129
Burgundy5 oz (145 ml)122
Pinot Noir5 oz (145 ml)121
Claret5 oz (145 ml)122
Syrah5 oz (145 ml)122
Red dessert wine3.5 oz (90 ml)165
(taken from:

2. Alcohol Can Prevent You From Burning Fat and Slows Metabolism

Since your body treats alcohol like a toxin, and it can’t be stored in the body, the body burns the calories available in alcohol first to expel these toxins (namely acetaldehyde and acetate).


This process slows your metabolism down, postponing the consumption of calories from other food sources.

Foods consumed while under the influence of alcohol are likely to be stored as fat as your body runs off alcohol for energy until toxins are expelled.

This makes fat loss while enjoying drink doubly precarious as you have to contend with avoiding post-session fast food.

Not only that, but alcohol can lower your energy levels through dehydration and inadequate production of adenosene triphosphate (ATP) which fuels cells during intense exercise.

3. Booze Makes You Consume More Calories

estrogen beer belly

Not only does the sauce contain a ton of calories and makes you less inclined to burn them off, but it also prompts you to eat greasy, calorie-laden foods.

You must have fairly unshakable discipline to choose celery sticks over a burger when you’re several drinks in.

And, of course, these calories add up.

Researchers also found that people who have a drink with lunch are more likely to consume more calories throughout the day.

4. The Sauce Lowers Energy Levels, Making You Less Active

So not only does alcohol contain a ton of useless calories, slow down your metabolism, but it also leaves you dehydrated as it’s a diuretic that can disrupt your electrolyte balance.

After raking in thousands of calories in junk, you will do less to burn them off in the following days — sounds like an awful trade off!

What You Can Do

Try to avoid increasing your total caloric intake if you are going to consume alcohol.

Use sugar-free mixers such as diet soda and avoid beers, wines, or sugary cocktails for the most part.

Stock your fridge with low-calorie snacks such as raw vegetables, fruit, and low-fat dairy products to satiate your appetite after the pub.

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