Weight Loss NHS
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Alcoholic calories

Hi everyone - well I've just signed up to try and lose a stone by Christmas. My other half is going to try as well, but unfortunately he's very good at (unintentionally) sabotaging my efforts, particularly with portion control...ie total lack of. But I'm the heaviest I've ever been I can't fit into most of my winter clothes and I feel fat and unhappy - time to do something.

My biggest challenge - weekend alcohol. I need to change my mindset from 'I've had a busy week I deserve a drink at the weekend'. Any hints or tips please?

9 Replies

I still have a drink at the weekend, you just need to plan for the calories! Half a bottle of wine is just over 250 calories so I menu plan to ensure I have enough left to allow me this indulgence. I will be honest, I rarely have pudding at the weekend!

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I do the same as Catch, I calorie count everything and include alcohol (, in my case I have a couple of glasses thru the week as well) I use the myfitnesspal app to log all my daily food and drink and if necessary I weigh portions. I found that if I weighed stuff for the first few weeks I then had a pretty good idea what a portion looked like, so if Im out I can more or less assess how much Im eating. I lost a steady 1lb a week. Now lost 16lbs and 10 to go. Its true its slower towards the end but can be done.

PS my partner has no will power and can be a bad influence sometimes but if I go well over on one day, I adjust for the next few days.


You're right about the mindset. I'm convinced that it all starts and continues in the head.

You mention portion control. I've heard that something as simple as using a smaller plate will help. Do you feel compelled to eat it all up just because someone has filled your plate to overflowing? How about stopping when you've had enough? Or is the problem just that you don't get the 'had enough' feeling and don't know when you should stop?

What does having a drink at the weekend actually do for you? You say you deserve it - but don't you deserve to be able to fit into your clothes? You probably have a wardrobe full and they all cost you money. Don't you deserve to be able to wear the clothes you chose and paid for?

Just a few thoughts.


I reward myself with a drink or two at the weekend too. My thoughts are that this is a change of life so to completely ban alcohol is probably unrealistic. I find that the diet does make the resistance level lower so am not able to overdo the drink without feeling awful the next day. I guess keyword is moderation as with everything. Good luck.


Hi Jane73,

Unfortunately, weight loss and alcohol are not good bedfellows. There's a number of reasons. Firstly, alcohol is pretty calorific stuff and it impedes the weight burning process.

Also, alcohol intake almost always - being a disinhibiter - reduces your will power to stick to your weight loss regime.

My advice would be to try - at least while trying to reduce weight - to cut down your alcohol intake either by reducing the quantities you drink or by watering it down more so that you drink about the same amount but actually consume less alcohol.

There's more on that on the drinkaware web-site.

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Have to agree with you. I only recently learnt that alcohol stops you from burning weight. I had thought as long as it was part of your calorie allowance it was fine......wrong!

At the end of the day, I suppose if you want a drink, nothing can stop you from having one. It's really up to the individual, same like if you decide to eat junk food......is the sacrafice worth it in the end.....only you can decide!


Hi Jane

I followed the 12 week plan and lost over a stone. I did it without having to go without the odd glass of wine, by calorie counting all day so that I had some left for a treat in the evenings- we certainly cut down but by no means cut out.

I understand the benign pressure that your OH may put on you, but I was surprised when my OH decided to join me- he learned a lot about portion control, especially that he could have far more calories than me- a simple rule that men don't seem aware of and, even though we are no longer counting calories we haven't slipped back into our old ways. He lost around the same amount of weight as I did.

Good luck to both of you


I gave up alcohol totally for a year and didn't miss it after a week or so. For the last month or two I have been having a drink on Friday and Saturday evenings. I've had either gin with slimline tonic, or vodka with slimline tonic.


Hi Anthony42,

I do think there's a lot in the fact that we often believe we'll really miss something that we're used to, but when we ditch it, it often makes not nearly as much difference as we thought it would.

I remember as a young adult deciding to give up the family-acquired habit of taking two spoons of sugar in my tea. I very quickly adapted to it. In fact, a few days later, my sister forgot and accidentally put sugar in my tea and it tasted totally disgustingly sweet to me. And that was only a few days later!


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