Syleena Johnson’s The Weight Is Over Blog: Have Your Cocktails & Lose Weight, Too

Photo Credit: Keith Estep

Photo Credit: Keith Estep

We all know that losing weight is challenging and often accompanied by a long list of do’s and don’ts especially when it comes to drinking alcohol. These never-ending lists can be discouraging, I know, but fret not. Cocktails and weight loss can peacefully co-exist.

Healthy eating coupled with physical activity is important for successful weight loss. The combination spurs the body’s ability to burn calories and stored fat, but at the same time it allows for the occasional indulgence without undoing weight loss progress. Now, that doesn’t mean chugging a bottle of wine or downing unlimited cocktails (i.e. bottomless mimosas at brunch). The body burns alcohol before anything else, so limiting the amount of alcohol you drink is important. So, rather than totally depriving yourself of the things you enjoy, try making some carbohydrate conscious substitutions.

When you are out with friends, don’t stress, go ahead and have a drink or two. Instead of opting for beer, have a glass of wine, which has fewer calories. Avoid piña coladas, daiquiris and the like altogether. Instead, opt for distilled vodka, swapping sugary syrups for fresh lime or lemon or sugar-free, sweet-and-sour mixers. (I personally go for distilled vodka and fresh lime. It curbs my sweet tooth without the negative consequence of weight gain.) Another tip is to plan ahead. Before going out, hit the gym to actually earn the cheat day, be mindful of your daily carbohydrate intake that day and drink plenty of water.

One of the worst mistakes people make is thinking that they need to eat bread to soak up liquor. Well, that’s true if you are looking to get wasted and are not trying to lose weight. Bread won’t keep you from getting dehydrated, so skip it and opt to drink water or coconut water, which is a healthy hangover remedy as well. Also, be sure to eat a high protein and heavy veggie meal with no carbohydrates with your cocktail.

The reality for most of us is that cocktails and alcoholic beverages are our Achilles heel and the primary culprit for weight loss sabotage. As with most things on the road to better health, don't totally deprive yourself but make smarter choices about what you drink. I’m letting you in on this secret of mine to put your mind at ease so you can enjoy cocktails this summer guilt free.

Take care and always drink responsibly!

Syleena Johnson