Most weight loss diets suggest skipping alcoholic drinks—and for good reason. Alcohol contains calories without nutrients, keeps your liver from processing fat efficiently, and can lead to mindless snacking or binge eating once your judgment is impaired.
That said, the best diet plan for any individual is one that allows for the foods and drinks you most enjoy. Bread lovers, for example, don’t last long on a low-carb diet. Meat lovers scoff at the idea of going vegan. What works best, diet-wise, is a plan you can stick to for the long term.
If you’re a social drinker and don’t want to give it up for an overly-restrictive diet plan, you don’t have to. You will probably have to restrict your intake, but that goes for any indulgence. Here are evaluations of the popular diet plans that allow you to enjoy wine, beer or a Manhattan or two, while still losing weight.
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Diet showcases the food of countries on the sunny coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. Fortunately for foodies, that includes Greece and Italy, and some of the most flavorful food on the planet: fresh fish, pure olive oil, ripe tomatoes, creamy yogurt. Of course, you can’t have true Mediterranean cuisine without a bold glass of red wine, and the Mediterranean Diet allows moderate consumption of it daily.
French Women Don’t Get Fat
Author Mireille Guiliano’s philosophy is one of eating and enjoying high quality foods in small portions, learning to relish quality over quantity in food and drink—just as many French folks do. Thus, her plan includes previously-shunned foods like real butter, cheese, and sumptuous chocolates. The emphasis on luxury also extends to wine and champagne (sorry, no liquor). Like everything else in the French Women Don’t Get Fat plan, the variety chosen should be something quite fine, and sipped in moderation.
One of the things that makes Weight Watchers so successful is the ability of individual dieters to customize the plan to his or her own lifestyle. That means that no single food or drink is explicitly forbidden, as long as you keep within your allotted points for the day (maximum daily points vary by individual). Lightening up on lunch or skipping a snack can easily make room for a beer or a light cocktail with dinner. Again, moderation is key.
The Sonoma Diet is inspired by the flavors of Coastal California. In other words: wine country. No counting is involved, as the Sonoma Diet focuses on eating the simple, vibrant foods of America’s West Coast, like avocados, citrus, and fresh seafood. While the plan’s first step will require ten days of teetotalling, wave two not only allows but encourages a daily glass of red wine with a meal.
Also known as the Keto Diet, this popular low-carbohydrate diet requires significant lifestyle changes and is very restrictive in its first phase. After the induction phase, some keto adherents say that zero or low-carb liquors such as gin, rum or vodka can be incorporated into the diet with a few caveats. Dieters should carefully monitor their response to alcohol due to a decrease in tolerance during ketosis, and some find that their weight loss may stall. If your individual results determine that your body can’t burn fat while imbibing a little, you’ll want to steer clear of the alcohol, or choose from one of the plans above.
You’ll notice that with each of these diets, moderation is very important. If you find that cutting back on alcohol is an impossibility, you may want to seek treatment for alcoholism. But, for those that simply enjoy a social drink, weight loss is possible. It’s all a matter of choosing a plan that suits your individual lifestyle.