Alcohol & Eating Clean

March 31, 2008 at 2:39 am 3 comments

I’m pretty strict with myself, both in terms of eating and drinking alcohol. I almost never eat the quantity and type of food I frequently crave, and I rarely drink. After a recent less-than-stellar weekend evening with my BF, I realized I needed to be able to cut loose a little bit once in a while, which is what prompted me to write a post about the fact that I could eat or drink, but not both.

This past weekend, I tested out this new approach and indulged in a few drinks on Friday and Sunday. I must admit that it was great. It was so nice to feel free and enjoy myself along with everyone else. I had such a good time.

I did feel somewhat guilty about it, though. I try to eat high quality food and put only good, healthy things in my body, focusing on eating clean. As Eating Clean Works noted a few days ago, “Alcohol is generally a no-no when you make clean eating a lifestyle.”

ECW poses the question, “Can You Drink and Eat Clean?”. He says, “No,” because most people aren’t aware of how many empty calories they’re consuming when they drink. He also reminds us that drinking can damage the liver and kidneys and increase appetite.

I say, “Maybe”. I generally drink rum & diet cola when I’ve decided to imbibe. It’s about 75 calories a glass, the lowest alcoholic beverage I’ve found. I always account for the calories in my food journal, and if I know I’m going to drink, I adjust my calorie consumption accordingly. So, I’ve got the calorie argument covered.

Alcohol doesn’t increase appetite, at least not in my experience, but it does lower inhibitions, which means I might be inclined to eat more when I get the urge. So far, I haven’t done that, so I don’t think that’s a concern for me either.

What could be a concern is how frequently I decide to drink rather than eat. Am I missing key nutrients because I’m avoiding food? Am I overloading my system with too much alcohol at one time? These are questions I will ask on a case-by-case basis as I learn to integrate some reasonable indulgences into my clean eating lifestyle.


Entry filed under: about me, relationships. Tags: , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sally Parrott Ashbrook  |  April 1, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    I don’t know if it’s an inhibition issue or some other chemical issue, but I do eat more when I’m drinking, usually. Part of it, for me, may actually be that I am less aware in general if I’ve had a drink or two, and that lack of awareness includes awareness of my body’s signals to me that I’m satisfied.

  • 2. Jolie  |  January 9, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    I have the same internal discussion/argument with myself every weekend! I take such good care of myself usually, and I’m so careful not to put things in my body that is bad for me (preservatives, HFCS, hydrogenated oils, etc.) But I wanna drink every so often. Yes, the occasional 1 drink. But sometimes, I wanna let loose and drink a bunch ( unfortunately for me, I have a very high alcohol tolerance and can easily handle 10 shots of vodka.) If I want 5 shots of vodka ( or 5 vodka sodas with lime) at 65-70 calories each that’s 350 calories, replacing more than 1 of my 5 -6 mini meals. Easy, I can still get all my nutrients in for sure. Plus I’ll be sure to drink a full 8oz of water between each drink. I also take b complex vitamins and emergenC drink packet before bed and in the morning to help my body combat the damage I’ve done. With all things considered. That sounds fair. Gotta enjoy life! I just try not to do it once a month.

  • 3. Kristy  |  June 27, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    I eat clean & exercise and I have lost 100 pounds doing it. I have been a weekend warrior the whole time I was loosing the weight. In other words, I did not drink Mon – Thursday but drank (binge might be a better word for it) Fri-Sun. I have hit a plateau though and have decided to try drinking 1-2 glasses of red wine everyday and the scale started to move again. I am enjoying the wine more because I am not overindulging and I wake up feeling good.

    I read somewhere that most centenarians have 2-3 glasses of wine everyday. I am in it for the long haul…and the vino…YUMMY!


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