Alcohol and Weight Loss - Should You Be Drinking It?

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

Should I be drinking alcohol?

There is no level of alcohol intake that can be guaranteed as completely safe.

Even small amounts of alcohol are linked with an increased risk of certain cancers (such as mouth, larynx, oesophagus, stomach, liver, bowel and breast).

High alcohol intake can damage our liver and brain, as well as increasing our risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

Alcohol intake can also have a negative impact on our weight loss goals, that is because alcohol offers little nutritional value but is very high in kilojoules or energy.

What about low-carb alcohol?

‘Low carb’ beer has recently become popular, although these are lower in carbohydrate than regular varieties, the alcohol and kilojoule content is often very similar to other types of beer.

So if you do choose to drink alcohol you need to be mindful of your intake.

If I do choose to drink how much should I have?

Guidelines of limits set by the national health and medical research council recommend:

  • For healthy men and women, drinking no more than two standard drinks on any one day reduces the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury.

  • For children and young people under 18 years of age, not drinking alcohol is the safest option.

  • For women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option.

  • For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking is the safest option.

  • We should also try to include at least two alcohol-free days per week.

Please remember this advice is for general use only and does not take into account an individual’s specific health history.

If you have any question about your food choice, our Accredited Practising Dietitian can give you nutritional advice that is based on the latest scientific evidence yet easy to understand and incorporate into your daily lifestyle.

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