Alcohol vs. Junk Food: Which One is Worse for Weight Loss?

One of the most common complaints with those beginning a weight loss journey is the fact that they have to give up two of their favorite things: drinking and junk food. It’s true: both alcohol consumption and junk food does contribute empty calories into your diet, which serve no nutritional benefit. These excess calories may result in negatively impacting your weight loss. If you’re not quite ready to commit to giving up both alcohol and junk food, can you choose? Let’s take a look at these two to see which one does the least amount of damage to your waist line.

junk food, calories


Junk Food

Junk food is an all-encompassing category that may be used to describe something as small as a 100-calorie pack of cookies or a gigantic ice cream sundae. The first thing to do is to take a look at the type of junk food that you eat. Ask yourself:


  • How processed is it?
  • Is it deep fried?
  • How many calories are in one true serving?
  • What is the sugar content?


By determining what type of junk food that you have a hard time giving up, you can figure out the caloric content and compare that with the stats of the alcoholic beverages you enjoy.


Let’s make no mistake about it, junk food does not contain any nutritional benefit. An exception may be that you add fruit to the ice cream you love. However, even with no nutritional benefit, it may be calorically less damaging than your choice of alcohol, depending what your poison is.

alcohol, calories


As mentioned above, it’s important to determine what your alcohol of choice is when you decide to drink. Some types of alcohol do provide a nutritional benefit such as the resveratrol found in red wine. Most drinks; however, do not. Write down your favorite drinks and the ingredients that may go in them. For example, maybe you enjoy a Bloody Mary cocktail, a light beer, or a sugar-loaded wine cooler. Just like with junk food, determine the caloric damage.

The Lesser of Two Evils

Unfortunately, the answer is not as clear cut as you would think. It all comes down to personal preference and comparing those two things to see which is the lesser of two evils. For example, let’s say there is a person who can’t get enough of Oreo Cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory. This type of junk food packs 870 calories per serving! At the same time, this same person loves a plain old vodka martini, which tops out around 120 calories. That’s a huge difference and one that could make the difference between failure and success.


Smart Choices and Portion Control

You’ve determined which is the lesser of two evils between your alcohol and junk food choices, now it’s time to practice portion control. If you feel a craving or if you have a social event to attend that involves drinking, be smart about it and avoid over consumption. There’s no need to guzzle down six martinis and there’s definitely no reason to eat two pieces of cheesecake. Take your time, pace yourself, and remind yourself of your long-term goals.


Tell Us What You Think!

What is the one thing you have a difficult time giving up?

Any tricks that you use to ensure you stay on track?

Let us know in the comments below!

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