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How to Lose Weight Without Giving Up Booze

It’s possible — but then again, so are miracles

Last week, actor Craig Robinson appeared on Harry with Harry Connick Jr. and spoke about his recent body transformation. “I haven’t been drinking since January. I just put down the alcohol,” Robinson told Connick.

That’s great news — for Robinson.

But for the rest of us beer-guzzling, vodka-shooting, wine-by-the-bag degenerates, is there any hope of shedding weight without having to do the unthinkable and go dry?

Kind of.

Drink Moderately

If we’re being honest, alcohol is never going to help you meet your weight-loss goals, according to Jason Boehm, a board-certified nutrition specialist. “That’s just now how our bodies work,” he says. Instead: “Try limiting yourself to one or two glasses of wine or a cocktail that doesn’t have too much sugar.”

Don’t Eat and Drink at the Same Time

“When you drink alcohol, your body’s immediate response is to start removing it from the bloodstream,” Boehm explains. “Therefore, if you’re eating and drinking at the same time, the body will first focus on removing all the alcohol — since it’s toxic — and then process the food. That, in turn, slows down your metabolism and interferes with your weight-loss goals.” His suggestion: “Eat two hours before a night out. That way you’ll allow your liver to focus on processing the alcohol.”

Keep It Neat

“The empty calories in alcohol can be increased tenfold with the addition of fizzy drinks, or the sugar added to cocktails and found in processed fruit juices,” says Boehm. In other words, you’re gonna need to give up the Cuba Libres or start having the rum contained therein either on the rocks or with freshly squeezed juice. “If you’re drinking liquor straight up, you’re also more likely to have better control of how much alcohol you consume, which can help you significantly reduce the number of calories you ultimately ingest.”

Try Blacking Out

This, of course, is a joke. “If you get so drunk before you work out that your brain isn’t capable of forming new memories, but your body is able to complete your workout before you pass out, when you wake up from your alcohol-induced snooze, you might not have any memory of your workout,” Boehm reasons with a laugh. “So you’ll convince yourself that you need to do it again. But that’s not really sound advice.”

What the hell, we’ll take it.