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30-Day Get Lean in 2017 Challenge Day 23: Don't Drink Away Your Progress

author image Deborah Day
Deborah Day is a lifestyle and entertainment writer and editor. Former editor in chief of and executive editor of, she has been published on,,, and other media sites, as well as in Maxim, Interview and Time Out NY magazines.
30-Day Get Lean in 2017 Challenge Day 23: Don't Drink Away Your Progress
You're almost to your goal! Don't blow it on a sugar-filled cocktail. Photo Credit: Gracie Wilson/LIVESTRONG.COM; Adobe Stock

Does living healthy mean giving up alcohol and/or caffeine? Well, it depends on your individual goals. Excessive intake of either is not beneficial, especially while you're focused on losing weight.

The Skinny on Alcohol

Alcohol is empty calories. Many people abstain from drinking alcohol during the early part of their fitness journey, while some just cut back.

Tracking your alcohol intake will help you practice moderation and understand how booze affects your caloric intake and daily nutrition. (Spoiler alert — portion size plays a major factor.) Everybody is different, so you know best what works for you.

Drinking is often a social activity. We don't want you to miss out on good times with friends, family and colleagues; we want to help you make smarter choices that will fit into your fitness program. Knowing what's really in those cocktails can help you decide if it's worth it.

4 Tips for Drinking While Losing Weight

  1. Avoid cocktails with fruit juice, liqueurs or cream. They just add calories, carbs (from sugar) and fat.
  2. Be mindful of added sugar or sugary mixers (sour mix, simple syrup, grenadine, etc).
  3. Steer clear of slushy or blended drinks. Instead, opt for a mixed drink over crushed ice.
  4. Many beers are 200 to 400 calories per serving. Try a low-calorie light beer as an option.

Should You Cut Out Coffee?

While coffee is very low in calories, it's what you put in your java that can really add up. Creamers, sugar and flavoring agents equal empty calories. Try using milk (or a milk substitute) and cutting out the sugar completely.

For safe and moderate intake, don't exceed 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine a day. Try to cut back or eliminate sodas and energy drinks as sources for your buzz. The added sugar and empty calories will not help your weight loss.

If you're going to include alcohol and caffeine, be smart and steer clear of drinks bound to sabotage your progress. Drink smart and stay on track!

Find Motivation in Our Facebook Group

For daily support, motivation and camaraderie with LIVESTRONG.COM team members, join our Facebook Challenge Group. We'll share recipes, tips, motivations, pictures and more! Plus, we'll answer all your questions.

Sign up for our newsletter if you want periodic reminders to get linked up with helpful LIVESTRONG.COM articles and tips.

The MyPlate app helps keep you on track!
The MyPlate app helps keep you on track! Photo Credit: LIVESTRONG.COM

How to Lose MORE Weight With an App

Documenting your food and activity might seem like overkill, but it’s not. People who track their calories and physical activities enjoy greater success losing weight and keeping it off for good!

Tracking everything honestly is essential to making the 30-Day GET LEAN IN 2017 Challenge work for you. Sometimes you’re not even aware of everything you consume, but once you start tracking it, you’ll think twice before you make poor choices. And that’s a good thing!

With LIVESTRONG.COM’s free MyPlate Calorie Tracker — available on desktop and for iOS and Android devices — you can track it all:

  • Daily meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and snacks
  • Exercise and activity
  • Weight
  • Water/hydration
  • BMI (Body Mass Index)

More on Alcohol and Caffeine's Impact on Your Body

Readers — Are you joining us in the 30-Day Get Lean in 2017 Challenge? If so, what's your weight-loss goal? Have you ever done a weight-loss challenge group before? How did it go? Have you joined our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Group on Facebook? Leave a comment below and let us know!


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