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Alcohol and Dotti's Weight Loss Zone

You may have questions on the points values you find on the restaurants and other areas on DWLZ.com. One of the problems we are faced with is that the Weight Watchers' calculator has no spot to insert Alcohol grams. It really should, but it doesn't. So, what is a Weight Watcher to do about Alcohol?

You see, alcohol is not a protein, nor a fat, and though it is similar chemically to a carbohydrate, it is not a carb either. Therefore, if you look at a nutritional label and plug in the numbers you find there, you will end up with really small numbers for alcohol. Cool! Free food!

No, sorry, it is not as good as the calculator makes it appear. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, which is nearly has high as fat, and nearly double that for carbs. This cannot be ignored if you want to lose weight.

Even the old system, which at least used the calories to count up the alcohol in a drink, doesn't do enough in my opinion to cover the damage done by alcohol to your weight loss plan, but it is better than the new system calculator is.

I did some digging and I have come up with a solution that I think works pretty well, and so we have included in all the restaurants and food lists. When you look at the alcohol numbers for the new Points Plus compared with the numbers of Points for the old system you will see that the new numbers are significantly higher. And they should be! (I feel that the old system numbers are really too low.)

A word to the wise, drink sparingly please. Alcohol can destroy your Journey and even your life, if you let it get out of hand. That is enough said, here, you can find lots of stuff online about the horrors of alcohol abuse. We are here discussing safe and sane use of alcohol in your Journey.

But strictly concerning weight loss, remember that many a Journey has been sidetracked by alcohol. It is very common for someone to take a drink and then consume food that was never planned for originally. Binge eating, or even grabbing beer nuts from the bar, add up in a hurry, in addition to the actual damage the alcohol calories themselves do!

What I found is that we really need to add a new term to the equation that we used for calculating our Points Plus. So, throughout the page, what I have done is to add this amount to every Points Plus value:

Grams of Alcohol divided by 3.5

Here is a quick run through of the problem. If you want more details I have created an in-depth page for you get far more of the specific information and calculations involved.

Now drinks normally are not 100% pure alcohol (200 proof). In fact Moonshine is said to be 180 proof, and even the top of the line "rectified spirits" hit a practical limit of 190 proof, due to complications beyond this scope of this discussion. But for sake of argument, let us assume you have 1.5 fluid ounces of pure alcohol, commonly called "a shot."

Now, 1.5 fluid ounces, will contain about 34.4 grams of alcohol, and if you divide that by 3.5, you find you have put in 9.8 additional points. However, this same theoretical concoction would have zero fat, zero carbs, and zero protein, it would come up in the calculator as 0 Points Plus. Wrong answer!

The old adage, "Don't Drink and Drive" is absolutely on the mark. If you can do it, "Don't Drink and Diet" is also a great rule of thumb to follow. But if you do drink while watching your weight, to be successful you have to count it correctly! That is what Dotti and I are trying to help you do on Dotti's Weight Loss Zone. If you are going to drink, do it safely and sanely, and with knowledge about what you are doing.

If you have questions or suggestions, please feel free to email me at: Email Al.

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