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Healthy Alternatives to Drinking Alcohol for Weight Loss

By Stephanie Eng-Aponte

Reviewed by Briana Rodriquez, R.D.


Each week, we’ll highlight some of our favorite healthy habits and the benefits behind them. We’ll also share a quick and simple tip from Heather Lake, a Jenny Craig Health & Lifestyle Contributor, to help support your weight loss goals and inspire you throughout the day! This 12-week series will focus on everything from how to avoid alcohol at social events to simple mindful eating tips.

Check out our first Healthy Tip of the Week: How to Stay Hydrated!

Video Transcript
Hi, I’m Heather Lake, a health and lifestyle contributor for Jenny Craig. Here’s your healthy tip for the week: Avoid alcohol. Unfortunately, cocktails and weight loss don’t go hand in hand. Alcoholic beverages are void of nutrition and can be loaded with calories. Plus, they can lead to poor food decisions. So, swap out your next happy hour cocktail with something that will support all of your weight loss efforts! Try soda water with a lemon or lime wedge, or try making your own infused water at home by soaking cucumber slices in a water jug overnight!

How alcohol can impact weight loss

Alcohol can hinder your weight loss efforts in a number of different ways. Alcoholic drinks are often high in calories but low in nutrition, putting them in prime “empty calorie” territory. Plus, drinking boozy beverages regularly can disrupt your sleep and may even influence you to reach for not-so-healthy food options. When you’re trying to lose weight, avoiding alcohol is one of the easiest ways to stay on track with your goals. 

How to avoid alcohol at events

Holiday season is in full swing, and if you’re gearing up for festive parties while trying to reach your weight loss goals, you might be wondering how to avoid drinking alcohol. Here are a few simple ways to confidently pass up alcoholic drinks — without missing out on any of the fun.

Practice saying “no”

It can be easy to say yes to an extra portion of food or another drink, so set yourself up for success — prep yourself to politely decline boozy beverages and other unhealthy options. Put yourself first: You’ve worked hard to learn and practice healthier habits, and you won’t offend your host! Try this “Polite, Reason, Polite” technique to help you stick to your goals.

Bring a party partner

Don’t fly solo: Phone a friend and let them know you’re planning to avoid drinking alcohol. It’s a lot easier to skip the alcohol when you have a solid support system. You’ll have company throughout the event, and you’ll get to bond without worrying about who’ll be the designated driver. Win-win!


That’s right: Bring your own nonalcoholic drink and you won’t even miss the booze. Grab a fancy glass, spring for some healthy appetizers (hello, veggie platter) and enjoy! Choose from these delicious options or whip up your own festive beverage.

Try these 5 healthy alcohol alternatives

If you’re following the Jenny Craig program, check with your consultant before making any swaps or changes to your plan to ensure you stay on track. 

Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

sparkling lime mint water1. Infused sparkling water

Channel your favorite cocktail flavors into delicious infused water — no alcohol needed. Drop slices of your favorite fruits or vegetables and fresh herbs into a glass of sparkling water for some seriously tasty alcohol alternatives. 

Try this: Bright citrus plays well with woody rosemary, refreshing cucumber is a great complement to cool mint, and sweet berries mix well with fragrant lavender — the possibilities are nearly endless! 

2. Fruity smoothies

These easy recipes for a Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie and Green Goddess Shake are packed with good-for-you ingredients that taste good, too! Blueberries, almond butter, avocado and bananas are just a few of the flavors you’ll find in these decadent drinks.

3. Refreshing iced tea

What’s easier than iced tea? These teas don’t include any added sugar, making them an ideal way to quench your thirst without adding unneeded calories. Choose from three simple and totally delicious recipes: lemon basil, blackberry mint, or peach ginger.

4. Coffee

Stave off chilly weather with a hot cup of coffee. Not only could it give you a quick energy boost, coffee may also help with weight loss and slightly boost your metabolism.1,2  If black coffee isn’t your thing, reach for nonfat creamer (or steamed nonfat milk) and a calorie-free sweetener to avoid empty calories.

5. Unsweetened coconut water

Take a walk on the tropical side with an ice-cold glass of coconut water infused with a slice of fresh pineapple and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. This low-carb beverage is a good source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.3 But if you’re watching your sodium intake, you might want to stick to regular water – coconut water can be high in sodium. 

When it comes to weight loss, choosing nonalcoholic drinks over boozy beverages is an easy way to help you stay on track. Figuring out how to avoid alcohol might seem challenging at first, but sometimes all you need are a few healthy alternatives. Looking for more ways to support your goals? Check out these 10 ways to jump-start your weight loss!


Get 10 Ways to Jump-Start Weight Loss with Jenny Craig



[1] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408398.2018.1507996?journalCode=bfsn20

[2] https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/79/1/40/4690067

[3] https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174831/nutrients


Stephanie Eng-Aponte

Stephanie Eng Aponte, Copywriter
Stephanie Eng-Aponte is a copywriter for Jenny Craig and has written for the health and wellness, tech, and environmental industries. Stephanie graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Media Studies. They employ an “eat first, write later” approach to food blogging and enjoy the occasional Oxford comma. Outside of writing, you can find them photographing a muttley crew of rescue pups, brewing kombucha, or exploring San Diego.

Favorite healthy snack: green apple slices with sunflower butter



Reviewed by Briana Rodriquez, RDN

Briana Rodriquez, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Briana is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer for Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, California. She is passionate about utilizing food as functional and preventative medicine. Guided by a simplistic and optimistic approach, Briana’s philosophy is to help people improve their health and achieve their goals through the development of sustainable habits to live a healthy life. In her free time, you can find her strength training, indoor cycling, coffee tasting, and at local eateries with her husband and two dogs. 


Favorite healthy snack: peanut butter with celery alongside a grapefruit-flavored sparkling water (so refreshing!) 



This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and was written by an experienced health and lifestyle contributor and fact-checked by Briana Rodriquez, RDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Jenny Craig.


Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy. 


This article contains trusted sources including scientific, peer-reviewed papers. All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source. 


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