Here's my summary and take on alcohol consumption while on my diet: drink, don't binge, have just one, and have it towards the end of dinner.
Go ahead and drink
People have been boozing it up for eons, and they seem to have done just fine. Our ancestors were not all teetotalers, so why should I? Seriously, some alcohol tastes really, really good, like fine wine. Which, by the way, I will definitely consume tomorrow, up at Cahill Wineries in Sebastopol, CA. So, it tastes good, people have been doing it forever, and unless I have some 12-step reason not to, I'm going right ahead.
DO NOT BINGE
So, the thing is, while alcohol is extremely delicious, drinking a lot of it is bad for a couple of reasons. If you're dieting like me, lots of drinks equals lots of calories, so naturally it's best to take it easy on the stuff. The other reason is that alcohol has that naturally inhibition-reducing effect. That's not good for us dieters. Less inhibition means we'll try to scarf down palettes of french fries covered in luscious mayonnaise and two or three burgers. Almost everything tastes better when you're drunk, and even if it doesn't, your inhibition to say "NO" has been dulled, so food just seems to find it's way down your gullet no matter what. I'm laying off the binge-fests because I need to keep my satiety center working in proper order.
Have just one, and have it towards the end of dinner
I can't say that I abide by this at all. I've gone wine tasting in the middle of the day, I've had two-three beers after dinner, along with a shot of vodka, and I drank a whole bottle of wine to my head a few weeks back. After the wine tasting day, I was hungry on the drive home, and I totally scarfed down a Double-Double, a cheeseburger, fries, and a Coke from In-N-Out. That was after having shish kabobs at my brothers, too. Not a good day. After a couple of beers at night, I tend to find my hand hovering around the peanuts or pistachio dishes, and while I don't pig out on them, at that time of night I shouldn't even be thinking about food. I only remember having an orange or some other piece of fruit like that with the bottle of wine the other night. That might be the way to go, but I have a feeling it's more like I drank so much wine and got full on the grapes I didn't need anything else. So with that said, I need to start working better on the one-drink-only-rule. Talk about a "lifestyle change." I think if I could do it, some of the above scenarios would stop, plus there is a minuscule possibility that my HDL cholesterol levels (the good kind) could go up with one drink a day. The other thing about having towards the end of dinner is that I want my appetite to be satiated while I eat dinner -- having that drink too early could slow that down, meaning I'll want to eat more and I won't recognize I'm full until too late.