You probably avoid alcohol as it makes you gain weight (ask that beer belly)! But, there are some types of low-calorie alcohol for weight loss that you can enjoy once in a while. Read on to know all about the 8 best alcohols to drink while you are on a diet, the right quantity, a list of alcohols to avoid that cause weight gain, and other tips to follow while you are out drinking. Scroll down!
In This Article
Which Low-Calorie Alcohol Is Best For Weight Loss?
Alcohol and weight loss never go hand in hand! But there are exceptions. Some alcoholic beverages are low in calories than others. Here’s a list of alcohols with calorie information:
1. Whiskey, 80 Proof
Raise your glass of champagne, for it’s time to celebrate! Now, you have to never worry about calories in your champagne while celebrating life events with family and friends. According to Medline, 118 mL of champagne contains only 85 calories (2).
3. Gin, 80 Proof
Any gin lovers here? You are in luck – 30 mL of gin contains only 65 calories (1).
4. Rum And Vodka, 80 Proof
5. Tequila Shot
6. Light Beer
Good news for beer drinkers. Now, you can drink light beer without having to worry about consuming too many calories. According to the USDA, 12 fl oz (355 mL) of light beer contains
only 103 calories (5).
7. White Wine
Swirl, sip, and click your tongue! White wine is widely cherished for its tangy, sweet, fruity flavor that pairs well with poultry, fish, and pork. Fruits go well, too. Thankfully, your holiday or weekend mood will not be ruined as a serving of white wine or dry wine (5 fl oz or 147 mL) contains only 119 calories (6). So, pick up the glass and say cheers!
8. Red Wine
Don’t worry about calories the next time you clank your glass of red wine with friends. The USDA says that a serving of red wine (5 fl oz or 148 mL) contains 122 calories (7). Moreover, the antioxidants present in red wine are good for your heart (8).
These are the 8 best alcoholic beverages you can drink without worrying about consuming too many calories in just one drink. However, there are a few you must stay away from. Scroll down to find out what they are!
Which Alcohols To Avoid Drinking
- Sugary Cocktails
Most sugary cocktails are over a 100 calories and can go up to 500 calories, depending on the sugar syrup(s) or fruit juice(s) added. Most packaged fruit juices contain added sugar, making them taste good. However, they raise the calories significantly. For example, while champagne is low-calorie, champagne punch (180 g)(a mix of fresh fruit juice and other alcohols) contains 230 calories (8)! So, stay away from mimosas, daiquiris, cosmopolitans, and other cocktails that contain sugar syrup.
- Regular And Craft Beer
Always on the lookout for the next best beer? Well, it’s time to put a temporary halt to your quest because regular and craft beers are higher in calories – 355 mL regular beer contains 145 calories, and 355 mL craft beer contains 170 calories (2). If you want to lose weight, stick to light beer for a while.
Alright! Now, what if you are thirsty for a cocktail? How should you order your drinks so that you skip the excess sugar and calories? Find out in the following section.
What To Order While Drinking Out
Here are a few good tips on how to order your drinks while you are out with friends or family:
- Cut Out The Sugar Syrup
If you are ordering a cocktail, request the bartender not to add the sugar syrup. Instead, go for fresh fruit juice, herbs, spices, and ice.
- Order Simple Drinks
Simple cocktails with a maximum of two alcoholic drinks, along with herbs, ice, and garnish, taste good, keep the calories low, and taste yum! For example, gin martini.
- Alcohol Seltzer With Lime Wedge
Pick any low-calorie alcohol, add seltzer, ice, and a lime wedge. Enjoy your drink and socialize without seeming too picky or particular.
- Avoid Adding Soft Drinks
Rum and coke work well together. But the amount of sugar you will consume will probably not help you the next morning at the gym. So, avoid mixing alcohol and soft drinks. Instead, add plain soda.
You can drink alcoholic beverages while on a weight loss diet. But there is a limit to the number of drinks you can have. The question is – how many alcoholic drinks can you have safely, without affecting the calories? Scroll down to find out.
How Many Alcoholic Drinks Can You Have Safely?
No more than 1-2 drinks, depending on your per day total calorie intake allowance. For example, if you are on a 1500-calorie diet and have already consumed 950 calories, drinking a maximum of two pegs of alcoholic beverage will still give you room for dinner and dessert.
What can happen if you drink more than 1-2 pegs of alcohol? Well, your weight loss will be slow as alcohol hinders weight loss in more than one way. Scroll down to learn how.
How Alcohol Slows Weight Loss And Do Calories Matter?
Alcohol suppresses fat oxidation and hinders the body from burning fat. The excess fat gets deposited in the abdominal area. The relation between alcohol and weight gain is controversial, and researchers have found conflicting evidence.
Some studies found that moderate alcohol consumption could lead to weight gain, while others found that it could add to the risk of obesity when consumed in large quantities. Scientists believe that other lifestyle factors (high-fat diet and obesity) may also contribute to weight gain. However, all studies agree that moderation is the key to avoid weight gain (9), (10), (11).
Therefore, if you are overweight or obese, you must cut alcohol completely. However, if you are within your weight range, you may drink moderate amounts of alcohol occasionally.
If you are on a weight loss diet, you have to be more watchful about what you consume. Here are a few tips on how to prevent weight gain while relishing a drink or two. Scroll down.
Tips To Prevent Weight Gain While Drinking
- Avoid starchy foods like corn, pasta, etc.
- Avoid deep-fried foods like onion rings, onion blossoms, potato wafers, potato wedges, fried chicken, fries, etc.
- Avoid foods with sauces and other condiments as they contain hidden calories.
- Consume grilled skewers and pan-tossed foods.
- Consume plant-based or animal-based proteins.
- Drink plenty of water.
Infographic: A Balanced View Of Alcohol: Risks & Benefits
When you drink alcohol, you can experience a wide range of effects on your body, from good to bad, depending on how much and how frequently you drink. Excessive alcohol use can lead to an increased risk of health problems, while moderate consumption may support good health.
In the infographic below, learn more about the potential health benefits and risks of alcohol.
If you are ditching alcohol for weight loss, you can heave a sigh of relief now. The alcoholic drinks listed above, like gin, whiskey, and champagne, are low in calories and do not upset your weight loss diet, provided you are committed to their limited intake (1-2 drinks maximum). However, you must stay away from craft beer and drinks that are mixed with sugary syrups, which can contain up to 500 calories. Moreover, it is always best to avoid soft drinks to cut out excess sugar. If you are overweight or obese, avoid drinking alcohol completely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does vodka burn fat?
While vodka is low in calories, it does not help burn fat. While it can help maintain your weight, you should avoid consuming vodka in sugary cocktails that may add to your weight.
Does alcohol cause a big belly?
Yes, beer and certain other types of alcohol may lead to an increase in abdominal fat and belly size.
- Whiskey, white and red wine, vodka and rum, tequila shots, champagne, gin, and light beer are the best low-calorie alcohol options.
- If you want to lose weight, avoid sugary cocktails and regular craft beer.
- When drinking at a bar or restaurant, try avoiding alcohol mixed with sugar syrups or soft drinks.
- Drinking more than 1-2 pegs of alcohol slows down weight loss. Hence, practice caution.
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