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The Best and Worst Alcoholic Drinks When Trying to Lose Weight

a display of 3 mixed alcoholic beverages | Face It By Dr. G

When it comes to losing weight, every calorie counts, and that includes those found in your favorite alcoholic beverages. While enjoying an occasional drink can be part of a balanced lifestyle, being mindful of what you sip can make a significant difference in your weight loss journey. Here's a guide to the best and worst types of alcohol to drink if you're trying to shed some pounds.


 The Best Alcoholic Drinks for Weight Loss


1. Wine

   - Red Wine: Known for its rich antioxidants, red wine can be a relatively good option in moderation. A standard glass of red wine contains about 125 calories.

   - White Wine: Slightly lower in calories than red wine, a glass of white wine has around 120 calories. Opt for dry white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio to keep sugar levels low.


2. Light Beer

   - Light beers are a better option than regular beers if you're counting calories. A bottle of light beer typically has about 90-100 calories, making it a lighter choice that still allows you to enjoy a cold brew.


3. Spirits with Low-Calorie Mixers

   - Vodka Soda: A classic choice for weight watchers, vodka soda is low in calories (about 96 per shot of vodka) and sugar-free. The soda water keeps it refreshing without adding extra calories.

   - Gin and Tonic: Opt for diet tonic water to reduce calories. A gin and tonic made with diet tonic water contains around 115 calories.


4. Champagne

   - Bubbly and relatively low in calories, a glass of champagne has around 90-100 calories. It's a festive choice that won’t derail your diet.


5. Tequila with Lime

   - Tequila, when enjoyed straight or with a splash of lime, is a low-calorie and carb-free option. It can also be enjoyed in a skinny margarita with fresh lime juice and a touch of agave. There is about 96 calories per 1.5 ounces of tequila


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 The Worst Alcoholic Drinks for Weight Loss


1. Regular Beer

Regular beers can pack a caloric punch, with most containing between 150-200 calories per bottle. The carbs and sugars in beer can quickly add up, leading to weight gain.


2. Cocktails

   - Margaritas: While delicious, margaritas are often loaded with sugar and can contain upwards of 300-500 calories per drink, depending on the size and ingredients.

   - Piña Coladas: These tropical treats are calorie bombs, with an average piña colada containing over 400 calories and a significant amount of sugar.

   - Long Island Iced Tea: Combining multiple types of alcohol and sugary mixers, a Long Island Iced Tea can have around 780 calories in a single serving.


3. Sweetened Spirits

Flavored Liqueurs: Drinks like Baileys, Kahlúa, and other sweetened spirits are high in sugar and calories. A shot of Baileys, for example, contains about 137 calories and plenty of sugar.


4. Mixers with High Sugar Content

Avoid mixers like regular soda, tonic water, and fruit juices, which can add unnecessary calories and sugar to your drink. Opt for diet versions or soda water instead.


5. Sweet Wines

Sweet wines like Moscato and dessert wines have high sugar content, contributing to higher calorie counts. They can also increase cravings for more sweets and add calories coming in around 150-200 calories per 5-ounce glass.


6. Pre-Mixed Drinks

Pre-mixed drinks like hard lemonades and ready-to-drink cocktails are convenient but are usually high in sugars and artificial ingredients, adding unnecessary calories. The calories vary, often 200-300+ calories per serving.


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 Tips for Enjoying Alcohol While Losing Weight


  • Moderation is Key: Stick to one or two drinks per occasion to avoid consuming excess calories.

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water between alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated and help control your appetite.

  • Eat Before You Drink: Having a healthy meal before drinking can help you avoid snacking on unhealthy foods later.

  • Choose Quality Over Quantity: Enjoying a single glass of high-quality wine or a well-made cocktail can be more satisfying than several lower-quality drinks.


Incorporating these mindful drinking habits into your lifestyle can help you enjoy the occasional drink without compromising your weight loss goals. Remember, it's all about balance and making informed choices.

By staying informed and making smarter choices, you can enjoy social events and still stay on track with your weight loss journey. Cheers to a healthier you!



Healthline: Best and Worst Types of Alcohol for Weight Loss


Medical News Today: Alcohol and Weight Loss


WebMD: Alcohol and Weight Gain


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