In addition to drinking responsibly, why not take it to the next level and drink healthy? I’m not saying you have to avoid all alcohol, although in our book, I do recommend avoiding alcohol for the first 2 weeks to jumpstart your weight loss. Heck, I love enjoying a nice glass of vino myself, but you do need to consider alcohol as part of your total daily caloric budget, or else you could be packing on extra pounds or sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
Even though alcoholic beverages are empty calories, there are ways to cut calories depending on your choice. But first, the basics. Alcohol should only be consumed in moderation. This means two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. What qualifies as “one drink”? One drink is: 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of dinner wine, or 1-1.5 ounce of liquor or spirits.
Alcohol & Calories:
- Go Light on Beer. To cut down on calories, opt for light beers. 12 ounces of light beer contains about 40 calories less than regular. There are definitely light beers out there with great flavor and doesn’t taste like water. Research away!
- Red, Red Wine. Four ounces of red and dry white wine contains about 75-80 calories. Keep in mind that red wine contains resveratrol, antioxidants which fight against heart-related diseases by increasing “good” cholesterol and protecting against artery damage. Try four ounces of red wine with a dallop of lemon-lime soda for a low-calorie beverage.
- Hard on Mixers! Gin, vodka, rum and whiskey…one ounce/shot of liquor/spirts contain about 65 calories. Sure it seems like a small number but wait until you throw in those mixers. Here is a list of a few top mixers and their calorie content for every 8 ounces: Soda 100 calories, Orange Juice 110 calories, Pineapple Juice 120 calories, and Cranberry Juice 137 calories.
- Mix it with Club Soda. For a calorie free mixer use club soda to slash your calorie intake but don’t justify extra drinks because of it!
- Mix in a water between drinks. Make sure you are also drinking water while you are consuming alcohol as well. It can help to fill you up and keep you hydrated. The next day you will also feel better if you kept yourself well hydrated the night before.
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What’s your poison? What do you like to do to opt for a low-calorie alternative?
Research assistance provided by Monica Lobo, RD.