For some people, there is nothing better than a glass of red wine at the end of a long day or an ice-cold beer at a baseball game. You can responsibly enjoy alcohol as part of your lifestyle; however, regular consumption can contribute to weight gain and make it more difficult to lose weight.
Regardless of your drink of choice, alcohol has absolutely no nutritional value and is high in sugar and calories. Overindulging can cause you to take in more calories than you intend and eventually gain weight. The best way to minimize the risk of weight gain from alcohol use is, of course, to completely abstain from using alcohol completely. If, however, you wish to continue drinking, finding skinny versions of your favorite drinks can help minimize the calorie and sugar impact.
If beer is your drink, you used to be at the mercy of the beer makers, as an average beer could easily be a couple hundred calories. As the demand for low-calorie beers has increased, many beer manufacturers have responded with healthier options. Try these low-cal beers instead of your go-to brew:
Research has shown that some types of alcohol, specifically wine, may have some important health benefits like reducing the risk of dementia, heart disease and colon cancer. Despite these potential health benefits, wine is still not great for weight loss.
The number of calories in a 5 oz glass depends on the sugar content and the type of wine. Generally speaking, white wines and dry wines have less alcohol and sugar by volume and therefore, fewer calories. Dessert wines tend to be the highest in sugar content and calorie count.
One major problem with drinking wine is that there are no nutritional labels on a bottle of wine, so it can be near impossible to make a healthy choice. Alcohol has around 7 calories per gram, which you can use to approximate calories. To do this, look at the ABV, or alcohol by volume, percentage. A lower ABV generally corresponds to a lower calorie count, while a higher ABV represents a higher calorie count.
A glass of bubbly champagne may seem like a good choice because it’s light and bubbly, but it may also contain a lot of added sugar. Look for the “brut nature” or “brut zero” notation, which indicates that there is very little added sugar in the champagne.
In addition, Skinnygirl Cocktails also features its own wine collection, which has amazing low-cal varieties of whites, reds, rose and sparkling wines.
The biggest calorie range—and the biggest potential for overindulging—is with liquor and liquor drinks. The issue isn’t necessarily with the alcohol itself, but with the juices and sodas that are added to it. A single margarita can run around 500 calories, and a frozen pina colada can sometimes be up to 800 or so calories – each!
To lower the calorie count, you can make adjustments to your mixers, or even eliminate them all together. Avoid using juices and sodas, or try using soda water instead. Give these alternatives try!
Here are 3 other things you can do to help reduce your calories when drinking alcohol:
The bottom line is that moderation is key, no matter how low the calorie count is on your favorite diet-friendly alcoholic beverage. Drinking 5 glasses of wine will still run you close to 1,000 calories, depending on the type of wine you are drinking. And even if you think that you’ll never drink 5 glasses of wine, the ounces can quickly add up, especially if you aren’t measuring out your servings.
Alcohol doesn’t have to be on the forbidden list once you decide to lose weight or make some healthy lifestyle changes. It may mean, however, that you make a few adjustments to your routine.