You’ve probably heard many trainers speaking against drinking alcohol if you want to lose weight. They are probably right. Your body burns alcohol first before burning fat and this slows down fat loss. However, not all alcoholic drinks are bad for your health, especially if consumed in moderation. Your weight loss strategy is tight – you stick to the recommended number of calories per day and you make sure your plate is loaded with healthy foods. But then, you finish off your meal with a glass of wine without paying much attention to the number of carbs in it. You’ll be surprised that the best and worst alcoholic drinks for weight loss are not what you expected.
A low carb drink should have a maximum of 5g of sugar. When it comes to wine, red wine is more beneficial than white wine as it contains antioxidants and acids that inhibit the growth and development of fat cells.
On the other hand, white wine has fewer carbs than red wine but not much of a difference when it comes to calories. Dessert wines are sweeter and pack more sugar than other wines. White wine is a healthier choice for weight loss since it has less than 4g of carbs and between 100 to 150 calories per 5-ounce glass. Red wine has between 120 to 150 calories.
According to Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford of Harvard Medical School, a 5 oz. serving of wine is the much you should take. However, how many times do you top up that glass?
A 12 oz. serving of light beer contains between 100 to 150 calories with extra light beers packing between 50 to 70 calories per the same serving. And, don’t even think of having many light beers because of the low calories. You’ll be taking three steps backward.
Light beers share the same alcohol content with regular beer, but the difference is that they pack fewer carbs and calories. It’s also believed that beer contains compounds known as polyphenols which can help reduce heart disease as well as aid in weight loss.
If You Want a Mix, Use Club Soda
If you have gin or vodka, a good mixer will be club soda. Apart from preventing hangovers, you’ll not be adding any calories. For more flavor, consider mixing with lime or lemon. Most people prefer adding soda or juice to their favorite alcohol. What you get is a hundred more calories than if you drink the alcohol by itself.
Liquor On the Rocks
The following is a breakdown of the number of calories you can expect per one shot (1.5 oz. serving) of straight liquor:
- Tequila – between 98 to 105 calories with zero carbs and zero sugar. The best drink in this category is Paloma, a simple mixture of grapefruit and lime juice.
- Vodka – contains about 97 calories with zero carbs and zero sugar. The best drink is vodka soda. Opt for club soda instead of sugary juices to reduce the calorie intake. Add a dash of fresh lime juice for vitamins.
- Whiskey, Scotch or Bourbon – between 97 to 110 calories with about 0.03g of carbs and 0.03g of sugar. Instead of Coke, drink it straight or order a Manhattan to keep the calories and carbs low.
- Gin– between 96 to 110 calories with zero carbs and zero sugar. The best drink is gin martini with olives for vitamin E.
- Rum – between 81 to 98 calories but zero carbs and zero sugar. For the best drink, substitute the Coke for a Diet Coke to cut calories and sugar.
The Worst Drinks for Weight Loss
- Margaritas and Daiquiris. Frozen Margaritas are loaded with up to 600 calories and over 70g of sugar. While frozen Daiquiris contains upwards of 280 calories with 36g of sugar.
- Gin and Tonic. Gin by itself is low carb, however, tonic soda is laden with sugar and you can expect 170 calories and 21g of sugar per serving.
- Long Island Tea. An-all-in one concoction of vodka, tequila, gin, rum, triple sec, and Coke, a single glass loads you with over 400 calories.
- Craft Beers. These are high alcohol beers cloaking over 10 percent. For instance, a bottle of Dogfish packs 18 percent of alcohol and 450 calories. Sadly, that much alcohol will make you hungrier, hence you end up eating more food than your diet entails.
- Piña Colada. This beachside cocktail contains pineapple and coconut mixers which adds up to 300 calories, 32g of carbs and 31g of sugar in a 230 ml drink.
- White Russian. This concoction of vodka, coffee liqueur and heavy cream (with over 36% of fat), contains over 300 calories.
In essence, mixed drinks carry more calories, sugar, and carbs than the pure drinks. Before you sip on your favorite drink, stop for a second to check the label for its content. You’ll be surprised that most of the drinks you thought were healthy are doing the opposite to your body. Avoid alcohol as much as possible, but if you have to drink, take it in moderation.
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