Alcohol and Weight Loss: What You Need to Know

If you’re trying to lose weight, you may be wondering if alcohol has a place in your diet. After all, alcohol is often high in calories and can lead to overeating and poor food choices. However, with moderation and smart choices, you can still enjoy a drink while maintaining a healthy weight.

Moderate Alcohol Consumption Guidelines

First, it’s important to understand what is considered moderate alcohol consumption. According to the most dietary guidelines, moderate alcohol consumption is generally defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. However, it’s essential to note that the definition of “one drink” varies depending on the type of alcohol, the size of the drink, and the alcohol content. For example, a standard drink is considered to be 355 ml of beer, 147 ml of wine, or 44 ml of distilled spirits.

Low-Calorie Alcoholic Drinks

If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s essential to choose low-calorie alcoholic drinks. Here are four examples of low-calorie alcoholic beverages that are popular in South Africa:

  1. Light beer: A typical 355ml serving of light beer contains around 100 calories.
  2. Gin and sugar-free tonic: A standard serving of gin and sugar free tonic made with 44ml of gin and 89ml of sugar free tonic water contains around 110 calories. If you use regular tonic water instead of sugar-free tonic water, then the calorie count jumps up to around 140 calories for a single serving.
  3. Red or white wine: A standard 147ml glass of red or white wine contains around 120-125 calories.
  4. Whiskey & soda or whiskey &  ice: A standard serving of whiskey and soda water made with 44ml of whiskey and soda water contains around 105 calories. 

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High-Calorie Alcoholic Drinks

On the other hand, some alcoholic beverages are much higher in calories and should be consumed in moderation or avoided altogether if you’re trying to lose weight. Here are four examples of high-calorie alcoholic drinks:

  1. Margarita: A standard 237ml serving of margarita contains around 220-230 calories.
  2. Piña colada: A standard 237ml serving of piña colada contains around 440 calories. 
  3. Long Island iced tea: A standard 237ml serving of Long Island iced tea contains around 250-260 calories.
  4. Craft beer: A typical 355ml serving of craft beer can contain anywhere from 150-400 calories, depending on the specific beer and its alcohol content.

Conclusion

In conclusion, alcohol consumption can affect weight loss efforts, and it’s important to choose low-calorie drinks and consume alcohol in moderation. If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s a good idea to track your alcohol consumption and make sure it fits within your daily calorie and nutrition goals. By making smart choices and staying within recommended guidelines, you can still enjoy a drink while maintaining a healthy weight.


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Sources: Calorie information from nutritionix.com