If losing weight is your health priority, abstaining from alcohol is ideal, but if you must drink, nutritionists encourage choosing certain alcoholic beverages over others.
Despite the fact that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our normal happy hour hangouts and nightlife, alcohol consumption continues to rise. According to a letter published in September 2020 in the journal JAMA Network Open, when COVID-19 stay-at-home orders went into effect in 2020 (wow, it’s been two years!), national alcohol sales increased 54 percent in one week compared to the same week in 2019, and three out of every four adults began consuming alcohol one more day per month year over year.
It’s crucial to remember that alcohol might affect our metabolism and make losing weight more difficult. Alcohol comprises empty calories and does not give your body any nutrients; it also causes water weight gain and an increase in calories, causing your actual weight to rise quickly. Another concern is that once people start drinking alcohol, they tend to lose sight of their health and weight goals. According to a recent study, drinking more alcohol makes you more inclined to make poor eating choices.
So, if you’re worried about your weight but don’t want to fully give up, how can you fight back?
The standard recommendation is to drink in moderation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines moderation as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. It’s a good idea to limit your drinking even more if you’re attempting to lose weight, because drinking less is always healthier than drinking more.
The 5 Best Alcohol Types for Weight Loss
1. Red Wine (105 Calories per 5 oz Serving)
Because of its alleged heart-healthy effects, drinking a glass of red wine with dinner has long been considered a “healthy” choice.
The concept dates back to the 1980s, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
2. Light-calorie Beer (96 to 100 Calories per 12 oz Serving)
Go light on the beer if you’re in the mood for it. It’s yet another calorie-conscious choice. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a 12-ounce serving of light beer saves 40 to 55 calories compared to a standard beer.
3. Dry Vermouth (105 Calories per 3 oz Serving)
According to MedlinePlus, a 3 oz portion of dry vermouth has 105 calories. While it’s usually found in a martini or a Manhattan, you can save calories by drinking it straight. The low calorie count isn’t the only reason to give it a try. Did you know that according to studies, dry vermouth contains much more polyphenols than white wine. According to a study published in Frontiers in Nutrition in September 2018, polyphenols are naturally occurring molecules in plants that have been found to help control metabolism, weight, and chronic disease.
4. A Glass Of Bourbon On The Rocks (About 100 Calories per 1.5 oz Serving)
There’s no substantial difference in calories or carbohydrates between vodka, tequila, gin, and whiskey — all have roughly 100 calories in a 1.5-ounce dose, according to MedlinePlus. When drinking alcohol, it’s recommended to drink it straight, or with sparkling water or club soda. That’s because adding sugary mixers to a simple whiskey drink can easily push it over 300 calories.
5. Bubbly Champagne (85 Calories per 4 oz Serving)
Selecting sparkling wine over syrupy white wine saves roughly 35 calories per serving. The calories in a 4 oz glass of Champagne are 85. While this may not seem like much, it’s possible that the carbonation will make you feel fuller, causing you to forego the second glass.
The 3 Worst Alcohols for Weight Loss
1. Cocktails with lots of sugar (500 Calories per 8 oz Serving)
While fancy mixed drinks may sound appealing, they are frequently high in calories. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a single 8-ounce glass of Long Island Iced Tea contains roughly 500 calories. Did you know that’s the same amount of calories as a McDonald’s double cheeseburger?
2. Frozen Beach Cocktails (280 Calories per 5 oz Serving)
Strawberry daiquiris and pina coladas call to you on a beautiful beach day, but be careful if you’re trying to lose weight.
Each 5 oz serving of daiquiris and pina coladas contains around 280 calories.
3. Specialty Beer (170 Calories per 12 oz Serving)
A 12-ounce craft beer has roughly 170 calories (or more). When compared to commercial beers, this difference is due to the addition of added ingredients and carbs that enhance flavor.
Going alcohol-free is the most effective approach to reduce your calorie intake. If you do decide to drink alcohol on a given night, experts recommend switching between alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks to keep your calorie consumption under control. This will help to spread out the alcohol’s calories and keep you hydrated.
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