Many people only consider food when they think about dieting, and don’t think about the fact that they can easily consume well over their day’s worth of calories with just a few drinks. The fact is that a lot of people drink their calories without even realizing it. You don’t need to quit drinking all together, though, in order to diet. Just be smart about knowing in the low-calorie alcohol drinks that will help and the others than will hinder when you’re on your quest to shed those pounds.
There’s a reason that nearly everyone in America knows about the “beer gut.” Do you drink a lot of beer? Be prepared to put on the pounds, generally speaking. The main problem in regards to drinking beer is the excessive number of calories in just one. A typical beer has, on average, 150 calories. That doesn’t sound like much until you consider that most people don’t have just one. If you drink several in one sitting, you’re downing hundreds of calories in the beverage alone. Another factor is the food you typically consume while you drink beer: hot dogs, pizza, nachos… hardly healthy food. The quickest way to negate all your hard work with dieting is to continue to consume beer in excessive amounts. For that reason, we consider it the worst booze to drink while dieting.
Many say that a glass of red wine every night is great for your heart and blood pressure. This isn’t untrue, and for that reason it could actually be considered by some a “healthy” beverage, if consumed in moderation. Wine doesn’t pack quite the same punch in calories as most beers do, but it could get you in trouble with the amount of sugar contained in one glass, which means a lot of unwanted and unplanned carbohydrates.
A good rule of thumb is to look at the label: If the label mentions that the wine is “dry,” it’s likely to have way less sugar. If you’re reading “sweet” on that label, though, steer clear because sugar and carbs will run rampant. Stick to a glass of dry wine at night, though, and you’ve found the best booze to drink while dieting.
If you’re drinking hard liquor without mixing (say, 1 ½ ounces of vodka on the rocks), your problem comes from the alcohol itself. Alcohol actually has more calories than carbs, so hard liquor, when consumed in excess, adds up quick. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, whereas carbs contain 4 calories per gram. And liquor, as we all know, is significantly higher in alcohol content than any other beverage. So, if you think you’re avoiding gaining weight by drinking hard liquor and bypassing the unwanted carbs and sugar contained in beer and wine, think again. Mixed drinks, most of the time, contain an unfortunate amount of sugar and alcohol combined, which makes them the worst of all.
Here’s the deal: moderation is key. None of these drinks are really all that bad if you’re not binging or drinking them too often. Understand that alcohol means excess calories no matter what you’re drinking, but if you budget for those calories accordingly and as recommended by your doctor, they shouldn’t set you back.