How to Drink and Still Lose your Belly
“Don’t drink – it will make you gain weight”. This is what I was told ever since I was the legal drinking age. And chances are, you have heard the same thing. I’d love to tell you that there is absolutely no merit behind this, but if I did, I would be misleading you. The reason people tell you not to drink when you are trying to lose weight is that alcohol is empty calories.
So in an ideal world, you would easily give up alcohol to lose weight. But we don’t live in an ideal world, and asking most people to give up drinking is like asking them to give up breathing. Okay, so that might be a little bit of an exaggeration (alcohol is definitely not as important as breathing), but you get the point.
As a side note, did you know that alcohol is technically a fourth macronutrient, containing 7 calories per gram? This puts it somewhere between protein/carbs and fat. With that being said, it’s not used in quite the same way as the others, and it’s often not listed on nutritional labels.
No, we’re not saying that alcohol is an essential macronutrient, but we are saying that we are realistic enough to know that some people like to drink. So what’s the key? Compromise, moderation, and counting your alcohol consumption in terms of macros. Here is a tip to help you track:
1 ounce shot of whiskey is 10 gm = 70 calories
4 ounces of wine is 17 gms = 120 calories
12 ounces of light beer = 14 gms = 100 calories
You can use this as a guide to help you keep track of your calorie intake when drinking. Please note, that this should only be used as a guide, and you should try to limit alcohol consumption as much as possible (for both your weight and your liver!).
So what can you drink? Well technically, you can drink anything. But if you are trying to keep your calories low, there are some alcohols that fare better than others. Let’s take a look:
You may think that wines, made from grapes, would be packed full of sugar. But the truth is, dry wines are actually okay to drink – even when trying to lose weight! In fact, there isn’t even enough sugar in a glass of dry wine to have an impact on blood sugar or insulin levels. What wines are the best for keeping calorie intake low?
• Red wines like Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Zinfandel, and Syrah
• White wines like Sauvignon blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Champagne
Remember: 4 oz of wine is approximately 17 grams, which is 120 calories. This means that the occasional glass of dry wine is unlikely to have an impact on your weight loss goals.
For all you beer fans, I’m sorry to tell you that beer is one of the worst things you can drink for losing weight. In fact, drinking a beer is like drinking a glass of liquid bread. Ever hear of the term “beer belly”? Well, it’s a real thing. Fortunately, beer lovers don’t need to give up beer altogether, they might just need to switch the brand. “Light” beers are the best options, with the following brands being the lowest in carbohydrates:
• Bud select, MGD, Miller Lite, Bud Select, Rolling Rock Green Light, Michelob Ultra
Remember: 12 ounces of light beer is 14 grams, which is 100 calories. So if you’re going to drink beer, keep it light. And as a general rule with beers, avoid anything that is amber, red, or dark.
There are several liquors out there that don’t carry any carbs at all. These include:
• Whiskey, vodka, brandy, gin, dry martini, and tequila
This means they are the perfect option for individuals who are trying to lose or maintain a certain weight. With that being said, the key to drinking liquors is to avoid mixers. Many liquors have no calories, but the mixers that people use with them are loaded. Avoid adding anything sweet like juice, sodas, or other sweeteners. Instead, take your liquor on the rocks or add sparkling water.
And remember: 1 ounce shot of whiskey is 10 grams, which is 70 calories.
In conclusion, you don’t need to starve yourself of alcohol to lose weight. Yes, you need to limit your consumption and drink in moderation, but you should do that for the good of your health anyways. Use the guide above to help you drink socially, without packing on the pounds.
For Tracking add the calories to your log and if you keep to the liquors mentioned above you will be under 2 grams of carbs per drink. hope that helps we will also have a helpful guide on low-Calorie low sugar Libations.
Pro Tip: Drink 8 to 12 oz of water between each drink this will keep you from drinking more and getting dehydrated.
Bonus!!! Here are a bunch of FREE Cheat Sheets listed below: