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Pure alcohol contains 7 calories per gram. This is twice as many calories as 1g of carbohydrate or protein, and almost as much as 1g of Fat. In other words, if you want to lose weight and reduce body fat, alcohol is best left alone.

Having said that, we are all human. If I told you that you couldn’t drink a sip of alcohol I am sure you would run in the other direction!

Let’s investigate the nutritional content of different types of alcohol and look at the best options to include in a healthy eating meal plan.

Alcohol in its pure form is not a carbohydrate, and straight spirits such as Whiskey and Vodka do not contain any carbohydrates. Wine contains a small amount of carbohydrate that remains after the fruit sugars, and the carbohydrates in beer come from the brewing malt.

When alcohol is consumed, it becomes the body’s primary source of fuel. In other words, it is used before carbohydrates, protein or fat. While this is going on, your body does not burn fat, and weight loss is inhibited.

Alcohol is also associated with cravings and may increase food consumption, further inhibiting weight loss.

 

Serving
size
Calories Carbohydrates
Beer –   regular 340ml

139

13g

Beer –   light 340ml

95

4.5g

White wine 180ml

85

1g

Red wine 180ml

124

1.7g

Vodka 25ml

62

0g

Gin 25ml

62

0g

Whiskey 25ml

62

0g

I would recommend white wine as the best option. Spirits are also a good option but make sure that you are choosing a sugar-free mixer, such as water, soda water or diet/slimline fizzy drinks that are sugar-free. Tonic water has a high sugar content and is best avoided.

In order to minimize your alcohol intake, do not make it a daily routine to have a drink in the evening. Keep your alcohol allowance for social events and special occasions. Even on these occasions, it is important not to overdo it. Here are some tips to keep your intake under control:

-Sip slowly and make your drink last longer

– Spritzer your wine with soda or sparkling water

– Do not drink spirits on their own. Rather mix with water to make them last longer

– Have a glass of water between each drink to ensure that you keep properly hydrated

– Offer to be the designated driver – this will force you to stick to only 1 or 2 drinks and prevent you from overdoing it!