When you are trying to lose weight, choosing the better option from the bar can be confusing.
With all the low carb beers, low alcohol wines, not to mention the offers of fruity cocktails – it can start to feel like there are too many choices.
This is where your trusty Calorie Bible comes in – in here we have outlined all of the popular beers, wines, and spirits so that you can see how your tipple stacks up in the calorie department.
Of course, it’s not just calories you want to keep an eye on with your alcoholic drinks – sugar is another one to watch. Many drinks (even the non sweet ones) contains sugar (due to the fermentation process, as well as added sugar in others) so it’s important to take note of that as well.
When it comes to beer, it’s pretty easy to remember – the lower the alcohol content, the lower the calories. Alcohol content is more important than whether the beer claims to be ‘low carb’ or not.
So if you fancy a couple of drinks at a BBQ, a light beer is a good choice as it comes in at 100 calories for a 375ml serve (compared to 145 cal for a full strength).
A typical glass of wine comes in at 90 calories for a 120ml serve. It’s important to note that wine is much stronger than beer (around 12% for wine compared to 4.8% for beer) so be careful not to overdo it.
We love enjoying a wine spritzer – which is half wine (or try half champagne) and half sparkling water. You still enjoy the taste of the wine, but it helps to keep you hydrated and clear headed (including the next morning).
Once again there is a big jump in the strength of spirits with most coming in around the 40% mark.
While a single 30ml nip of vodka or scotch contains around 65 calories, it’s the mixers that you need to keep an eye on.
Topping up your rum with a 375ml Coca Cola will add a further 161 calories (and almost 10 teaspoons of sugar!). Ginger beer and lemonade are not much better at 165 cal and 124 cal respectively.
Juice is another one that people often mistake as being a great choice for a mixer. But the 200ml of pineapple juice adds 100 calories and plenty of sugar to your drink too.
Processed juice from a container often has added sugar (as well as the natural sugars) so are best avoided if you can.
The better choices? Go for soda water with some fresh lime – soda contains 0 calories and 0 sugar.
Also why not try adding just a splash of juice to your spirit and then topping up with sparkling water.
You could also try some diet soft drinks – they aren’t an everyday option by any means (as they contain sweeteners and numerous additives) but they are much lower calorie and lower in sugar than their full strength counterparts.
Happy Hour Tips
- Watch your portion sizes – just like you do with your food, be sure not to overpour your drinks as they can quickly add up.
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with water – it will help you in the morning as well as keep you in control
- Drinks to avoid include creamy cocktails (they are often huge and filled with, of course, cream), creamy drinks like Baileys, cocktails made with sugar syrup, pre-mixed drinks such as Breezers (as they pack a punch with sugar and calories too).
- Set yourself a limit – if you are going to a party why not tell yourself that you will enjoy 3 drinks and that’s it. Same goes with the canapés!
- Instead of making fruity punch, why not make a healthy iced tea like our Mint Iced Tea to serve to the non-drinkers? It’s super low calorie as well as being refreshing when served over ice.
- You could always avoid alcohol all together and tell people that you committed to a detox for the month. You can get all the support and advice you’ll need to really follow through with it when you sign up to our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.