Drinks while Dieting?

Happy_HourQ – During this holiday season, I am attending lots of wonderful parties and events.  Most of which include alcohol.  I would like to have a drink, but don’t want to blow my progress!  Are there certain kinds of alcohol that would be better to have than others?

A – It is nice to have a drink with friends from time to time, especially during the holidays, that said, I consider alcohol right up there with sugar as the biggest fat loss enemies.  Here’s why…

1.    Alcohol is really just a ton of empty calories.
2.    It releases estrogen into your bloodstream, promotes fat storage, and decreases muscle growth.
3.    It weakens your willpower and inhibition — first you have just a drink or two, then those mini-weenies & potato skins start to look pretty good on the appetizer table.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to have a glass of red wine occasionally, but the is something to enjoy once you are in maintenance mode.  If you are trying to lose body fat or in pre-contest mode, then you really do need to avoid alcohol altogether.

All that said, if you are going to drink, I have a few suggestions:

Consider red wine.  Red wine has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, increases your HDL’s and has recently been shown to have digestive system benefits.  A 6 oz glass of wine has 150 calories

Chuck the fruity girly drinks.  Your average 8 ounce Pina Colada has over 600 calories and is more fattening than a Big Mac!  And this is just in one!  Avoid that fat and sugar here that will just spike your insulin.

 If you prefer a mixed drink, choose clear liquor with no-calorie mixer.  A Diet Coke with 1 oz of rum comes in at just under 100 calories.  If you are really craving a sweet drink, consider the Crystal Light Mocktails.  You can drink those without alcohol in the same cute glass or you can add a splash of alcohol if you would like and save a ton of calories.  Do be sure to watch the calories in mixers…

Some mixers are better than others:

  • Diet soda or diet tonic: 0 calories
  • Orange juice (6 oz): 84 calories
  • Cranberry juice cocktail (8 oz): 136 calories
  • Light orange juice (8 oz): 50 calories
  • Light cranberry juice (8 oz): 40 calories
  • Light lemonade (8 oz): 5 calories
  • Coffee, tea: 0 calories
  • S-free margarita or sweet ‘n’ sour mix: 0 calories
  • Lemon or lime juice (1/2 oz): 10 calories
  • DaVinci or Torani’s sugar-free syrups: 0

Want to know which liquor has the lowest calories?  Here is the breakdown of calories per one ounce of alcohol.

  •  Patron Silver 69 calories
  • Jagermeister  103 calories
  • Belvedere 64 calories
  • Grey Goose 69 calories
  • Kettle One 69 calories
  • Jameson 69 calories
  • Crown Royal 69 calories
  • Henessy 69 calories
  • Bailey’s  90 calories
  • Bacardi 65 calories
  • 151 rum  122 calories
  • Bombay Sapphire 79 calories
  • Whiskey 55 calories
  • Jack Daniels 81 calories
  • Jim Beam 69 calories
  • Southern Comfort 46 calories

 Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.  For every alcoholic drink you have, be sure to have at least one full glass of water.

At the end of the day, you want to watch your calories.  Alcohol calories add up very quickly.  If you are serious about your goals, you really don’t want to have more than 1-2 drinks per week, even during the holidays.  The less you have, the better your long-term results will be.












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