5 tips to make diet-friendly alcohol choices

Alpa Momaya

August 10, 2023

A glass of wine has as many calories as a doughnut. Four pints of beer on game night is equivalent to two-and-a-half burgers. A Pina Colada equals up to two puff pastry sausage rolls. Two glasses of champagne are the calorific equivalent of a large slice of chocolate cake.  A bottle of alcopop – such as a Breezer – sets you back the same as a slice of pizza.

Going drinking with the BFFs or best buds, be it on weeknights or weekends, can play havoc with your diet and weight loss plans. Even the most health-conscious of us often end up discounting alcoholic beverages when calculating our caloric intake. The empty calories bring along lots more as alcohol is a potent appetite stimulant. Both men and women tend to eat more if they are served food with the accompaniment of alcohol.

Alcohol may be among the foods to avoid when on a diet but it’s not possible to give it up entirely. How can you enjoy your drink without compromising your diet?

Make the right choice 

Drink wine and light beer as they have the lowest calorie counts. If you are a cocktail lover, keep them simple. Avoid the chocolate martini (438 calories); go for the sour apple martini (148 calories)

Opt for light mixers 

Mix your drink with water if you can or else opt for low-calorie mixers such as diet soda, diluted orange juice, unsweetened lemonade or lemon juice. Cocktails can be very potent – 6 oz of Pina Colada has a whopping 378 calories.

Bring on the ice

Drinking on the rocks may not seem like the best idea in the world but it makes sense from a calorific perspective. Dilute your drink by continuously adding more ice or sparkling water. Adding some sparkling water to wine makes for a great low-calorie spritzer.

Set a limit  

Stick to guidelines and ensure that you don’t overdo your drinks. Women should not drink more than one standard drink per day and men no more than two. Both should make it a point to have at least two alcohol-free days per week.

Try these low-cal alcoholic drinks for your Friday night party-on-a-diet.

  • Vodka & soda (30 ml): 64 calories
  • Champagne, 1 glass: 84 calories
  • Sparkling wine, 150 ml: 100 calories
  • Martini, 1 serve: 140 calories
  • Daiquiri, 1 serve: 164 calories
  • Gin & tonic (30 ml): 200 calories
  • Cosmopolitan, 1 serve: 200 calories

Sticking to a limit will ensure that your drinking doesn’t drown your diet plan. Cheers!

About the Author

As the holder of a Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics from the University of Mumbai, Alpa Momaya has always understood the value of good nutrition in an individual's life. She is a Registered Nutritional Practitioner (Canada) with over 15 years of experience in the field. Specializing in Clinical Nutrition, Pre & Post Natal Diets, and Weight Management, Alpa found her calling as a Sr. Nutritionist with HealthifyMe. Alpa's love for cooking and good nutrition has seen her contribute several recipes to the HealthifyMe database over the years. Additionally, she takes a keen interest in reading and painting.

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