What to Drink at a Bar If You Want to Lose Weight
Trying to keep your beach body in tact during the Summer months is no easy feat. Thanks to our friends at Details| here are the best and worst alcohols to consume when you’re trying to lose weight.
Alcohol can either give you a beer belly or help you uncover your abs. After all| while one Archives of Internal Medicine study shows that people who put back one or two drinks a day are less likely to gain weight| research in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that men consume an extra 433 calories on days they have just a couple of drinks.
While lowered inhibitions and drink-fueled munchies have something to do with it| 61 percent of the caloric increase comes from the alcohol itself. So| if you’re trying to lose weight while still enjoying the occasional drink| you’d better be wise about which drinks you choose. Here is the best and worst booze you can order.
| Wine = The Best
Red or white| you can expect to consume roughly 100 to 120 calories per glass. (That’s assuming| however| that you’re drinking a standardized 5-ounce glass. Research from Iowa State and Cornell shows that people tend to overpour by 12 percent.)
However| there are some considerations to make when picking grapes: white wine typically contains fewer carbohydrates than red wine| which makes a small difference in terms of calories| says Caroline Cederquist| MD| author of The MD Factor and creator of bistroMD. Meanwhile| red wine is richer in antioxidants| and a 2014 study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry| red wine’s ellagic acids delay the growth of fat cells while slowing the development of new ones.
| Vermouth = The Best
“”A fortified wine with higher alcohol content and infused spices and herbs| vermouth is a calorie saver if you have it by itself u2014 as it’s commonly served in Europe|”” says Georgie Fear| RD| author of Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss. A 1.5-ounce serving contains a mere 64 calories and typically contains about 15 to 18 percent alcohol| she says. Plus| research out of Budapest shows that it’s jam-packed with polyphenol compounds| which may promote healthy weight loss.
Still| remember that if you mix it into a Manhattan or martini| you’re probably going to be consuming far more calories and sugar| Fear says.
| Straight Liquors = The Best
When it comes to getting the most alcohol for the fewest calories| shots and straight booze on the rocks are the way to go. “”There isn’t much of a difference between 80-proof hard liquors|”” Cederquist says. “”They all have around the same amount of calories and carbohydrates.”” And as calories increase along with alcohol content| the difference isn’t huge. For instance| a shot of 86-proof whiskey contains 105 calories and a shot of 80-proof vodka contains 97.
However| you also need to keep in mind that the sweeter the liquor| the more calories it typically contains| she says. “”If you’re looking for a lower-calorie alternative| avoid the flavored vodkas and spiced rums and go for the original or plain option offered|”” she says. “”If you are looking for a flavor boost| try low-calorie mixers like a flavored seltzer or fresh squeezed lemon or lime. This will provide the taste without the calories.””
| Light Beer = The Best
With fewer calories and carbs| these are the best brewskis for weight loss| Cederquist says. Many light beers contain 90 to 100 calories per 12 ounces| while extralight beers pack about 55 to 65.
However| just don’t use that as an excuse to have more beers than you typically would| or you’ll undo all benefits. Hey| they generally pack less alcohol| right? Well| yeah| but they actually tend to have a higher percentage of their calories coming from alcohol compared to standard brews. Budweiser Select 55 for example derives 88.2 percent of its calories from alcohol| compared to Bud Light at 74.1 percent| and regular Budweiser at 66.9 percent calories| Fear says.
| Sugar-Packed Cocktails = The Worst
“”Margaritas and Long Island Iced Teas can set you back more calories than a large order of McDonald’s French Fries|”” Fear says. Even worse| calories from sugar-laden drinks come as a sneak attack. When you drink a marg| your body is so overwhelmed with the alcohol content that your body doesn’t properly metabolize the sugar. Instead| it stores the sweet stuff as fat.
There is never a good excuse to drink these and other sugar-filled cocktails| especially if you are trying to lose weight or not develop diabetes| she says. Now| if you’ve got a skilled mixologist behind your bar| you’re probably calorically safe ordering a cocktail. After all| he’d never serve up one of these artless offenses
| High-Alcohol Craft Beers = The Worst
“”The last five years have seen an explosion of craft breweries creating high-alcohol varieties| which pack more calories per bottle than you may realize|”” Fear says. Remember| more alcohol means more calories. Every gram of the good stuff contains seven calories.
For instance| Flying Dog Horn Dog| which contains 10.2 percent alcohol by volume| also contains 314 calories per bottle| and Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA boasts 18 percent alcohol by volume| but also packs 450 calories into each bottle. That’s a meal in a glass. Unfortunately| though| all that alcohol can wind up making you hungrier.
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