Alcohol: The Diet Facts and How to Select Figure-Friendly Choices

Alcohol: The Diet Facts and How to Select Figure-Friendly Choices

While I would love to tell you there is a cocktail that is completely calorie-free and diet-friendly, I can’t. However, this does not mean that you can’t watch your figure and still enjoy some drinks here and there. The key to this task is that word we have heard so many times before but Americans seem to have a problem with moderation.

“That word” aside, there are also some options when it comes to alcohol that prove to be less costly to a diet. Lets look at the basic alcohol categories:


Wine is hands down your best option for a diet friendly alcohol beverage. Not only are there so many delicious varieties, but wine also packs the power of added antioxidants that are not found in other alcoholic beverages. Additionally, it is relatively low in calories. A 5oz glass of wine will cost you about 100 calories, or about 20 calories per ounce and only about 2 carbohydrates (for those of you who watch your carbs).

This 100 calorie glass of wine can be burned off by one hour of lovemaking (which you will probably feel inclined to do after the wine anyway; “tee hee” or you could swim a couple of laps or walk up a few flights of stairs). Note: Red is preferable over white


Man’s favorite beverage: beer. Ever heard the saying “beer belly?” Undoubtedly, you have. And, there is a reason for that! However, you might be surprised to know that it is your next best choice if you are watching your diet. provided “that word” (shhhmoderationshhh) is taken into consideration. Beer bellies are often a result of over-consumption.

Now beer has different varieties as well but all are NOT created equal as with the varieties of wine. You have light beers which average 100-110 calories per 12oz serving and have just 6-10 carbs. Draft beer will cost you about 150 calories and roughly 14 carbs per 12oz serving. Lager, 170cals, 14 carbs and Ale, 220 calories and 14 carbs!


Now hard liquor can be tricky. Since we usually mix liquor with something else, this choice may vary in its degree of diet-friendliness. The rule of thumb is that one ounce of hard liquor is about 100 calories. That’s just ONE SHOT. Yep! That shot glass is one ounce (well, I think some are 1.5oz). The good news about hard liquor is that it has no carbs (for those on a low carb diet).

Be sure to choose mixers that are calorie free! Use diet soda instead of regular, stay away from juices and frozen alcohol drinks with lots of added sugar and try to limit your intake. Club soda and diet tonic water are great options for low calorie mixers. This way, you are only getting the calories from the alcohol and allowing yourself to have more drinks for less calories.

My favorite drink is a vodka with club soda and lime juice from a fresh lime. BUT, keep in mind that mixing alcohol with calorie free mixers will get you tipsy much faster because there is nothing else to absorb and mix with the alcohol and reduce is effects. So, be careful.

Final thoughts about drinking alcohol and dieting:

You don’t always have to sacrifice taste for a more diet friendly beverage. There are plenty of options for DELICIOUS low calorie drinks. There are a variety of diet sodas and light juices in your local grocery store.

Get creative and read the nutrition facts. And if you MUST have your favorite high calorie sugar-loaded drink, limit it to just one and you can even budget for it by choosing lighter foods that day. Also, remember that drinking alcohol lowers inbibitions and creates feelings of hunger. Going overboard on the beverages may cause you to then go overboard on the snacking and get your diet even more off track!

So, don’t forget to have some healthy snacks ready so you don’t splurge on the junk food or just skip the food all together if you are not truly hungry.

Good luck and have a great holiday season!

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