Cheers to Balance: How to Enjoy Drinks While Dieting

3 min read
Cheers to Balance: How to Enjoy Drinks While Dieting

Dieting and social events often seem like conflicting forces – at least it’s what most of us are led to believe. Here’s the truth: missing out on social events just because you’re dieting can actually reduce your long-term results.

This is why we’ve created the ultimate guide to the best alcohol options when dieting, along with strategies to minimize the impact on your goals.

Understanding alcohol: how it can affect your diet and health

Before diving into drink options, it’s important to understand how alcohol affects your body and health. 

Alcohol packs a lot of “empty” calories – we call them empty because, unlike the calories we consume from food, alcohol calories do not provide any essential nutrients.  In fact, one gram of alcohol contains about 7 calories, which is higher than the calorie content of protein and carbohydrates (both at 4 calories per gram). In case you’re wondering, this translates to roughly 145 calories in a typical 330ml bottle of beer.

Additionally to the calories, alcohol can:

  • Increase your appetite - it can stimulate the release of hunger hormone, leading to overeating
  • Lower your inhibitions – leading to unhealthy food choices when under the influence
  • Impair sleep quality – hindering your weight management efforts 

Alcohol is also an addictive substance that can have diverse consequences on your health and wellbeing, especially if consumed regularly. 

The Low-Calorie Contenders: Your Best Booze Buddies

Now that we’ve got all of this out of the way, we’re ready to dive into the best alcohol options to minimize the impact on your diet:

  1. Dry champagne or sparkling wine - a glass of champagne has 75 to 95 calories. The "brut" varieties have lower sugar content (which means less calories)
  2. Light beer – these variations of beer can be found almost anywhere. Depending on the brand they can have 80 to 90 calories per bottle (around 60 Kcal less than regular beer)
  3. Spirits with soda water and lime - vodka, tequila, gin, and rum all have around 70 calories per serving (45mL). Mix them with calorie-free soda water and a squeeze of lime for a refreshing, low-calorie drink
  4. Wine spritzers – combining a 100mL portion of wine with sparkling water to create a lighter version of your favourite wine, cuts down the calorie content significantly. A glass of this mix should be around 80 to 90 Kcal (half the wine, half the calories)

Bonus Tip:  Always choose clear liquors over those with added sugars and syrups. This helps minimize unnecessary calories from sugar.

Beyond the drinks

Choosing lower-calorie drinks can help reduce the impact of drinking in your diet, but if you’re looking for minimum damage, here are some additional strategies to attend to social drinking situations and have little impact on your diet:

  • Eat before you drink - having a healthy meal before going out helps you feel fuller and reduces the urge to snack after you had some glasses
  • Pace yourself - slow down your drinking and savour each sip
  • Alternate alcoholic beverages with water – besides helping you keep hydrated, it prevents alcohol overconsumption
  • Be the designated driver - taking on this role allows you to control your alcohol intake (if peer pressure is a common problem, you should be safe with this excuse)

Party, but prioritize your goals

Enjoying social gatherings with friends shouldn't mean sacrificing your progress. Make healthy choices most of the time and allow yourself occasional indulgences.

For us, the secret resides precisely in keeping this balance between what you should and want to do. Let’s have a chat and discuss how that can apply to your life.

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