Low Calorie Alcoholic Drinks – drink wisely without gaining weight


With the party season fast approaching, our alcohol intake can start to increase. So how can we enjoy a few drinks without piling on the pounds?

Calories in alcohol - How many calories are you drinking?

Alcohol itself is relatively high in calories with 7 calories per gram, second only to fat, which provides 9 calories of energy per gram. The other macronutrients, protein and carbohydrate both have only 4 calories per gram. So for a standard drink consisting of 10 grams of alcohol, you are consuming 70 calories from alcohol alone before considering the other sources of calories in most drinks.

Alcoholic beverages are empty calories

To make matters worse, many alcoholic drinks come with a fairly large portion of carbohydrates and in the case of cocktails, often fat as well. Added to the fact that, with the exception of a small amount of wine, alcohol provides very little nutritional value and can therefore be considered empty calories, the party season can be the undoing of even the most motivated dieters.

Promotes weight gain

In addition to the high calorie content, alcohol also wreaks havoc with our bodies’ normal processes of nutrient absorption and burning of energy. Unlike the other nutrients, protein, carbohydrate and fat, our body cannot store alcohol. Hence removing it from the body takes preference over normal functions. This can result to an interruption of the fat burning process, giving extra potential for weight gain.

With a large beer containing roughly the equivalent calories to a slice of pizza and a sweet ‘alco-pop’ type drink weighing in at around the same as 100 grams of cookies, it’s hardly surprising how quickly these calories add up and contribute to weight gain.


Susan Arruda