Whether a social drinker or an evening wine sipper, you might be anxious to know if you can enjoy alcohol on the bistroMD plan. The good news is you do not have to sacrifice alcohol on the bistroMD plan nor outside of it to lose and/or maintain weight!
However, this does not unleash the ultimate freedom to unwind from the day with an entire bottle of wine. Instead, use these smart sipping tips to enjoy alcoholic beverages while staying on track with your health goals.
Smart Sip Tip #1: Drink In Moderation
Moderation is vital when it comes to drinking, as consuming alcohol in excess can negatively impact health and lead to weight gain. Because when drinking, the liver is preoccupied with detoxifying alcohol rather than fat breakdown.
If deciding to drink alcohol on the bistroMD plan, we strongly suggest you do so in moderation. Dr. Cederquist recommends that men consume no more than 4 alcoholic drinks a week and women limit servings to no more than 3.
Smart Sip Tip #2: Understand Alcohol Calories
Healthier drinking can also be achieved by understanding the calorie content of alcohol. All alcohol sources provide calories, 7 calories per gram to be exact. Encouraged serving sizes, with their respective average calorie content, include:
- 150 calories per 12-ounces regular or light beer or 8 to 9-ounces of malt beer
- 125 calories per 5-ounces white or red wine
- 100 calories per 1.5-ounce shot 80-proof spirits, including vodka, rum, tequila, and whiskey
- 100 calories per 12-ounces hard seltzer waters
Also note alcohol only provides empty calories, as it lacks protein and vitamins that you get from food. If your body is not getting the appropriate balance of essential nutrients from food, then your metabolism won't be able to break down this fat, and you will keep gaining weight.
Smart Sip Tip #3: Limit Empty Calories of Mixers
When it comes to drinking liquors, deviate away from premade cocktail mixes, juices, and sodas, as they tend to be laden with added sugars and unwanted calories.
Offer flavor and color to drinks using seasonal fruit or freshly squeezed lime, lemon, grapefruit, or orange. Spices and herbs, such as ginger and mint, can also enhance flavor without the worry of adding extra calories.
Low-calorie mixers include tonic or sparkling water, which also gives drinks a festive and fun touch!
Smart Sip Tip #4: Eat a Balanced Meal & Hydrate When Drinking
Eating before or while drinking can slow down the absorption of alcohol. Without eating a nutritious meal, our bodies take in empty calories and prevent metabolism from getting the energy it needs to burn excess stored fat.
Instead of “saving up on calories” when drinking, nourish the body with a balanced meal or snack. Include high-protein and fiber sources and complement with healthy fat as desired.
Smart Sip Tip #5: Try These Low-Cal Drinks
While often enjoyed, sugary drinks like margaritas and daiquiris can add hundreds of calories to your day. Sip smarter with these refreshing options:
- Light wine spritzer: Top serving of wine with 3/4 cup sparkling water
- Vodka and soda water: Mix 1.5 oz vodka with soda water and squeeze with favorite citrus fruit for a burst of flavor.
- Light mojito: Mix 1.5 oz white rum, juice from half a lime, mint leaves, stevia, and soda water.
- Diet gin and tonic: 1.5 oz gin topped with diet tonic
- Guilt-free frozen strawberry margarita
- Fizzy blueberry mint cocktail
- Sugar-free mint julep
If ordering out at the bar, ask the bartender to omit syrups and use low-calorie mixers as available.