On The Table

A collection of knowledge-based articles to inspire overall wellness.

The Effects of Alcohol: What to Drink without Gaining Weight

When trying to lose weight, liquid calories in the forms of sugary sodas and alcoholic beverages are encouraged to go first. However, drinking on a diet can still exist without sacrificing social happy hours or that anticipated glass of wine with dinner. Find out what to drink and how to do it without not just gaining weight, but losing it!

The Effects of Alcohol: What to Drink without Gaining Weight

Drinking On a Diet: What and How to Drink Without Gaining Weight

Drinking alcohol and weight loss can coexist, and not just in a dieter's dream world. To have the best of both worlds, focus most on the...

...quantity of beverages.
Moderation is key when it comes to avoiding alcohol and weight gain. Standard drinking sizes include 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. Additionally, recommendations suggest men should moderate alcohol consumption to two servings while women are limited to one.

...type of alcohol.
Along with keeping portions and servings moderated, paying attention to the type of alcohol can also be beneficial.

• Beer
One of the best choices for brew is light beer, as a 12-ounce bottle supplies an average of 110 calories and less than 5 grams of carb. However, selecting a light beer should not validate more beers to follow. Find more on the best and worst beers for weight loss here.

• Wine
Most 5-ounce servings of wine contain 80 calories and less than 2 grams of carb, healthcare experts generally promote red over white, as white wine may contribute less antioxidants and potentially lead to adverse health effects, including a link to skin cancer. Conversely, consuming the red variety may not only protect against cancer, but lower an individual's risk of cardiovascular disease and promote longevity.

• Liquor
While slugging down shots is not encouraged, hard liquors tend to be low in calories (55 calories per 1.5-ounce shot) and absent of carbs. One of the most important takeaway messages when it comes to liquors is deviating away from premade cocktail mixes, juices, and sodas. Offer flavor by adding a splash of water, squirt of lime or lemon, along with any non-calorically dense drinks and fresh fruits.

...the day after.
If happy hour turned into a happier night but an unhappier morning, it is important to walk off repercussions in stride. Rather than sulking in a hangover, binging on greasy foods, and potentially gravitating to the hair of the dog, pick up the pieces and carry on with your health goals. Be sure to hydrate as soon as waking up, along with consuming one or a few of these best foods for hangovers, and try taking a leisurely walk or tackling a sweat-provoking workout. Ultimately, it is important to not let one night out sacrifice and tarnish all the efforts you have made to move forward!

...total lifestyle.
Along with moderating alcohol intake and tackling the day after a drinking binge head on, remember sustainable weight loss and maintenance requires the attendance of other health habits. Making a complete lifestyle change is imperative and encourages the consistency of well-balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and adequate and quality sleep. It is also important to remember life can still be enjoyed and indulgences can occur within some sort of perimeters, as that fishbowl margarita may not be the wisest choice... However, restricting yourself can transpire into a feeling of dissatisfaction, ultimately provoking you to continuously aiming to fill that gap with additional less-than-healthy choices. Ultimately, truly acknowledge and enjoy not only the beverage of choice, but the surroundings that may have instigated a self-made or celebratory happy hour!