Discover the Top 10 Alcoholic Beverages that Can Help or Hinder Your Weight Loss Goals

Adopting healthier habits and making tweaks to your daily lifestyle can be challenging when you want to lose weight. This is especially true when dining out, attending social gatherings, and going on vacation. You want to enjoy yourself while making choices that won’t totally sabotage your progress. So, the next time you head to happy hour, we have you covered with the 10 best and worst types of alcohol for weight loss, according to a dietitian.

“My best tip with clients when it comes to alcohol is to order one drink that you really want to enjoy when out to dinner on date night or with friends,” suggests Courtney Pelitera, MS, RD, CNSC, a registered dietitian specializing in sports nutrition and wellness nutrition from Top Nutrition Coaching. “Then, limit yourself to that one drink. At the end of the day, alcohol is considered a poison to your body, so it will be processed as such and should be limited, especially when attempting to lose weight.”

Below, Pelitera breaks down the five best and five worst types of alcohol for weight loss. You may not be able to sip sugary piña coladas as much as you used to, but several better alternatives still bring on the good vibes.

The five best types of alcohol for weight loss:

1. Canned Vodka Soda

Canned vodka sodas are ideal for sipping poolside or enjoying on a hot summer’s day at the beach. They’re also great, lower-calorie alternatives to mixed drinks.

“With many different options and popularity on the rise, these drinks are often lower in alcohol content than a traditional mixed drink you would order at a bar,” says Pelitera. “They are also very low in added sugars and often have [few] additives.”

2. Champagne

pouring champagne into flutes

Pour yourself a glass of bubbly because this type of alcohol is dietitian-approved for sipping and savoring.

“Your traditional Brut champagne is only about 100 calories and [contains] one to two grams of sugar for a typical five-ounce glass,” says Pelitera. “Compared to many other drinks, this is very low in sugar and calories.”

3. Traditional Spritzer

wine spritzer

A traditional spritzer combines white wine and sparkling water for a refreshing adult beverage that’s low in calories.

“[Opting for] a traditional spritzer is a great way to stay hydrated while enjoying an alcoholic beverage,” Pelitera points out. “I like this option for weight loss because the volume or amount of liquid is higher, but the alcohol content stays relatively the same.”

4. Tequila or Mezcal on the Rocks

tequila on the rocks

Enjoy a tequila or mezcal on the rocks, with lemon and sparkling water, or with diet ginger ale. Pelitera tells us that both mezcal and tequila come from the agave plant and don’t seem to bring about blood sugar spikes compared to other types of alcoholic beverages.

In fact, according to research, agavins, which are sweeteners found in the agave plant, are “non-digestible” and can essentially channel dietary fiber, which means they won’t cause a rise in blood sugar.

5. Lower-Calorie Beers

pilsner beer

Beer lovers, rejoice! You can still indulge in your love of the brew by choosing lower-calorie beer options.

“This is a category that [has] significantly [expanded] in the past few years,” says Pelitera. “More beer producers are offering options under 100 calories.”

The five worst types of alcohol for weight loss:

1. Craft Beer

craft beers

While seeking out lower-calorie beers is perfectly okay, Pelitera warns to be mindful of craft beers.

“To specify, not all craft beer options, but many of these options come in 16-ounce pours (larger than a 12-ounce serving) and can be upwards of 1,800 to 250 calories per serving,” she cautions.

2. Long Island Iced Tea

long island iced tea

The next time you head to the bar, beware of the Long Island iced tea, as it’s no friend to your waistline.

“With the high sugar content and several different types of alcohol shots, this drink is not going to be weight-loss-friendly,” says Pelitera.

3. Bloody Mary

Bloody mary toppings

Ah, the bloody Mary—a usual suspect at weekend brunch. You’ll be keen to learn why it’s on the list of the worst types of alcohol for weight loss.

“A bloody Mary can contain several different types of alcohol, but that is not why this drink is typically unhealthy,” Pelitera tells us. “This is due to the sodium (salt) content that’s in tomato juice. Also, at a brunch restaurant, there are often many toppings with a bloody Mary that contribute to the calorie content and sodium content.”

4. Blended Drinks

piña coladas

Piña coladas and strawberry daiquiris are so much fun to enjoy poolside or at a beach bar. But alas, the calories and sugar content can add up really quickly if you aren’t careful. This, in turn, can derail your weight-loss progress.

5. Energy Drinks Mixed With Alcohol

bartender pouring energy drink into glass

Last but not least, avoid energy drinks combined with alcohol.

“Mixing high amounts of caffeine with alcohol can be dangerous, especially for those with heart conditions or blood pressure issues,” cautions Pelitera.

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