Summer often means hanging by the pool and sipping a cold one. But this can be tricky if you’re trying to lose weight. YourTango is here with the best and worst alcohol to drink if you want to keep pounds off.
We live for our happy hour dates but by doing so, are we derailing our diet? When it comes to watching calories and weight control, alcohol can actually be a major foe, no matter how badly we need that cocktail.
“When it comes to weight loss, the number one factor affecting the waist line is how many calories we consume. Weight gain happens when we consume more calories than we burn, whereas weight loss happens when we burn off more calories than we use,” says Rene Ficek, a registered dietitian and lead nutrition expert at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating.
Alcoholic beverages can be very high in calories and easily lead to weight gain. It’s perfectly fine to have a cocktail or two, but if you aren’t careful, it can easily add hundreds of calories to your daily intake.
Obviously, if weight loss is your goal, then drinking any form of alcohol will postpone your results. Why?
“Unlike the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbs, alcohol is comprised solely of empty calories with no nutritional value. As a result, it is the first fuel to be used, putting the fat-burning process on the back burner,” says certified health and lifestyle coach, Allison Hagendorf.
Here are a few of the best (and worst) drinks to ensure you keep your alcohol calories in check:
Dry wine, not sweet
Sweet wine typically has an additional 100-150 calories per glass, says Ficek. If you do drink wine, consider mixing it with club soda and making it a spritzer to cut down on the calories. Consider going red, too, as it has heart health benefits.
Club soda (as a mixer)
Club soda pairs well with vodka or gin and is calorie free. Plus, you will be helping to rehydrate yourself to prevent a hangover. Lemons and limes can help flavor this mixer, plus it will add a nutritional boost of vitamin C. Say no to adding juice, sports drinks, energy drinks or soda to any alcoholic beverage, says Ficek.
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