The facts about losing weight and drinking spirits and cocktails

Between Christmas biscuits, chocolate truffles, and copious cups of eggnog, it’s no wonder your clothes fit a bit tighter than they did before the holidays.

A number of articles were recently published, praising the virtues of abstaining from alcohol during the next few weeks. While giving up alcohol for a month is a personal decision and may have some wellness benefits, like better sleep, it might not necessarily translate into major weight loss for one who enjoys a moderate volume of cocktails and spirits.

The reason? According to this article, hard alcohol isn’t that caloric. A one-and-a-half-ounce shot of an 80-proof whiskey, gin, vodka, or rum contains 97 calories and no carbohydrates. A 12-ounce can of regular beer, on the other hand, has roughly 153 calories and more than 12 grams of carbs, and a 5-ounce glass of wine has 121 calories and nearly 4 grams of carbs.

The real culprits that keep you from losing weight is mixed drinks. Fruit juices, cola, ginger beer, and sugar-based simple syrup are highly caloric because of their additional sweet ingredients. Even tonic water is often loaded with calories and made with high-fructose corn syrup.

So what’s a calorie-counting drinker to do? Stick to simple boozy cocktails like Dry Martinis and Manhattans or whiskey and club soda.